If you search the internet for travel bloggers it won’t take you long to stumble across Jodi Ettenberg. Her website Legal Nomads regularly ranks highly on the list of world’s top travel bloggers and has featured in numerous publications since she hit the road back in 2008 after 5 years working as a lawyer in New York. Her long form story telling style of blog has gone against the grain of standard blogging practice but has won her a huge following amongst a loyal group of followers who appreciate the depth and insightfulness of the stories she shares.
Jodi’s travels aren’t without their challenges. As a celiac sufferer finding the right place to eat in a new town can be daunting. Her website includes useful advice and tips from those suffering from this disease or gluten intolerance generally and her attitude and spirit shows that you don’t need to let major health challenges stand in the road
of being a fulltime travelers.
We caught up with Jodi in Chiang Mai where we discussed her attitude to blogging and how street food can be one of the best ways to monitor what you eat. You’ll find details of her stories and her food guide at her website www.legalnomads.com
What I learned from Jodi’s interview:
1. Jodi is absolutely right when it comes to travel blogging. You can rank well with posts about 10 best things to do in Penang but in reality you are only providing your readers with information they can gain elsewhere. If you’re serious about developing a blog then you need to inject some of yourself into the story and provide a perspective they would not find elsewhere. This will make you unique and draw a true following over time. Jodi writes long form blogs which her audience appreciates and it’s not unknown for her to write 5000 word posts or longer. Much like The Uncornered Market she has focused on quality over quantity.
2. Even if you suffer from food allergies or a reaction to certain foods it’s no reason to avoid travel. Jodi is a celiac which means certain foods can have an effect on her. She needs to spend more time researching where she will eat than most people but to a large extent she would still be having to do this even if she wasn’t on the road. She has gluten free food guides www.legalnomads.com/gluten-free
on her website along with her book, The Food Traveler’s Handbook which is a great starting point for anyone suffering from gluten intolerance who is planning to travel.
3. She finds street food a great way to deal with her celiac condition. It’s difficult in a
restaurant to see what’s going on in the kitchen but when it’s cooked fresh in front of
you, there is a much better chance to control what you’re receiving. Street food, contrary to popular opinion, is often a good way to avoid general sickness as it enables you to see the general cleanliness and how quickly the food is being turned over.