Fun Stuff

Published on March 25th, 2015 | by Editor

Jodi from Legal Nomads

Jodi is a former lawyer currently travelling her way around the world, one country at a time. This site began when she quit her job in 2008 and took off to see the world, having saved up money by lawyering for 5 years in New York City.  She thought she would return to being a lawyer after a year or so on the road, but a return to law never happened. Jodi is brand ambassador for G Adventures and published her own very successful and acclaimed book, “The Food Traveler’s Handbook” in 2012. With some brilliant stories and gorgeous photography, it’s time to meet Jodi …

J Ettenberg Profile Photo - Press

 “One of the best parts about travelling is learning about a place through your time there, and then for many years thereafter in books and articles…”

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You inspire so many people with your incredible travel encounters is there anyone who inspires you?

Many people inspire me — everyone has their strengths and accomplishments, even if they are in totally different fields. In my own of food and writing, Naomi Duguid and Nicola Twilley are two wonderfully smart women who have been inspirations.

You decided to leave your career as a lawyer, what made this happen?

It was not anything momentous. I left for a one year sabbatical, built on a strong desire to see Siberia and experience the trans-Siberian trains. I never expected the blog I started for my mum to follow my journey to be the foundation for a whole new career, but that was what happened.

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What was your highlight of 2014?

Eating my way through my home-away-from-home of Saigon.

“I thought I would find it easier to start sleeping on airplanes. I was wrong.” 

 What are your thoughts on London?

I enjoy visiting London and have many friends in town. Lots of great memories there. Sticker shock for food costs when I come from Asia, though — definitely an adjustment.

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...COW IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA (c) jodi ettenberg...

Where are you most compelled to return to?

Vietnam, which I have done during the last few winters for at least two or three months. The chaos, street food, and many good friends in town make it a good place to spend winter months and avoid the cold.

“Every place is a goldmine. You have only to give yourself time, sit in a teahouse watching the passers-by, stand in a corner of the market, go for a haircut. You pick up a thread – a word, a meeting, a friend of a friend of someone you have just met – and soon the most insipid, most insignificant place becomes a mirror of the world, a window on life, a theatre of humanity.” 

 Where are you travelling next?

I’m currently in New Zealand and will be heading to Portugal next to keynote the World Food Tourism Summit in Lisbon.   I plan to spend a few months in Portugal as I have barely explored the country.

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...VIEW OF THE RIVER IN FLORENCE, ITALY (c) jodi ettenberg...

Is there any quote you would want to share with our readers which perhaps inspires or relates to you?

A quote from “A Fortune Teller Told Me” by Tiziano Terzani. I like the quote because it is what I believe about the travels I’ve done and foods I’ve loved: they don’t need to be complicated or fancy, only that you need to properly dig under the surface and understand them.

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...LITTLE WOODEN HOUSE IN INLA, BURMA (c) jodi ettenberg...

 What do you think sets Legal Nomads apart from other travel blogs?

Longform writing of 3,000 to 10,000 words a piece, maintaining the site for close to 7 years without sponsored posts or text links or advertising, and for lawyers looking for career changes, hopefully an inspiring story.

We’re soon going to be unveiling the Official Top 10 Travel Blogs of 2015, any suggestions?

Roads and Kingdoms | Sidetracked | Yomadic | Behind the Food Carts

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Any advice for Chillisauce readers who want to start travelling?

There are so many great resources in the form of packing lists and to-do lists that it’s a lot easier to get out and travel than it used to be. You’re able to experience new things but easily get advice from those who have been there before. Avail yourself of the information online but don’t obsess; you rarely need to have everything on you as many items can be purchased abroad.

Name some of your favourite international foods

Bun rieu cua (Vietnamese), Pad pong cari (Thai), Tamales (Mexican) and Mangosteens (Asia)

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Find out more about Jodi here – Legal Nomads

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About the Author


Some say he once drunk Keith Richards under the table, and that if he could be bothered, he could crack the Da Vinci Code in 43 seconds. All we know is he's called…the Chillisauce Editor.

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