Nina's Courage To Travel Alone For The First Time Transformed Her Into A Digital Nomad Who Has Been Traveling For Over A Decade
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GAFFL
30th Sep | 7 min read

Table of Contents

    Nina is a digital nomad and travel blogger from Florida who decided to spend a year abroad to "scratch her travel itch" and couldn't get enough of it. She's been traveling for more than 10 years, dabbling in different cultures, climbing, surfing, and living in different countries every few months. She is a full-time travel blogger who now assists others in finding their own route to a more adventurous life through extended travel.

    Be sure to check her out on Instagram @whereintheworldisnina and visit her website, Where In The World Is Nina to learn how to work abroad and travel like a badass!

    Nina a full-time traveler and digital nomad

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    What Inspired Me To Travel

    Honestly, I used to be a geography nerd, and I got bored very quickly. Between those two things, I think that’s what made me interested in travel! And still, to this day, I love that my backyard constantly changes.Nina a full-time traveler and digital nomad

    Picking Travel Destinations

    I don’t have a real method for choosing the next place. I go by what I feel like doing at that time, where has the cheap flights, who is in the shoulder season, where there’s good surf, where I can go hiking.Nina a full-time traveler and digital nomad

    I Let My Travel Visas Decide My Travel Length

    I often don’t place time limits; I let the visas do that! I try to use up the majority of my tourist visa each time. Because I literally live abroad, I don’t like hopping around every few days or weeks. I rarely visit a destination for less than a month and usually stay for 2-3 months (the most common time limit for a tourist visa).

    I make sure I go to destinations with similar weather or activities, so I don’t pack my entire life with me. I pack what I need, and head off! If I forget something, l will buy it abroad.

    The Packing Manual I Follow

    Anti-theft bags, my filter water bottle, and my Canon come on every trip! Most of the time, I pack a regular check-in suitcase, carry on my electronics in my anti-theft backpack, and then have a purse too. This is what I live out of! 

    Favorite Memory Of Meeting New People

    One of my better travel stories is about how my partner and I nearly got stranded in the middle of nowhere China, but luckily a kind stranger helped us out!

    Otherwise, I don’t have any favorites as pretty much all my connections I’ve made have been amazing. I have a great friend in Portugal who has two dogs, and they are like family. I have another few friends in Ecuador who I adore, and one of them is my Spanish teacher. There’s a community of incredible people I hope to see again soon in Morocco (2020 ruined the plans to revisit them for an epic few months of surfing together!)Nina a full-time traveler and digital nomad

    The Inspiration Behind My Blog

    It was totally by accident. I moved to Thailand to teach English, and after being there for a few months, I kept getting asked so many questions! So I decided to start writing about it to send a link instead of a personal message (AKA I was too lazy to make personal responses). I had no idea that I was blogging then, and *embarrassingly enough* it took a FEW YEARS to realize I could make blogging my job!

    Now, my blog has been read by millions, and I receive weekly messages on how I’ve helped people travel! My primary mission is to help people realize travel doesn’t have to be a two-week vacation if you don’t want it to be. You can travel and work around the world; there are a ton of opportunities to do so! Far more now than when I first started ten years ago too.

    I help people know what travel jobs are out there, how to save money when abroad, opportunities to travel for almost free, and overall, how to travel longer!

    Number Of Countries Traveled And My Bucket List

    Only about 40 something, I travel slow and repeat A LOT. Pretty much everything is on the list!

    Challenges Of A Digital Nomad 

    It took three jobs and two years to get on my first solo flight abroad. How I started traveling was anything but easy. I worked myself to the bone to save and get rid of all my possessions and as many responsibilities tying me to the US as possible. It was all 1000% worth it!

    I have very few obligations in the US, and therefore my time and money are free for what I want to do.

    Reality Check For A Digital Nomad

    A realistic idea of what this life actually entails. I think many people get into this thinking they will work an hour or two while sitting on the beach then living life on vacation mode, which couldn’t be any further from the truth.

    There are a LOT of digital nomad realities that hit people hard, and many call it quits and head home because they thought life would be a vacation. One of the harshest realities is that it takes a lot of extra work to make this life work!

    Nina a full-time traveler and digital nomad

    Go slow, live below your means, balance work and fun. It’s much more complicated than you’d think!

    Managing Costs And Budget Travel Tips

    Going slower is the number one thing you can do to cut costs down. People traveling to new places every week or two are bleeding their budget, and that’s fine if you’re abroad for a few weeks. But if you’re living on the road, you’re going to be packing up and heading home VERY quickly. Not to mention you’ll be burnt out in a few months.

    My monthly budget is often around $1200-$2000, which is very reasonable! Yes, even in Europe, I’ve been able to keep it on the lower end of the budget. A few months here and there will be more with flights, moving around, etc.

    But if I’m chilling for two months, just laying low, working, beaching it, surfing here and there, enjoying my regular life but abroad, I can keep my costs down significantly. I lived around Southeast Asia for a few hundred bucks a month in my first few years so you can live this life for even cheaper.

    Some Cool Experiences To Share

    Camping in the Sahara Desert, van life in Iceland and New Zealand, surfing in Morocco, volcano hiking in Colombia, and living and exploring all around Southeast Asia for a few years are some favorites!Nina a full-time traveler and digital nomad

    The Role Of GAFFL In The Lives Of Solo Travelers

    One of the best ways to keep costs down and have an added layer of safety is finding friends abroad! So any tools to make that easier are a great travel resource.

    I love All Trails since I hike, Google Maps, and Maps.me - duh!, and Money Lovers to keep track of my budget.

    Advice To Readers Who Want To Travel As A Digital Nomad

    Save some cash, find a travel job, choose your first spot in a more affordable area, go slow, don’t overthink it, have fun!

    Lessons Learned Through Solo Traveling

    I wish I knew about all the opportunities we have to work abroad, like working holiday visas and study abroad visas - I nearly missed out entirely but was able to squeeze in my Australia WHV. Don’t miss the boat on these!

    Nowadays, many people think you have to be an influencer to travel the world. YOU DON’T. That’s precisely what I talk about, all the other travel jobs out there that can get you abroad in the same way. The best part? Most other travel jobs are way easier than being an influencer (speaking from experience, guys!)Nina a full-time traveler and digital nomad

    Probably the best thing I did to have this lifestyle was leave Florida SOLO. I waited. I waited for years for someone to want to go with me, but I got tired of waiting and just left and hoped for the best. When I look back, I can’t imagine my life any other way. It’s completely changed me in the best way possible. I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life, and to think, I almost gave it all up because I was scared to go solo... Ekk!

    The point - regardless if you feel scared, go. Lots of things in life are scary, but if this is what you want, having regret that you didn’t do it will be even worse when you’re older. Just go!

    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!
    Try GAFFL

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