10 Highly Practical Tips for New Digital Nomads

10 Highly Practical Tips for New Digital Nomads from the nomadic entrepreneurs at North to South

The work life of the digital nomad is unlike any other, because you make all the rules. Where you work, when you work, and with whom you work — it’s all up to you. But with that flexibility comes responsibility, because the way you manage yourself will determine whether or not you’re successful — which I define as happy and profitable — in the digital nomad world.

While all digital nomads will approach work in their own unique way, there are several habits I believe are essential for any new digital nomad to succeed. Ian and I have developed these habits over our four years in the digital nomad scene, and they’ve all been vital in our own journey to success.

Are you a budding digital nomad? Read on to discover ten practical tips to help you build your own path to success.  Continue reading

7 Reasons to Visit Alaska in Fall

7 Reasons to Visit Alaska in Fall (or Spring)

The most popular seasons to visit Alaska are summer and winter, but the offseason has plenty to offer too. If Alaska’s on your bucket list but you’re not sure what season to book, here are some great reasons to plan your trip for fall!  Continue reading

How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 [Budget Travel Secrets]

How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 dollars





This post was originally published in January 2015, but due to its popularity I update it regularly (last update November 2016).

I used to expect to pay over $1000 for round-trip tickets to Europe. Now I’d never pay over $500. And one-way tickets for $200 or less are more common than you’d think. When we started traveling full time, our frugal beginner’s travel budget forced us to find the cheapest method to fly to Europe. And now I’m sharing it with you.

Traveling on the cheap from the U.S. to Europe is quite simple, really. It involves just three things:

  • a flexible travel schedule
  • packing light
  • my new favorite airline

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22 Essential Qualities of a Successful Digital Nomad

22 Essential Qualities of Successful Digital Nomads

It’s an interesting world, that of the digital nomad. It’s exciting and risky, and it’s growing. And it’s not just millenials who are joining the trend. I see new travel blogs cropping up daily by individuals and couples of all ages and backgrounds. They all have the dream part down. They had the courage to take the leap. But they won’t all achieve a sustainable life of traveling full-time and working on the road.

It takes courage and belief in yourself to get started, but what does it take to succeed? Below I’ve listed what I believe are 22 qualities required for any digital nomad’s success. While it’s not a comprehensive list, these are characteristics I’ve observed time and again not only in Ian and myself, but also through networking with other successful entrepreneurs in the digital nomad community.

Want to succeed as a digital nomad? Devote some time to developing the qualities listed here.  Continue reading

The Realities of Life as a Digital Nomad Couple: Can You Handle It?

The Realities of Life as a Digital Nomad Couple: Can You Handle It? on North to South

What do you get when you mix love, wanderlust, and an entrepreneurial spirit? Well, it looks something like us, and for us it’s a perfect mix!

The freedom this life provides and the amount of time we get to spend with each other is invaluable to us. It’s exactly what we need to be happy. But is it for you?

I’ve written this post to help you figure that out. Continue reading

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One year. One couple. One small car… Fifty states.

We hadn’t originally set out to explore our entire home country, but location independence is a beautiful thing. See how our 6-state plan turned into a 50-state quest on our 2015 road trip in the U.S.! Continue reading

Solar-Powered Camping with Goal Zero’s Yeti 400 and Boulder 30 [REVIEW]

Solar-Powered Camping with the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator and Boulder 30 Solar Panel [REVIEW]

Phone, camera, Kindle, laptop… As a travel writer, I travel with these items almost daily. But the best destinations don’t come with power outlets, and camping without power limits you to the pre-charged power you brought along. That is, unless you have a generator.

Being as it would be impractical to purchase a large, noisy, fuel-powered generator for a quiet camping trip in a small car, and also wanting to be eco-conscious, I was eager to find an adequate off-grid power solution. My research directed me to Goal Zero’s on-the-go solar panels and batteries.  As a super environmentally-conscious solar power supporter, I so wanted to love everything about them — and I’m happy to say I came very close. Read on to discover our first experience with solar-powered camping and find out what wasn’t quite perfect about the particular setup we chose. Continue reading

How to Successfully (Not) Plan Your Campervan Trip in New Zealand, Plus Our 3-week “Itinerary”

How to Successfully NOT Plan Your Campervan Trip in New Zealand on northtosouth.us

We’ve learned from experience that creating a definitive schedule for a road trip is pretty silly, and since camping without planning is an easy thing do in New Zealand, we approached our 3-week campervan trip with no campground reservations and vague plans to explore the country from north to south. With the assistance of the Camping NZ App and recommendations from several local contacts, we decided what to do and where to stay as we went.

In the three weeks we spent in New Zealand, we drove entirely around both the North and South Island, experiencing some of the best New Zealand has to offer — without receiving a single infringement along the way. Here we share our guidelines for an unplanned, yet well prepared, campervan trip in New Zealand. And at the bottom of this post, you’ll find our “un-itinerary” — the unscheduled list of places we stayed and things we discovered along the way. Continue reading

Burning Man Packing List for Two Burners in a Tiny Car

Burning Man Packing List: Two Burners in a Tiny Car

Driving a small car to Burning Man? That’s what we did for our last two Burns, and it certainly posed some packing challenges for our week-long camping trip in the dusty playa. If you’re wondering what you can reasonably pack for two people in that tiny car you own, take a look at our Burning Man packing list to find out!

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Burning Man 2016: Portraits of a Camp

Burning Man 2016: Portraits of a Camp by Diana Southern and Ian Norman

I say this every year, but I say it because it’s true. The people are what makes Burning Man such an incredible experience — friends and strangers alike. I don’t know what my Burn would have been this year without that group spiral hug at the Hug Deli, the helpful strangers who lowered me back down from that MAGIC artpiece I climbed, or the hilarious nude portraits we captured of some of our spontaneously sparkly friends.

In my three years of burning, I’ve found it’s the people closest to you — your campmates — who have the biggest impact on your Burn. You camp together, eat together, explore together. You experience Burning Man together. So this year we again turned the spotlight on our campmates for a sunset portrait session in the open playa.

With 14 Burners, ample booze, and a brief appearance by “El Guaco” (I still can’t believe I missed that), Ian and I did our best to capture the spirit of our Burner family on camera.  Continue reading