40 Young Bloggers Who Will Get You Excited to Shatter the Template Lifestyle

There are tons of incredible people out there living outside the “template”, creating their own remarkable lifestyles, living wherever they want, building careers they’re passionate about—like-minded rule-breakers like Chris Guillebeau and Tim Ferriss that are preaching similar nonconformity to us here at Untemplater. Those who wake up from the Matrix frequently enjoy sharing their journey with others and helping highlight the unconventional path for those who would follow in their footsteps.

Below are 40 bloggers around the globe—many that I’m really lucky to call friends, several contributors to our team here at Untemplater, some are just cool folks that I look up to for their helpful insight. They are travelers, writers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, lifestyle designers, digital nomads, location independent freelancers, and otherwise cool people that are consciously living life on their own terms, and providing incredible value to the people around them.

If you need inspiration, motivation, and guidance to build a remarkable lifestyle of your own design, look to these extraordinary individuals:

  1. The 9 to 5 Alternative—Alan Perlman grew up in Nashville, TN and now works as a cost-of-living surveyor, traveling to different cities around the world on a global scavenger hunt. He’s always got some incredible photography from each of the cities he visits too. Awesome post: 10 Ridiculously Offbeat Destinations
  2. Adventures of A Barefoot Geek—David Turnbull is a Buddhist who writes about minimalist, laid-back life hacking for geeks, including how to achieve peace of mind, mobility and simplicity. Awesome post: Working on the Web and Having a Life: The Complete Guide to Being Free from Mindless Addictions, Busy Work and Procrastination
  3. A Life In Translation—Jamie Varon is a 24-year-old who recently graduated from college, moved back home, quit a job in San Francisco after just two weeks, started her own web design company, then bought a one-way ticket to Italy. Awesome post: Rome is Totally NSFW
  4. A Little Adrift—Shannon O’Donnell’s blog started with an 11-month solo backpacking trip around the world in 2008, from Australia, through Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, Eastern Europe, the UK, and Ireland. Awesome post: A Little Budget…What I Paid for Around the World Travel
  5. Almost Fearless—Christine Gilbert left her job as a manager in a large Fortune 500 Company in July 2008 to become a freelance writer–traveling and working remotely from anywhere, being a digital nomad and homeless vagabond! Awesome post: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World
  6. Business Backpacker—Brooke Ferguson has led adventure travel groups across the US and traveled the world. She’s build a community for digital nomads and vagabond entrepreneurs, and loves to encourage others to create the business & lifestyle of their dreams! Awesome post: Overcoming Suffering and Achieving Lasting Happiness… Words from the Dalai Lama
  7. Curious Living—By day, Jessica Stalley works at a 9-5 desk job, and by night she indulges her writing passions by sharing her thoughts on happiness, personal development, health and fitness, relationships and more. Awesome post: Plan of Attack
  8. Drop of Change—Carl Nelson helps entrepreneurs, liberation artists, vagabonds and freelancers create change drop by drop in a mindful, sustainable and curious manner. Awesome post: How I Managed to Speak At A Conference When I’d Never Attended One Before
  9. Exile Lifestyle—Colin Wright owns a boutique branding studio and has set out on the uncommon mobile lifestyle. He recently spent several months living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will soon travel to his next destination. Awesome post: How to Have a Personal Renaissance
  10. Explore Truth—Veron Graham is a thoughtful young guy from Florida who’s on a spiritual and personal development journey and dares you to critically examine the truth about your life, health, that job you love/hate, and the world around you. Awesome post: The Cure for Common Insanity
  11. foXnoMad—Anil Polat is a travel enthusiast whose travel blog has evolved into a resting point to gather information on the best ways and gadgets vagabonds can use to stay in touch, save money, and make the most out of any vacation. Awesome post: Travel Bloggers Share Their Best Posts of 2009
  12. Free Pursuits—One day, Corbett Barr realized he didn’t want to work a 9-5 for someone else for 40 years while waiting for retirement, and jumped into self-employment head-first with a 6-month sabbatical in Mexico with his wife. He shares about lifestyle design, travel, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, and balance on his blog. Awesome post: 10 Lessons Learned on a 6-month Sabbatical
  13. From Whoa to Go—Caron Margarete is a cool young Aussie gal who’s traveling Asia searching for a way to work for herself and develop a location independent income stream that can support her travels around the world. Awesome post: From Overwhelmed to Online Business Developer
  14. Illuminated Mind—Learn Jonathan Mead’s story of liberation and his journey to getting paid to be himself (by doing what he loves). Discover why the world needs you to do what you love and how to find the intersection between what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, and what people will pay you to do. Awesome post: The Zero Hour Workweek: Get Paid to Be You
  15. In Search Of Sanuk—Dwight Turner is a good-hearted guy from Atlanta who moved to Bangkok and built a grassroots volunteer organization to make a difference to the urban poor and refugees in Thailand. His blog challenges readers to create a lifestyle of fun and giving and ignite change in your own communities. Awesome post: 10 Crazy Ways I Changed the World in 2009
  16. Jet Set Citizen—John Bardos is a Canadian expat who’s lived in Japan for 12 years, and will soon uproot to live elsewhere. He helps teach people how to be an entrepreneur, master technology and become an avid student of social media and marketing with his personal stories and great interviews with many experienced practitioners of the mobile lifestyle. Awesome post: Can You Retire on $500 per Month?
  17. The Life Design Project—After reading The Four Hour Workweek, Robert Granholm started the Life Design Project to see if it was truly possible to create additional income while freeing up time to chase your dreams, and do an incredible job of empirically testing the popularized principles of lifestyle design. Awesome post: Freedom Business | How to: Initial Efforts & Research
  18. Life Excursion—David Damron is a minimalist from Northern California, and has found himself all over this little blue planet—volunteering in Tasmania, traveling through Europe and Australia. His mission is to help you develop a lifestyle that is centered around your goals, dreams and passions in life. Awesome post: How to Go from 9-5 on Friday to Aussie Bum by Monday
  19. Life of Justin—Justin Wright is a blogger and digital nomad that made an escape from the cubicle and makes a living blogging, writing, and helping others pursue their passions. He is the founder of ZoopMedia and another fan of minimalism. Awesome post: Introducing the Four Day Work Week
  20. The Life Thing—Jonny Gibaud is a UK designer, entrepreneur, and writer who recently broke free of the rat race and quit his high-paying and lucrative project management job and left England to explore a more exciting life as a traveling entrepreneur. He recently spent 3 months living in Bangkok. Awesome post: 3 Months In The Life Of A Travelling Entrepreneur
  21. Live Uncomfortably—Derek Johansen tries to help others do the unaccustomed every day, to break the cycle of routine and boredom, and push themselves outside their comfort zones to grow and develop. He’s found himself in many an interesting adventure and is also the author of The 007 Lifestyle: Live Like James Bond. Awesome post: 27 Things I’ve Learned While Traveling
  22. Location 180—Sean Ogle left his job in October 2009 in pursuit of his dreams. He has an ever-evolving bucket list of the things he hopes to accomplish before he dies and is working hard at crossing items off the list. This year, he’ll be moving to Thailand and working on the Tropical MBA! Awesome post: How to Make an Extra $1,000 in a Month
  23. Man Vs. Debt—Adam Baker has declared war on his debt and set out on a world travel adventure with wife Courtney and their 2-year-old daughter Milligan. Baker is one of Untemplater’s founders and he has some great nomad stories to tell from his travels in New Zealand and Australia so far. Awesome post: Travel Hacking for Noobs: How We Save Hundreds on Airfare, Get Free Accommodation, & Make Money while Overseas
  24. The Middle Finger Project—Ashley Ambirge flips a cordial bird to all the “shoulds” in life and shares her thoughts on rejecting the status quo and rebelling against mediocrity! Awesome post: Dealt a bad hand in life? Learn How to Snub Your Circumstances & End Up With a Royal Flush
  25. Migrationology—Mark Wiens is an Arizona kid that was raised in France, Congo, and Kenya. He got the travel bug and now he spends his time vagabonding throughout Asia trying all of its edible delights. Awesome post: How to Be A Millionaire for US $35.32
  26. Muselife—David Walsh is a born entrepreneur, partner in the venture firm Dangerous Ambition, and creator of many services and products to help lifestyle designers with product creation, personal outsourcing, ultramobility and creating the new rich lifestyle. Awesome post: Ultramobility: Everything You Want To Know But Were Afraid To Ask
  27. My Egg Noodles—Chris Osborne is a blogger from London who writes about his three biggest passions: food, working online, and travel. He’s currently building his web design company, Gut Shot Studios, while traveling throughout Asia. Awesome post: 2009 recap
  28. Nerdy Nomad—Kirsty Henderson has been traveling since January 2008 living off earnings from the web. Follow her as she bums around Asia and beyond, getting up to mischief and working online as she gos. Awesome post: Life in Rural Indonesia Post Earthquake
  29. Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site—Matt Kepnes is a twenty-something from Boston who decided to leave the rat race after a trip to Thailand in 2005, finished his MBA, quit his job, and has been vagabonding around the globe regularly since 2006. He shares his travel stories as well as insights on how to create recurring income on the web with his guide to Making Money with Your Travel Blog. Awesome post: One Skill Travel Has Really Taught Me
  30. Nomadic Neil—Neil is a guitar player, world traveler, and aspiring internet entrepreneur who woke up one day and said: “F**k it”. He decided to move to Koh Lanta, Thailand, and dedicate himself to creating a sustainable location independent income through internet marketing and other online means. Awesome post: New Year’s Values
  31. PluginID—Glen Allsop left the UK and lived in South Africa when he was 18, not knowing a single soul there. His goal is to help others “Plug into their Identity” and awaken, inspire, and motivate readers into seeing that they can be who they want to be and live the life they want to live. Awesome post: Problems are Memories: How to Become Present
  32. The Professional Hobo—In 2006, Nora Dunn got rid of all of her belongings and sold he business in Toronto, Canada in order to free herself up for the adventure of a lifetime. Since then, she has been traveling with her boyfriend Kelly, both in their own country and abroad. Awesome post: My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets
  33. Rcthink—Ross Collicut is a cross between an adrenaline junkie and a geek that programs and loves tech toys, who was recently in Australia and New Zealand on a 4 month break from school and work. Awesome post: Creating the Life List
  34. SEA|change Project—Brittany Sims is an Oregon girl who’s traveling Southeast Asia in the search for social entrepreneurs and innovative changemakers. She’s a gutsy solo traveler who recently spent a month living in Cambodia! Awesome post: This is Why I am in Asia
  35. Tales from Technomadia—Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard are two gen-X geeks and digital nomads traveling, living, working and playing across the US in a small solar powered RV, embracing nomadic serendipity. Awesome post: Answers to Common Excuses not to Travel Full-Time
  36. Thrilling Heroics—I had to include my site here! About 14 months ago, I sold everything I owned and moved to Thailand. Now I earn my income online, working for companies across the US, Europe, and around the world, and stretch my dollar living and traveling around Southeast Asia. Awesome post: My Christmas Update: Reflections After 1 Year Living Abroad
  37. Two Backpacks—Pilates instructor, ealth blog writer, and traveling gypsy Amber Zuckswert decided to carry her life on her back one day, and now she’s traveling with two backpacks through Australia and sharing the mobile live/work lifestyle with you! Awesome post: Define Your Nomad Style
  38. Upgrade Reality—Dirk “Diggy” de Bruin is a 22-year-old guy who was born in Amsterdam and raised in South Africa. His blog is all about helping you create the best world for you through personal development, self improvement and learning. Awesome post: Be True to Yourself – Tyler Durden Style
  39. Voyagner—Dan Haneveer is an Australian who decided to take a voyage out of the normal life society says we should aspire to into the one that he actually cares about. Voyagner is his journalistic account of living, working, exploring, traveling and generally enjoying everything this wonderful world has to offer. Awesome post: My Plan to Move to South East Asia
  40. Working Your Way Around the World—This site grew out of Thursday Bram’s own experiences working from places all over the globe. She has run her freelance writing business from a Georgian townhouse in Dublin, a motel off of I-70 somewhere in Indiana and all over the world. Awesome post: Traveling Without Choosing Digital: Consider Government
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Cody is a nomadic entrepreneur, lifestyle designer, and traveler currently headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. He writes at Thrilling Heroics about vagabonding, business, and personal development, and provides online business development for social entrepreneurs and innovators with his company. He is Chief Marketing Officer at Untemplater and also serves as Advisor, Donor & Volunteer for In Search Of Sanuk.


  1. says

    I know of many of these sites and people (and have been fortunate to meet few of these folks on the road), but just learned of a few more people and websites to keep me thinking. Thanks for putting together such an extensive list.

  2. says

    Cody, thankyou for including me on this list. What an honour to be mentioned on the same page as people like yourself, Baker, Amber, Diggy, Jonathan and more! You’ve totally inspired me to kick it up a notch with my blogging, my lifestyle design project and my blog reading!

  3. says

    Great list! I’ll be spending some time looking into the new blogs, I only know a handful of these. :)

    I’m with Lauren — Someday, I wanna be on a list of cool people like this. 😉

  4. says

    @Mike Key – Yeah, I noticed that too wrt the list, it’s very travel focused. If you want a more geographically rooted existence/are interested in things other than travel, you can check out my blog as well as those on my blogroll.

    • says

      The reason the “untemplate” life is so cool is because everyone will have their own take on it. What it means for me is the mobile lifestyle, which is what I blog about here. There’s a good mix, and there are many more authoritative sources of useful, unconventional guidance out there, but these are 40 folks I’ve gotten to know who get me excited.

  5. Dave - LifeExcursion says

    Thanks for the mention man. I love most of these blogs and now know of a few more. I need to do some major catch up on some great blogs you mention here.

    Thanks again…

    David Damron

  6. Lauren says

    What a great list! I hope that someday I will be worthy of such a mention. I just recently started my blog and am specifically discussing the drop-ship business model as it relates to lifestyle design and living an “untemplated” life.

  7. Mike Key - Entrepreneurial Ninja says

    What about for those of us building a freedom lifestyle who don’t want to be vagabonds? That’s the only thing that is gI getting tiring. love to travel, but I love my home too. And it seems like everyone writing about lifestyle design wants to be a vagabond just like Tim Ferris. I’m ranting however. That’s why I write.

    Great list of blogs though. I follow quit a few of those, including yours Cody.

    • says

      Again, you guys need to take a closer look at the list! Check out what you haven’t seen before—several of these folks aren’t actually “nomadic” either—they may be planted in a different part of the world but they have a home. Even I am fairly firmly planted in Bangkok this year myself—I don’t live out of a backpack, but I sure to love to travel as much as I can.

      A couple of these bloggers are still in full-time jobs too. There’s people of every kind in here, but yes when I write something targeted at 20somethings that are looking for adventure, travel is high on our list.

  8. says

    This is a fantastic list Cody, thank you for including me on it!! Hope I get to run into all the others on the list who are also traveling in SEAsia….I’m back in Phnom Penh for a couple months now, so if anyone is heading this direction, let me know :)

  9. says

    Thanks so much for the mention Cody! I have really loved reading along with your journey and am exited for this new community you’ve launched. And you’ve given me some great homework as I check out these new bloggers, add them to Twitter, and follow their journeys :-) Cheers and thanks Cody, honored to be amongst these people!

  10. Alan says

    Wow Cody–what a list. Humbled to be here amongst so many stellar bloggers, thanks for that! I’m enjoying all of the posts here at Untemplater–everyone is really stepping it up and writing compelling articles. If I haven’t told you already, your Thrilling Heroics theme is viral! I’ve seen it everywhere (a few of my own sites included)! Great work with that.

  11. Jessi says

    Wow! I LOVE lists like this – I’m always on the lookout for new and great blogs to keep up with and gather different perspectives on the world, lifestyle design and finances – this is a post I will definately refer back to often for myself.

    Plus, since I’m using your amazing template for my own site – I pretty much trust your recommendations anyways 😛

    Thanks for this awesome post.

  12. says

    Great list there Cody! Not only is it a good list of blogs to add to the RSS list, but it’s great to network with like minded individuals; I’m regularly in touch with and have met a few people on this list, but there are several that I wasn’t aware of. Thanks for introducing us to some of these people 😉
    Hope to meet you again while I’m in Thailand! Do you remember the Irish I taught you?? I’ll be testing you on it next time 😉 😛

  13. Caron Margarete says

    Cody! I’m blown away to be included in such an awesome list, thanks for the shout out! If you do make it to PP in Feb (before the 10th) let me know as I’m here volunteering too. Looking forward to catching up with Brittany tomorrow! I love how small our world really is!!!

  14. Christina says

    Wonderful list Cody! Thanks!

    I would like to include a website that I have gotten a kick out of for years. This couple saved up a ton of money, quit their jobs in their 20s, sailed around the world in a catamaran, competed in the Great Race across the U.S., then drove around the world in a VW bus. They are now living in Mexico with their new baby.


  15. says

    Gahhhhh! More awesome blogs… >_<

    Anyone remember a Ducktales episode (yeah I know, lame reference) where they have a stopwatch that stops time? I want one.

    Never feels like there are enough hours in a day to read everything I want to read, write what I want to write, or in general get the things done that I'd like to. Of course, if I cut out that pesky 8-5 gig spent facerolling my keyboard and processing TPS reports…

    Thanks for the great resource of inspiring people.

  16. says

    Thanks for including me on the list mate.

    It would be great if you could generate an OPML file so peps could subscribe to all the blogs above in one go :)

  17. Erik says

    Great list you’ve made here cody. A lot of new blogs going in the reader tonight, There is a wealth of knowledge on this page and I’m eager to learn. Lifestyle design seems like a very tight knit, fun, and supportive community. Everyone working together helping eachother out, hoping to be a part of it soon. looking to network with a lot of these bloggers including yourself. I’m just getting started shattering the template lifestyle and going location independant. Working on my plans for the future.

    Keep the great articles coming!

  18. says

    Thanks for including/sneaking me on this list Cody! There are some truly great blogs here. I’ll be referring to this list again to hopefully make some new contacts with like minded bloggers.

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