Arianna O’Dell dishes on her return to New York after “digital nomad” stardom

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on June 12, 2019

Sifting through those Instagram pics while you toil away at the office?

You’re not alone. Millennials are apparently burned out already and they’ve nearly just begun their careers. Soon you’re day dreaming of faraway places and becoming a digital nomad — a now-popular phrase for a work-from-anywhere approach to a more experience-rich life.

But is it really what it’s cracked up to be? Naturally to find out first hand Grit Daily sat down with a veritable “poster child” of the digital nomad era, writer Arianna O’Dell, to find out more.

GD: You’ve become a bit of a “poster child” for the “digital nomad” economy. But is it really all that it’s cracked up to be?

Arianna O’Dell: Being a digital nomad for a few years has been very rewarding but also tiring. It was amazing to see places from Seoul to Bucharest all while working and building Airlink Marketing, my marketing and design agency. I’m still traveling but I’m happy to now have a base in New York City. You seem to be traveling quite a bit now, too. Any favorite spots?

GD: Team Grit Daily’s been “everywhere” this year but yes — it can get gritty out there. What are some of the pitfalls in your opinion?

AO: Traveling can be fun and exciting but it’s sad to say goodbye to friends and colleagues after just a few short months. As a digital nomad you’re always on the move–it can burn you out to be constantly catching planes and trains.

GD: You’ve returned to New York for some rest, relaxation and relationship-building. Perhaps it’s not just R&R but now R&R&R?

AO: This year I bought a bathmat for my NYC apartment and it’s the most commitment I’ve had to a place in years. It’s nice to start building a home but I wouldn’t trade my years of travel for anything. I’ve been able to catch up with friends, make new connections and also give my body a rest from all the plane travel. The R&R&R has been nice. You should trademark that, Jordan.

GD: For the uninitiated what is “Ideas by Arianna?”

AO: One night I bit drank too much with my friend Chelsea and told her to write down my “awesome” mug ideas including a mug that said “You’re The Apple of My Pie.”

It was a silly idea and the next morning I woke up and realized they were all a bit corny. Even though they were cheesy ideas, I still thought it was funny I made mockups to send it to her. She thought they were funny so then I then made an Etsy store called Ideas by Arianna mostly as a joke. To my surprise people started to buy them. This is now my second business and I love making fun products that people around the world have purchased.

GD: How does that brand fit into the “ecosystem” you’re building?

AO: The brand wasn’t well thought out when I made it  since it was for fun. But “Ideas by Arianna” fits into my own personal brand. I love coming up with ideas and with that as a platform I can create any idea that comes to mind.

Also, “when are you starting a store for Grit Daily? You really should. I’ll buy a mug.

GD: (Laughs.) “Tomorrow!”

GD: What are you excited about next?

AO: Right now, I’m working on a music project called Outsourced Feelings. Having zero experience making music, I took to popular freelance marketplace, Fiverr, to find talented musicians who could take the songs lyrics I wrote and turn them into beautiful songs. You can check the project here. We’ll be releasing our first album at the end of summer.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

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