You have questions, I got answers 🙂
Here are some of the most popular questions I get…
Who is Nina?
Oh, hi. That’s me!
- I’m from Tampa, Florida, USA.
- 80s baby
- I told everyone that I wanted to be “well-traveled and happy” when I grew up.
- I went to Florida State University. I have a Bachelors in Criminal Justice and International Relations.
- I moved abroad in May 2011 and never went back (to live, I go back for visits).
Why did you start the blog? How did it get it's name?
This may show my age but if you remember, there was a popular child’s game and even a TV show called “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”
I LOVED this computer game. It’s essentially a geography game with a crime twist. Carmen and her bandit friends steal things (like the Mona Lisa from the Louvre) and you have to chase them around the world to retrieve the items.
I LOVE crime shows and geography (I studied Criminal Justice and International Affairs at University.)
So that’s where the name came from!
And the blog came about on accident. I moved to Thailand to teach English, only for a year. Well, I didn’t go home after a year and people started asking me lots of questions. I wrote them answers via messenger. I got lazy and Just wanted to send them a link.
So I started an online journal. It eventually grew to the blog that’s online today.
How do you afford to travel?
But in short:
I work for it. This blog or the opportunities that this blog brings me is how I earn money.
I used to teach English in Thailand, teach English online, do freelance gigs and writing, and I used to write for other blogs. I will still write for other publications for money here and there, and even sometimes pick up work abroad but mostly, I live off my blog.
The blog makes money in the form of mostly ads and affiliate sales but also brand and tourism board partnerships.
No, I don’t have any advice on how to start a blog and do what I do. There’s already SO much information online on how to blog. Please look it up.
Lastly, I also travel slow and live minimally so I don’t need to spend a lot either.
Who do you travel with?
My boyfriend’s name is Garrett and he’s a videographer.
While we travel a lot together I also still have numerous solo travel trips per year.
I traveled mostly solo from 2011-2015 before meeting Garrett.
What travel gear and camera equipment do you use?
I have that info all right here.
How can I be a digital nomad like you?
Being a digital nomad is not a job.
There are certain types of jobs that allow you to be a digital nomad. Blogging is one of those jobs.
Where and how many countries have you been to?
About 40 at the time of writing (mid-2018).
Most of the countries have blog posts with the exception of my very early travels. Most of my travels have been in Asia and Europe.
Can you plan my vacation?
I have tons of free info on the blog!
But otherwise, I don’t plan vacations.
Can you help me get a job abroad?
I blog about getting work abroad but I don’t assist in job hunting. That’s all up to you.
Can you give me visa advice?
I can’t keep up with all the rules and there are too many factors. Do your research.
If I know ANYTHING about visas in regards to certain places, they will be in my blog posts and likely only apply to American’s considering I have an American passport.
Can I come travel with you?
Sorry but this question has always made me feel extremely uncomfortable. If I host a meetup or if I want to meet up with people in the city I’m in or if I eventually dabble in doing group tours or something… I’ll post to social media.
Asking to come travel with me is inappropriate and borderline creepy. Please don’t ask.
What's your favorite place? Or your top 3 favorites?
I don’t play favorites. It’s just too hard.
Each place has a winning factor that it’s too hard to choose plus how do you compare places like Portugal to Thailand? It’s just too hard.
Do you get to travel for free?
Nobody ever travels for free unless they literally won a free vacation or something.
Every single person pays for their travel… Yes, even us bloggers.
While I don’t have to pay for every single thing when I travel in terms of handing over cash, I “pay” in doing work, it’s an exchange. I’ll perhaps write a blog post and take some pictures instead of paying full price for a campervan to explore a certain place, for example.
And sometimes I don’t pay for my travels AND I get paid a monetary amount for my work. This is one of the ways travel bloggers can make money. However, it’s NEVER free. I do a lot of work to get that trip and that’s my form of “payment.”
Nobody travels for free.
And side note: there’s always a disclaimer when I do this type of work and I am always honest about my experiences. In fact, I don’t do this work often because it has to very closely align with what I like and what YOU guys would love to see.
Do you get paid to travel?
This is going off the last question and this requires a very lengthy blog post (which I will post one day…)
No. Nobody gets paid to travel.
Travel bloggers don’t pay for all travel with money, they do work in exchange and it’s never getting paid to travel. They are getting paid for their audience, their writing style, their page views on their blog, their Instagram, their photography, etc…
They are getting paid because they have something else to offer.
They get paid for what they offer and they happen to be in the travel niche, so obviously, travel has to happen!
They are NOT getting paid to travel.
Do you travel full time?
Yes and no. I don’t live in the USA anymore. I haven’t since 2011.
I travel and live in other countries full time.
I’m not just traveling, I’m “living” (as much as I can) too. I like “settling down” for periods of time and traveling slower. See next question about my travel style.
What is your travel style?
I usually slow travel.
You spend more time on transportation and more money in general when you move from place to place. You also don’t get to grow a strong connection with the place you’re visiting when you move quickly.
I enjoy spending less and getting to know more! So I try spending 1-3 months in most of the countries I visit.
I also work online, which means I can’t be literally traveling all the time. Most days are actually spent working like a “normal” person, the big difference is I have a mobile desk.
I have a question about a specific country, can you help me?
First, check the blog. If I can tell you didn’t bother reading my post first, I won’t answer. Most, if not all, questions will be answered in my blog posts. I write VERY detailed post just for YOU!
Don’t see the country on the blog? Then I don’t have info on it.
Do I need vaccines for my trip?
Please, only ask your doctor sensitive questions like this. I can’t answer this for you and neither can anyone else.
Do I need travel insurance for my trip?
Yes. Read this.
Do you have any solo travel tips?
Yep, you can find those right here.
What bank do you use? Accommodation sites? Companies you trust?
I have a travel resource page with all that info and more.
How do you find your flights?
I outline how I find flights here.
Where are you on social media?
Can I message you more questions?
Sure! I love getting messages from readers.
If I see that you didn’t read the blog at all (where most questions are already answered) then I probably won’t bother replying.