Johnny FD went from quitting a well paid corporate job in California in 2008 to move to Thailand to work as a Scuba Instructor and train professionally as a Muay Thai Fighter. In the past four years he went from having less than $1,000 in the bank to now having more than half a million. He spends his time traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating multiple streams of passive income (such as dropshipping, publishing, and affiliate marketing) and sharing his journey openly and transparently through his blog, Johnny FD. This guy is truly amazing, and I’m thrilled to present the details of his lifestyle and (extremely lucrative) career to you here.
In this series, we’re exploring the various careers of world travelers, and how they make ends meet financially while living abroad. Yes, financially sustainable full-time travel is possible!
This post was originally published in 2017. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.
How long have you been living/working on the road, and where have you traveled to?
I’ve been traveling most of the year for the past nine years. I started in 2008 in Thailand which I documented in my first book 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap, and from there ventured to the Caribbean, South Africa, Australia, and across Europe. I’m currently in Bali.
Please describe what you do for income.
I find and create multiple streams of passive income. All of my businesses are online and location independent and can be run from anywhere. I started with kindle publishing, then started multiple dropshipping stores, then created courses, podcasts, blogs, and now make the majority of my money through affiliate marketing.
How many hours per week do you work on average?
When I’m building a new business I work 40-50 hours a week. Right now I’m in maintenance mode and have been working 4-5 hours a week this month.
How much money do you make?
Most months I make between $15,000 – $20,000 online. But in total last year, along with the sale of one of my dropshipping stores I made a grand total of $325,785.19 online. I publish monthly income reports that break down exactly what I do, how I make money, and how much net profit is left over after expenses.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
Yes, I manage to save up or invest 75% or more of my monthly income to plan for the future. I talk about it in detail in this podcast episode on Invest Like a Boss.
What do you like most about your career and lifestyle?
Definitely that it is location independent and I can do it from anywhere, but even more so, it allows me the free time and freedom to be able to openly share and help inspire others to do the same.
What are some of the challenges you have with this career and lifestyle?
I’m in constant search for decent wifi and coffee. =)
What is your vision for the future of your lifestyle on the road?
I’m starting to live in countries for 3+ months at a time instead of bouncing around every few weeks like I did last year when I visited 17 countries in 12 months.
(Nora’s Note: I did something similar in 2010 and learned what Travel Fatigue was, first-hand. Here are some tips to avoid the same trap yourself).
Any advice for the aspiring traveler about living and working on the road and managing finances?
Make more money than you spend. If you’re on a tight budget, eliminating alcohol saves you 50% of your spend.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Check the Travel Like a Boss Podcast for weekly interviews with over 150 people who have traveled the world and make enough money online to sustain themselves including some who have even built an empire. Best of luck and let me know if we’re ever in the same country to meet for a coffee!