A Little Less Digital, A Lot Less Nomad

It’s summer in Washington and I’m very glad to be home.

I do love to travel and that will never change, but I also love waking up in my own time zone and enjoying a meal without juggling my phone and fork. I hope you understand.

It’s impossibly hard to step away from a dream job that I built from scratch, but after nearly five years on the road, I have decided to take a sabbatical from this blog and its accompanying lifestyle. Over the next year, I intend to write my next book and spend a lot more time with my dog.

As Digital Nomad, I have completed 24 major assignments for National Geographic, in which I produced 591 blog posts, 215 videos, 20,000 images and some 37,500 tweets. I have shared my travels in real time from all seven continents, sometimes in the space of a single year.

It was a lifelong dream of mine to work with National Geographic, and over the last four years, that dream has been fulfilled many times over. In my whole life I never imagined that I would get paid to build bombs, cuddle sharks, track bears, kiss pandas, be buried alive, make Swiss cheese, or chase elephants from my yard. But I did all those things—and so can you.

If I have learned anything from my lifelong love affair with the Society, it’s that one thoughtful photo, a single phrase on a page, or just an inch of map can inspire us for a lifetime. Follow that inspiration and it will lead you to incredible adventures, even if that just means going for a short run.

I have also learned how to pack a carry on, how to eat bugs, and how to photograph wild rattlesnakes with an iPhone. I have learned that an iPhone will automatically shut down in temperatures greater than 122˚F and less than -40 ˚F. And I have learned how to say thank you in over a hundred different languages.

It has been a remarkable privilege to contribute in this small way to the distinguished tradition of National Geographic Travel. Though this blog bears my face and byline, it takes a large team of dedicated talent to make it all happen. In the vast crowd of family, friends and colleagues who made Digital Nomad possible, there are certain individuals I would like to thank by name. At National Geographic, I am especially grateful to Keith Bellows, Kim Connaghan, Pandora Todd, John Campbell, Heather Wyatt, Anna Irwin, Janelle Nanos, Carolyn Fox, Andrea Leitch, Marilyn Terrell, Jeannette Swain, Dan Westergren, Jerry Sealy, Amy Alipio, Norie Quintos, Jayne Wise, Scott Kish, Gio Palatucci, Mollie Bates, Kelly Conniff, Jess Elder, Roy Wilhelm and Declan Moore. Thank you for believing in this project and working tirelessly behind the scenes to move it forward.

I owe even greater thanks to each and every one of my readers. A story isn’t a story until somebody listens, so thank you all so much for listening and following my travels. I believe strongly in Tim Cahill’s sentiment that, “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” Though I lost count after the first million miles, I remember all of my friends around the world, even those I knew briefly—sitting next to me on a train, behind the bar, or chatting around a campfire.

From the bottom of my dingy backpack, thank you. Thanks for reading, commenting and encouraging me in my work. I am lucky to have never been lonely on the road, because I’ve always had you with me.

Rest assured, the greater journey is not over—we’re just making a pit stop to refuel and sneak a few naps. I’ll be traveling to two of my favorite countries next month and you can still follow my adventures on Twitter, so please stay tuned.

And please never stop sharing with me. The internet is only what we make it—we can fill the ocean with rusty cans or we can let coral reefs flourish.

National Geographic has always been dedicated to sharing the wonders of Earth, and now with social media, we have all been empowered with this same mission. Use it wisely, and it will only improve the world we live in.

Thanks again for traveling with me these past five years. Best wishes to all my fellow travelers—may all the bumps in your road be memorable.

Gros Bisous-



  1. Sally Thompson
    NYC and Miami
    June 22, 2014, 1:02 pm

    We met briefly on the Nat Geo ATW trip in ’12, and Larry and I have been following you ever since. You have inspired us to see the world differently, and to unapologetically take photos with our iPhones! We wish you a most peaceful rest in your home, and look forward to your future adventures.
    Happy Trails!

  2. Lisa "The Accidental Birder"
    Today, Las Vegas
    June 22, 2014, 2:20 pm

    Figured you would need a rest, need some personal time and need to refuel. I’m amazed you’ve gone as long as you have. Thank you for taking me along on your journeys. The reason my husband and I went with NatGeo/Linblad to the Galapagos this year was because of you. Your reporting last year convinced me there was no other way to see the archipelago. Thanks also for sharing the birds along the way. I’ll see you at Book Passage in August. I’m a student there this year.

  3. Dan Thompson
    Maryville, TN
    June 22, 2014, 2:26 pm

    NOOOO!!!!! This makes me sad!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed following your travels and being jealous of your job over the last 5 years. I’ll never forget being inspired by your bus trip to Antarctica, and so many places since. I can certainly understand that such a pace would be exhausting, though, so no one can blame you for taking a break.

    I do hope we meet one day… and… can I have your old job now? 🙂 I mean, never hurts to ask.

    Thanks for sharing your journeys with us!!


  4. Elaine Masters
    San Diego, CA
    June 22, 2014, 3:32 pm

    A wise man, you are – to speak Yoda-eskly.
    One door closes and another opens.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Dorothy ( nevisvida )
    June 22, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Will miss your travels but totally understand. With a #wasabithedog you definitely deserve a break. You
    have opened all our eyes to the joys of the beyond.
    Have followed you since you visited here last summer.
    Enjoy the sabbatical

  6. Natina Harris
    North Carolina
    June 22, 2014, 4:19 pm

    I’ve enjoyed every moment of these virtual adventures. Your trips to TZ inspired me. When asked by many, why TZ? I tell them, Andrew Evans, my Nat Geo digital nomad is the reason I chose to make my first journey out of the country & to Africa! I’m looking forward to my visit in December. Thank you so much for your inspiration & sharing so much with us! Unlike most, I am happy you are taking time to rest, write & travel less! Perhaps, you will also sleep better my friend! Cyber hugs! See you on Twitter!

    South Australia
    June 22, 2014, 5:27 pm

    Ohhh! =(

    I have been following you since 2011 and it makes me sad that I couldn’t cybertravel that often now because you’re having a break, Andrew! You have inspired me how to travel and how to share adventures straight from your location.

    I wish to meet you one day, and hoping to get a copy of the book you’ll be writing.

  8. Sara Hemenway
    June 22, 2014, 5:41 pm

    Enjoy the rest. You deserve to keep the suitcase unpacked to see what it’s like to own a washer and dryer. We expect a book tour. And more videos. And def. more tweets. Always more tweets.

  9. Ann Zaff
    USA N E PA
    June 22, 2014, 6:11 pm

    I will miss our trips together, but we all need some quiet time to reflect! Best of luck in your future plans!

  10. Tam
    June 22, 2014, 7:09 pm

    Followed you almost every step of the way, Andrew. For me, the frozen moment were the dolphins swimming next to the windows of the bus at Cape Horn. I’ll never forget that. It was like you were entering a gateway to a new world. You brought Nat Geo into the new Millennium.

  11. Kate
    June 22, 2014, 8:35 pm

    WOW! You deserve a break!

    It’s been so great to read all of your blogs over the years (some of my favourites originating from your bus trip to Antarctica). I thank you, as you have inspired me to travel (I leave on my first trip alone in two days!!!). I can’t wait to read more about your future travels!

  12. Donna Kramer
    United States
    June 22, 2014, 11:15 pm

    Andrew! My heart nearly stopped with this news. I’ve totally enjoyed all of your adventures and smiled BIG every time you “found your dog”. You are even in my “about me” section on twitter 🙂 obsessed with your boldness, love the places, photography, adventures, people, and new things you have introduced to us all. I absolutely LOVE the way you write… so if you are doing a book, I’ll be first in line! God Bless you as you renew, rest, and figure out the next phases

  13. Johnny Jet
    Los Angeles
    June 23, 2014, 9:29 am

    I’m sad to hear the news but I totally understand. Every time you pop up in my Twitter feed from another month long adventure I’d scratch my head wondering how you do it without burning out. Rest up and then get your backpack back on — we (travel bloggers/writers/publishers) need your inspiration and guidance.

    P.S. My secret to not burning out is going home every 2-3 weeks.

  14. Janet
    Canmore and Banff
    June 23, 2014, 12:03 pm


    I will forever treasure our freezing cold time at the top of Lake Louise watching avalanche bombs get tossed over the side of a cornice. One of my favourite days at work!

    I’m not a traveller at heart-I completed understand your desire to be at home-and your adventures has served to give me an experience from my couch.

    Thank you!

    Janet Doyle

  15. Kirsten
    NYC when not traveling
    June 23, 2014, 2:56 pm

    Andrew, I’ve watched you live out my actual dream job all these years and what I have loved most is reading your honest accounts of how every job (even if it is a dream come true) is still a job. I truly felt grateful to you for making sacrifices in your personal life so that you could so fearlessly share the world with those of us who might never get to have the same experiences you did. You deserve this break and then some. Thank you for all you’ve done for us and all the best in this new chapter. xx

  16. erin
    June 23, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Andrew, I’ll always be grateful for the NYT Travel Show, which introduced me to your work. Wishing you the very best on this next chapter, oh and this quote? “The internet is only what we make it—we can fill the ocean with rusty cans or we can let coral reefs flourish.” so incredibly beautiful. Thanks for showing the world to us!

  17. Natalie T.
    Toronto, ON
    June 23, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Andrew, you have inspired me to be a better writer and a better traveler. Whether it’s in 140 characters or in the pages of Traveler, you have demonstrated that stories can be transpired in so many different ways. Whenever, I go on a trip I think of how you tell the story. Seriously, I always think “What Would Andrew Do? (WWAD?) I become more poetic, more attentive in the moment, more willing to connect. I’ll miss your global adventures (and getting your clues wrong) but can’t wait for your next one. I think your book is going to be great (and if you visit Toronto on the book tour, please let me know!). Keep in touch and enjoy your much needed downtime with Wasabi! Natalie

  18. travelingbruin
    Los Angeles, CA
    June 23, 2014, 5:40 pm

    Andrew, you are the reason I joined Twitter! I so enjoyed your non-air travels to Antarctica that I wanted to read more. Enjoy being in one place for more than 30 day and spending time with your family & Wasabi. Hopefully, I’ll meet you at your book signing!

  19. […] the next couple weeks, I’ll do my best to fill into some giant shoes just left behind by Digital Nomad Andrew Evans, who recently set off to take some well-deserved home time and start his next book. I regularly […]

  20. Don George
    United States
    June 24, 2014, 3:29 am

    Dear Andrew, Five years! Wow, what an extraordinary run! I remember when you were first getting ready to set out for Antarctica! You’ve come a loooooong way — literally and metaphorically — since then. And you’ve inspired countless people in the process. I look forward to celebrating with you at Book Passage in August! Bravo and all best wishes!! — Don

  21. Lisa Christen @TheHomeworkDog
    Minneapolis, MN
    June 24, 2014, 2:27 pm

    A huge “Thanks” to you for letting the world tag along on your adventures. A few of my memories: The bus ride to Antarctica, the black penguin, the video inviting my class to follow you under the water in the Great Barrier Reef, a shoutout to my class while on the Great Ocean Road…and even getting mentioned in a blog post…trips and photos of places I will never get to see first hand, because of your tweets-creating a list of places I would like to see, and favorited pictures saved in my camera roll.

    Thanks for the memories…looking forward to seeing pictures from a few more trips, updates about your dog 🙂 (plus any dogs you find) as well as waiting to see the finished book.

    Rest a little, relax a little and enjoy life with your dog to the fullest! Thanks again for all you have shared!

  22. Dustin Main
    June 24, 2014, 5:43 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration these past 5 years Andrew. Without you, I’d have never ventured to the Faroe Islands 🙂

    Best of luck with your next year (and beyond)!

  23. PortaPocketGal
    United States
    June 26, 2014, 10:13 am

    All the best to you in your next adventure, Andrew! Blue skies 🙂

  24. […] As he wrote: […]

  25. Catherine
    October 25, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Just celebrating a year since traveling around the world with you, Wade, Sylvia and all. Enjoy your time to reflect and write! Looking forward to more from wonderful you!

  26. perla Abou Tass
    /Tibneen/ South Lebanon
    December 22, 2014, 2:00 am

    Hi Andrew.. I’m a teacher of the English language at AUT Lebanon. My students and I wanted to say hi! we’ve been learning about online blogs and we came across a short description of your blog in the Life books of the National Geographic Series.

  27. […] A Little Less Digital, A Lot Less Nomad – Digital Nomad nationalgeographic.com […]

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