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10 Live & Work Abroad Rockstars Whose Stories Will Make You Say “Wow”

Today’s slice (post) is a little different. There’s no video. Instead, I’m giving a shout-out to 10 people who I think deserve a mention and made me say “wow” when I first learned about them. They are all doing or have done very unique things abroad, but the bond that ties them together is that they are all living creatively and passionately on their own terms.

Let’s get started!

1 & 2) Alex Navarrete and Crystal Bodell – Born to Backpack

born to backpack

Hiking and sporting the BTB t-shirts!

Wow Factor: Raise the roof wow

Why? This under 30 dynamic duo saved up money from their jobs and started a new eco-friendly apparel line that redefines what it means to be a global citizen. After months of hard work and planning, they decided to quit their day jobs and take their biz on the road with them, as they manage everything remotely and travel the world. Can’t wait to air their episode slice (stay tuned for a contest in the near future). I feel honored and privileged to know them personally and have a tremendous amount of respect for these global entrepreneurs. Alex and Crystal are a super friendly couple, so make sure to say hello to them on Facebook and Twitter.

3) Hilary Corna – Founder of and author of One White Face

hilary corna

Hilary Corna

Wow Factor: Jump out of my seat wow

Why? Former guest Hilary Corna went into the international corporate world after graduating from university. The crazy part is how she got her job with Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Singapore, after buying a one-way ticket with no plans. It all started in a swimming pool. Seriously. She was the “one white face” in her Singapore office, and her story of working in Asia’s corporate culture is so unique that I couldn’t put her book down when I was reading it. Give Hilary some love on Facebook and Twitter.

4) Turner Barr – Around the World in 80 Jobs

turner barr

Turner Barr doing an odd job

Wow Factor: Jaw dropping wow

Why? Atlas Sliced alum Turner Barr might be a little bit crazy. And that’s why I like him. He’s just so darn unconventional that I always want to know what he’s up to next. For those who don’t know him, he goes all over the world picking up odd jobs (ex. harvesting tequila in Mexico, making pizza in Rome, street salesman in Thailand) to support his lifestyle. Give him a shout out on Twitter and follow him on Facebook. His Facebook updates are hilarious.

5) Sherry Ott – Creator of Ottsworld and Co-founder of Meet Plan Go!

sherry ott

Sherry Ott (Photo taken from

Wow Factor: Bust out the jello shots wow

Why? Sherry Ott quit her New York corporate IT job in 2006 to travel. She’s not just a typical traveler who writes and takes photos about her experiences. She’s an entrepreneur. Sherry turned her corporate runaway story into a way to help others escape the cubicle by creating Meet Plan Go!, which offers career break planning and advice through online courses and events across North America. She is also a “new nomad.” Make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. Did I mention she likes jello shots?

6) Jodi Ettenberg – Creator of Legal Nomads and author of The Food Traveler’s Handbook

Jodi Ettenberg

Jodi Ettenberg (Photo taken from

Wow Factor: Hot damn! wow

Why? As the name of her site suggests, Jodi Ettenberg used to be a lawyer. But those days are long gone. She had been set on traveling the world most of her life, but she needed to save up money before she could do it. What’s so cool about her is that she keeps her site ad-free and supports herself through partnerships that she has created with others. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that she’s a food enthusiast and wrote a book (see title above) about finding “cheap, safe and delicious food anywhere in the world.” I’m sure she’d appreciate connecting on Facebook and Twitter.

7) Shannon O’Donnell – Creator of A Little Adrift, Grassroots Volunteering and author of The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook

Shannon O'Donnell

Shannon O’Donnell (Photo taken from

Wow Factor: Epiphany-inducing wow

Why? Another Atlas Sliced alum, Shannon O’Donnell has taken her skills on the road with her over the years, as she works basically anywhere in the world doing freelance writing, SEO consulting, and online marketing. She has also volunteered extensively and wrote a book (see above title). Another very unique quirk about her is that she took her young niece, who was homeschooled at the time, along with her for an extended period of her travels. What an awesome aunt! Track her down on Facebook and Twitter to say hello.

8) Marcello Arrambide – Creator of Wandering Trader and The Day Trading Academy

Marcello Arrambide

Marcello Arrambide (Photo taken from

Wow Factor: Off the charts impressive wow

Why? I’ll be honest. To me, day trading looks like a cluster of graphs, numbers, and confusion. But Marcello Arrambide seems to have cracked the code. He makes a living day trading and training people how to day trade. Major props to him because this is something I don’t think I could do. All the while, he travels to off the beaten path countries like South Sudan and Suriname. He’s living life on the wild side! Give Marcello a holler on Facebook and Twitter.

9 & 10) Christine and Drew Gilbert – Creators of The Wireless Generation (documentary) and Almost Fearless (Christine)


Drew and Christine Gilbert. Photo taken from their Kickstarter campaign.

Wow Factor: Fist pump wow

Why? This couple left the U.S. to pursue traveling the world in 2008. Oh, and they had a baby while on the road (probably two babies by the time you read this). No big deal. I’m super stoked for the release of their documentary, which is about a “new generation of people taking their careers online in order to travel the world.” Seriously A-MAZ-ING. Connect with Christine on Facebook and Twitter.

Bonus (two people you probably already know about but need to be mentioned)

Chris Guillebeau: Chris elicits an “I don’t even know what to say” wow. He is an entrepreneur, an author, a speaker, and a travel hacker who has been to almost EVERY COUNTRY in the world (soon to be all). I could write a ton about him, but if you don’t know him, get your head out from under a rock and head over to his site.

Where the Hell is Matt? Makes me wanna do a happy dance wow. Long story short (read the full story on his site), Matt started doing a silly dance all over the world, and he filmed it. It caught on big time. Now he makes a living through speaking engagements, endorsements, and appearances.

Know other people who could value from learning about these rockstars? Awesome! Share away on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or anywhere else your heart desires.

Click here to share easily on Twitter!

I’m sure I have left out some great people. Know anyone else doing similar things and beating to the tune of his/her own drum? Let me know in the comments!


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  • Stephen Lahey

    Fascinating list of globe trotters! I own two businesses: one that requires me to stay in the U.S. and put in face time with clients (executive search), and another that I just launched with future globe trotting in mind (an online business that will allow great freedom to travel). These people are an inspiration -thanks for the heads-up!

    • Alexa Hart

      Thank you Stephen! Great to see you in here :) And keep me posted about this other biz of yours. Freedom to travel is a wonderful thing.

  • Alex

    Thanks for including us in this list Alexa! Such a privilege to be mentioned with so many awesome travelers on that list :) This list should include you as well!

    • Alexa Hart

      You’re too kind, Alex!

  • Around the World in 80 Jobs

    Cool list Alexa. Thanks for the mention. I didnt think anyone cringed at my Facebook wall besides my mom, so sweet as. High five.

    • Alexa Hart

      Haha, your updates are great. Keep em coming!

  • Dr. Christine Kaczmar

    These people are super inspiring! I thoroughly love this category, Alexa. Loved the post. :)

    • Alexa Hart

      Thank you Christine!