The leap of faith and those long sleepless nights of anxiety that preceded it were definitely worth it, she admits. As soon as Jodi took the plunge, “the experiences, the people, the food, the understanding of just how connected we can all be – all of it comes out very quickly when you walk away from everything familiar”.
Having put funds aside for travel, Jodi estimated she’d need $15,000 for 12 months but by the end of her first year she’d used only half her budget and so decided to keep going. “I was fortunate to come from a profession that allowed me to save more quickly,” she says, “but I do think it’s important to have a game plan or at least a worst-case set-up in your head. It allows for the psychological comfort of knowing you have an idea of what to do if it all goes south.”
On average, her monthly expenses range from $500 to $750. Her current rent in Oaxaca is $250 per month, which includes WiFi, electricity and water. Legal Nomads has been profitable since 2010 and as the site has grown organically, so too have its revenue streams. Well-regarded as a travel expert, but also determined and curious, Jodi makes money by freelancing for various publications, public speaking, and offering guided food walks of the places she’s living in. Through her site she sells t-shirts, tote bags and posters displaying national “food maps” that she’s designed – a men’s shirt costs $24.99 – and in 2012 she distilled her global culinary knowledge to write The Food Traveler’s Handbook.