For 14 months from 2010-2011, Julia Allison, journalist and social media celebrity, didn’t have a home. During that time she bounced from city to city traveling with just her suitcase, laptop, and iPhone.
Allison, who became famous for being such a public socialite, became a digital nomad by working her social network as much as possible to couch surf at friends’ places and friends’ of friends’ places. She admits that she spent little to no money on housing but spent most of it on airfare to afford her digital nomadic lifestyle. The details of which are supposed to be played out on the site Zen Digital Nomad, but the site is currently devoid of content.
I asked Allison what technologies she relied on to be able to pull off her high-tech homelessness. Here’s a list of her favorite tools:
• Yelp: Anywhere you go you can be a native of that city.
• Kayak: Booked all her flights.
• Padmapper: Used it to find longer term places to stay. Takes Craigslist listings and integrates it onto a map so you can isolate locations by just a few blocks.
• Facebook City Search: She would search friends in specific cities and work their networks to find places to stay.
The very attractive Allison wasn’t concerned with her safety. She claims she’s a combination of an adventurist and an idiot who maybe should be more scared, but simply isn’t. It’s been in her nature to take risks with herself and her career.