Successful Nomad: John Duffy

In Successful Nomads by VirginieLeave a Comment


Have you even wondered how people can travel and support themselves at the same time? It’s not as difficult as it seems! To show you that there are already plenty of people doing it, and that you can do it too, we’ve interviewed different kinds of nomads. They were all given 30 questions, with a minimum of 10 to answer.

John Duffy is the one answering them for us today! You can find him at

John Duffy from A Nomadic Geek

1) Where are you from?

I was born in Derbyshire, UK but moved to Co Mayo in Ireland with my father when I was a teenager, so Ireland is where I call home.

2) What is your job?

I’m a freelance web developer specializing mainly in WordPress and PHP. I have been doing this for over 10 years but only taken it on the road and become a full-time traveler 13 months ago.

3) Where are you right now?

I’m in Kranj, a town in central Slovenia (An amazing country by the way). Tomorrow I’m taking an extended weekend off visiting Vienna and Bratislava on my way to the Czech Republic where I will base myself for X amount of time and do some work.

4) How often are you on the road?

Lately, I have been flat out traveling, this is my 6th country this year, and it’s only February. Last year I took it a little slower, 2 x 3 months stints in Malta, 2-3 months on Greek islands and I lived in France for most of the summer.

5) What is your favorite place in the world?

Ireland, I live a nomadic lifestyle, but Ireland will always be home and the most special place.

6) What is the most important thing when it’s time to choose where to go next?

Usually, it’s good weather and cheap cost of living but I’m currently on a mission to try and do every country in Europe so at the moment it’s just cost of living that’s the biggest factor. I’m flying through the more expensive places when I have time off to see them, then spending longer amounts of time in the cheaper countries.

7) Are you a carry-on person or a checked luggage person?

Carry on, I have been lucky and got away with it so far. A slightly oversized backpack and a smaller bag.

8) How much time do you spend on your business versus how much time you spend exploring the place where you are?

I try to my best to balance both but sometimes you just have to get your head down and keep the money rolling in. A few weeks ago I got really busy so had to stop and rent an Airbnb apartment in Split, Croatia. I literally saw nothing of Split for 7 days because I was working round the clock. Before that, though, I had been traveling around Montenegro, Bosnia, and Croatia, so that balanced it out. This last week I have done pretty much the same thing. I have worked around the clock all week from a private hostel room in Slovenia, but then as I answered these questions, I’m taking a few days off now to go to Austria and Slovakia on my way to CZ.. Where I will probably end up doing the same again.

9) What are the essential skills to have as a digital nomad?

Obviously, you need to have a skill that earns you money or an already established business that’s making money. The key to getting these skills and being able to utilize them especially to become freelance is hard work and experience in your profession. People often tell me they would love to do what I do but I have been doing it for a long time to get to this stage, I didn’t just do a quick course and pack my bags!

I see all these websites trying to sell the dream but let’s be realistic here, you’re not going to fund traveling with a blog that you have just set up for the purpose unless you get really really lucky! I would still encourage people to make a blog, though, not for financial gain but because the only way you are going to learn to make websites is by actually making a website.

10) What is the downside that nobody sees?

I suppose relationships and dating would be a big one, most of the time being single suits me perfectly, but it would have to because I am yet to meet, let alone date any girl that is able to live the same lifestyle as me. The other one would be the small everyday things like washing your clothes or having time for them to dry, it’s always a mission when you’re on the road :)