Hi I’m Nicole, I like to travel, take photos and sometimes I write things….
I’m not like most the other travel bloggers you’ve probably heard of out there. I don’t have some inspirational story about how I quit my shitty job at 24 years old with $14 in my pocket, moved to southeast Asia and created an alleged super successful blog that earns me 6-figures a year. And then in turn use that story to hawk classes to you to teach you how you can ditch your shitty jobs and do the same. How would anything ever get done if everyone in the world said, ‘fuck it, I QUIT!‘ and started a blog and became a digital nomad? What I’m getting at here is, that I’m not going to try to sell you a pile of bullshit sprinkled in glitter and try to balk you all into a lie by slinging classes on how to run a successful Instagram account or how to make money blogging. I appreciate you people that work seemingly normal jobs and only get an all-too-short alotted vacation time, if any at all as much as I appreciate all the people out there living on a shoestring budget and traveling endlessly. I’m not here to make you feel bad about your life and your job. I voluntarily came here to help you travel more and utilize that time off that you have whatever time length of time it may be, and recommendations to help you stick to your budget.
And that’s where the Adventures of Lil Nicki started
I wanted to share* with everyone how they can travel the world, how to budget for their travels and how to get to and travel in little visited corners of the world. I feel I’m qualified enough for that. I’ve been traveling pretty extensively for the last 7 years on all 7 continents. I’ve figured out a lot of things the hard way, so you don’t have to and will continue to share my hacks, tricks, fails, successes and tips through hilarious stories and travel guides. I started the Adventures of Lil Nicki in early 2015 with no particular aim in mind. I knew I wanted to make a travel blog, and try to highlight ‘beyond the beaten path destinations’ and purposely picked a “me” centered name. (What if one day I don’t want to travel, but my adventures are in underwater basketweaving and hood ornament collection?). I didn’t even know people made money at blogging at that point in my life, I didn’t know what a niche was, I didn’t know anything about social media marketing. In reality I’m the type to only post on my Facebook maybe a handful of times per year. Fast forward to 2017 and I am working around the clock on this website and making some money at blogging (and via avenues related to it). I make money mostly through Instagram campaigns and other photography-related projects, and a little through affiliate marketing. I am still by no means making a livable income on this blog, not even enough to stay afloat in a developing country.
*And also to prove to my family and friends that my ‘extended vacations’ aren’t sunny, beach lazing holidays at an all-inclusive resort.
So, who the f*** am I?
Well, I’m Nicole. I’m 30 years old and I’ve lived my entire life in Alaska. I knew from the time I was a little kid that I wanted to travel the world. I don’t come from money and I didn’t travel much growing up, in fact I never left Alaska until I was 10 years old. We did however, road trip and explore the areas of Alaska reachable by road (plus a short hike). My first international trips were to Mexico as a teenager and I knew this was the life for me. When it came time to select a major in college I chose dental hygiene for the nicely paying income and the fact that it’s a very flexible career and easy to come and go from and be able to pick up hours when you want to (at least in Alaska anyway). I worked part to full time through college to afford to backpack Europe in between my last two years of schooling. That’s where the jump from knowing this is the life for me to near heroine like addiction happened. Since that trip to Europe I’ve managed to visit over 70 countries and all 7 continents. My two favorite countries I’ve been to would have to be Yemen and Tajikistan. Didn’t expect to hear those two on a favorites list did you? They’re both amazingly beautiful and well, they’re places where travelers are few and far between which is my favorite.
Of course all this traveling has lead down a meandering rabbit hole into the world of photography. Photography has easily become one of my favorite pastimes turned sorta into a career. In fact the question I’m asked the most is some variation of ‘What camera do you use?‘ To answer that I wrote this handy post ‘My Travel Photography Gear‘.
Since my first backpacking trip I’ve survived a motorbike wreck in the Philippines, a train wreck and tooth extraction in Peru, a 53-mile high-altitude solo-hiking trip through remote Tajikistan, falling into an open sewer in St. Lucia, Couchsurfing with complete strangers in Moldova, being ambushed by Gentoo penguins Antarctica, shit my pants in numerous countries (I think I may have an intestinal issue) and countless other (mis)adventures.
When I’m not traveling (which for the last couple of years has been most the time) I work as a dental hygienist in Alaska to help build up my funds to travel more. Although I am doing dental hygiene less and less because it has taken quite the toll on my body. Looking back I would have chosen to invest my education, time and money into a different career path as dentistry is a back-breaking, carpal-tunnel inducing field to go into.
Alaska is actually a pretty cool place to live, you can usually find me doing something outdoors in a picturesque location. Every time I’m back home for a few weeks though, I still get the urge to visit somewhere far far away.
How do I Travel?
Just about any way possible. I travel solo, with friends, and with complete strangers I’ve met on the road. I’ve backpacked, budget traveled, couchsurfed, traveled independently, camped in the bush, and have slept on a variety of airport, bus and train station floors, but I’ve also stayed in all-inclusive resorts, went on tours and went on beach holidays. What I’m getting at is that I’ve done a little bit of everything and I think they are all great. Any travel is better than no travel right?
As for what I have lined up for the latter half of 2017?
In August I am headed back to Tajikistan to explore the country even more extensively, i.e.: the true ass-end of nowhere. But first, I will stop in Moldova for a couple of days on my way out there (yay!). After Tajikistan I will eventually head over to Cyprus to visit a friend.
So pull up a chair and stay a while, read up on places you may have never thought to visit and be prepared to laugh at my misadventures.
Feel free to holla at your girl- shoot me an email at adventuresoflilnicki [at] gmail.com, or sign up below for my e-mail newsletters for updates and savings. If you’re an awesome brand wanting to work together, head over here and make me work!
It’s been nice to meet you. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and adventure!