ABOUT ME

Nina Ragusa | Where in the World is Nina?
Nina working on laptop as a digital nomad with beach behind here, much happier
Get to know me!

Oh, Hi! I’m Nina đź‘‹

I’m the adventurous spirit behind this blog.

I grew up in Florida, but it’s been over a decade now since I’ve said goodbye without looking back.

I’ve traded the conventional American dream for a passport filled with stamps and a life rich in experiences because I couldn’t fathom waiting until I retired to travel and actually live my life.

You can also find me on:

Nina’s been

SEEN IN

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My Story

Living, Working & Traveling Abroad

Fueled by an insatiable curiosity and a desire to challenge the norm, my path took a pivotal turn in 2011.

After saying so long to a soul-sucking desk job, I left on an adventure that started with teaching English in Thailand and evolved into a quest to live and work in every corner of the world.

After finding out I didn’t have to go home after a year of teaching abroad because I kept finding ways to stay, I leaned into my new life of living around the world. And now it’s been over a decade!

This blog isn’t just about traveling; it’s a guide to transforming the dream of a nomadic lifestyle into reality. And I’m here to show you exactly how.

Related Readings:

Nina sunbathing on the netting of a catamaran in Baja Sur.
Living life

Why I Travel

Travel, for me, isn’t a checklist; it’s a way of life. Thanks to my ADHD as my constant companion, the traditional static lifestyle never suited me.

I never thought of my future like everyone else did. I didn’t care about finding someone to marry. I cringe at the thought of a home with a white picket fence in the town I grew up in. And having kids? No thanks!

Instead, I always dreamt about living a thousand different lives; I couldn’t pick just one. I wanted a taste of them all. And so this is what I sought out across the world.

Living and Working Abroad Like a Pro

Digital nomad woman working with mountain backdrop

I thrive on making each new place my home, diving deep into cultures, forming lasting connections, and embracing the challenges and joys of discovering “home” across continents.

But you might be wondering HOW. How does one actually do this? You know… Unless they’re rich. Well, let’s tackle this right here and now. I WORK for this lifestyle, and I always have. There is no money tree or Bank of Mom and Dad here.

From a broke backpacker to a seasoned digital nomad, my journey has been about evolution and adaptability. If you’re new here, you’ll want to read up on my favorite topic: Working abroad!

Related Readings:

I’ve had 11 travel jobs that have kept me on the road, and I blog so I can offer actionable advice for those seeking to carve out their own path in the world. After all, I assume that’s why you’re here, right, my friend?

I’ve helped millions travel, live, and work abroad over the years. Whether it was convincing someone to go save a ton of money on an Australia Working Holiday Visa (which led them to be able to afford a home) or giving a push to a solo female traveler to just go for it (and her having a life-changing experience).

The Mission and Purpose

This blog is a blueprint for living a life unbound by location—MADE FOR YOU!

My deeper purpose is to dismantle the myth that travel is prohibitively expensive and to showcase how living abroad can offer more value both financially and experientially than a conventional lifestyle in the US.

In fact, my lifestyle now is cheaper than living in the US. And provides me with more value.

My mission is to empower you to see the world, find work, and live anywhere, turning those two-week-only vacations into a life of creating a sense of home around the world.

I’m here to help, encourage, and lead you to a more travel-filled, off-beat life abroad.

mount cook hike red tarns reflection
Adventure
Nina in a gree dress in Tin Mel, an abandoned but beautiful mosque in Morocco
I hope to inspire

Now What?

I’m not the newbie 25-year-old traveler who thought they needed to bring their entire life in three huge suitcases abroad anymore. I’ve grown to be an expert in living around the world and I’m embarking my knowledge onto you, my friend.

It’s my biggest hope and dream to help others achieve a life they could only fathom in their imaginations.

I hope you find some tips for your travels, a newfound curiosity for a country you didn’t think of visiting, or maybe even the power to pick up and start a totally new way of life.

What to Expect

Your Resources

Quick Timeline of

My Travels and Jobs Abroad

Nina teaching English abroad in Thailand.

From 2011-2015

I based and lived in Thailand while exploring the rest of Southeast Asia as I pleased during these years.

I started teaching English in Thailand, which then led me to teach English online (Woo! Officially a digital nomad now!)

I also started freelancing since I was now 100% convinced I could work online and continue traveling (spoiler alert: I was right!). I was mostly writing, but I did other other side gigs as well.

During this time, I kept getting messages asking me, “Hey, how are you living abroad?” Out of pure laziness, I decided to start writing a blog so I could simply send a link. That’s literally how this blog started! (lol)

Most of this happened within my first year of living abroad, and I continued harping away at it while living life on the other side of the world. With the exception of living in South Africa for three months, I stayed living in Southeast Asia.

After four years of solo travel, in 2015, I met Garrett in Thailand. We’ve been traveling together ever since! He was doing travel videography at the time.

My 2016

Garrett and I both lived and worked (our asses off) in Australia on a working holiday visa. We saved a TON of money during this time. I lived and worked in Darwin and Melbourne, Australia.

We worked the entire year except for a hop, skip, and jump over to the Philippines and Indonesia.

Nina with two horses in Iceland

2017-2019

I lived and traveled EVERYWHERE. These were very busy travel years.

My blog was finally making an income, and aside from doing a bit of virtual assistant work and some freelance gigs here and there that paid well, I was a full-time blogger by the time 2018 came around.

I lived and worked as a digital nomad in Portugal and Morocco, and even while doing van life in New Zealand.

I got LASEK eye surgery in South Korea, had a mishap in China, went to a bunch of travel conferences and worked with many tourism boards and brands, went to a friend’s wedding in Iceland, and another in India, hiked and lived in Colombia and surfed and lived in Ecuador, and a ton more!

Lucy, our old school VW Bus that's while with a pinstripe in a foggy forest in Oregon

2020-2021

The pandemic truly decimated my blog traffic, and it was a sad and depressing time; luckily, Garrett and I had already started our West Coast blogs by this point. It also brought Lucy into our life, our old-school 1974 VW Bus that we’ve taken all up and down the west of the USA.

We now have blogs on Oregon, Washington, and California.

We hung out in Oregon for a while but then left to digital nomad and live in Mexico and spend some time in Guatemala too.

Sugar Beach in St Lucia with Nina in the water and a mountain in the back

2022-Present

Luckily, travel has rebounded, and I’m still going strong as a digital nomad and living around the world. We lived in Ecuador and Mexico again, and I had a big travel schedule, visiting places like Bermuda, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Costa Rica, and St. Lucia, to name a few.

For the rest of 2024, you’ll find me back where it all started, in Southeast Asia! It’s been years since I’ve been back, so I couldn’t be happier. You’ll catch me living in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, with a bunch of travel in between.

Thanks for joining my journey! ❤️ Nina