June 2017 Roundup + BIG NEWS!

By Nicole

June 2017 Roundup + Big News!

Ok guys, June flew by did it not? I’ve had a really busy month between writing, photographing, and adventuring…. oh and working my day job as well too! Of course I’ll get to recapping the entire months worth of activities after I give you some good news… great news… huge news….. So here it goes:

I’ll be leading an expedition to Antarctica!

This is the actual ship the trip will be taking place on: The Akademik Ioffe! And yes, those are hump backs in front of the ship…

And not just anyone, I’ll be leading a group of you, as in you readers! This trip is going to be the best bang for your buck. Demand for trips to Antarctica has sharply increased and prices are beginning to skyrocket, so this trip is a great introduction to Antarctica that aims to hit the highlights at a steal of a price. I’m sure you’re all wondering what and when and all the questions, so here is a little more info:

Date: February 20 to March 2 of 2018.

Embarkation/Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina

Ship: Akademik Ioffe

Group size: Roughly 15 people


*All prices are in US dollars.

About the trip:

This Antarctic Peninsula adventure will take you to the highlights of the polar continent in a 10 day/11 night voyage of a lifetime. Encounters with wildlife, views of massive glaciers, and cruising by zodiac or even kayak if conditions allow around beautiful icebergs are just a few of the experiences you will have on this trip.

Activities can include: camping (Yay!), wildlife viewing, whale watching, educational lectures, trekking & hiking, zodiac cruising, yoga & fitness, photography, sea kayaking*, and more!

*Sea kayaking requires a pre-arranged agreement. 

The locations slated for potential visit are: Paradise Harbour, Neko Harbour, Cuverville Island, Errera Channel, Melchior Islands, Fournier Bay, Cierva Cove and Mikkelson Harbour. We will also attempt to access the Lemaire Channel, which is the gateway to Petermann and Pleneau Islands in the Penola Strait region. Antarctic cruises are exploratory, meaning landing at sites are dependent on weather and ice conditions- but that’s part of the excitement and spontaneity of a trip to Antarctica! Weather tends to be more predictable on the Antarctic Peninsula and access to these areas in the late February to early March timeframe are great as it is approaching the end of Antarctic summer.

Of course there will be special events and activities for the passengers traveling in my group! Including a welcome dinner the evening before the Ioffe sets sail, and special events onboard. I plan to offer special meet ups for the group onboard for photography pointers, blogging 101, general storytelling (really, ask me anything!) and more.

I will be writing up a post with more details on the trip soon. Until then, if you are interested in booking and more information you can email info [@] expedition connections.com to answer more questions. Of course you can always contact me as well at adventuresoflilnicki [@] gmail.com.


But back to the roundup…

Its hard to follow up after exciting news like that. Anyways, June was busy. I visited Spencer Glacier on the Whistle Stop Train (and wrote a post on how you can do it too!), attended Chickenstock- the strange bluegrass music festival that takes place in Chicken, Alaska each year, backpacked into Reed Lakes (in the Hatcher’s Pass, AK area), and did a day hike to Symphony & Eagle Lakes to celebrate hitting the elusive 100k followers on Instagram… finally! I wrote two posts that were featured on Buzzfeed (10 Reasons to Visit Antarctica & 10 Reasons to Visit the Remote Ross Sea), and another post about Franklin Island, Antarctica that was featured on Oceanwide Expeditions’ Blog. All this while working my day job, full time as a hygienist 4-5 days a week where I often pull 8-10+ hour days.

Instagram, hitting 100k on instagram, adventures of lil nicki, adventures of lil nicki instagram

This months posts:

The Ultimate Female Packing List: Spoiler alert: I HATE PACKING!  But after seven years jammed with tons of travel, this is an area I have great expertise on. This list includes everything you should pack to travel the world as a woman… Also, with a few adjustments all the men out there could use this list too!

Salar De Uyuni Tips: My best tips and tricks I learned first hand after visiting the world’s largest salt flat in 2016.

Antarctica Travel Guide: Everything you need to know about visiting the polar continent. (In partnership with Oceanwide Expeditions).

Day One Response Waterbag: A great product that will provide you with clean drinking water while backpacking and traveling. They also donate clean water to millions in need around the world with the purchases.

10 Days on the most Alien Looking Place on Earth: What it Was Like Traveling to Socotra, the one destination that I love more than almost anywhere else.

Take The Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop Train: Part of my series sharing how you can travel Alaska on a budget. How to visit Spencer Glacier via the whistle stop train as a day trip or a camping trip.

Hitting 100K On Instagram: I finally made it! But also I wanted to share the struggle, the bullshit endured getting there, and how we are all fed up. I’m no longer going to man Instagram so stringently. I’m going to do and post whatever the fuck I want, whenever the fuck I want.

Solo Female Travel In Tajikistan: One of the most common questions I receive is how to travel Tajikistan solo as woman. I did it last summer and am finally sharing all my tips with you! Tajikistan is a great destination to travel solo, even for women. Even though I am still receiving comments on Instagram from people who have never visited and know nothing of the country still saying things along the lines of ‘it sounds dangerous‘. Why? Because it ends in ‘Stan? I want to debunk the BS idea that Tajikistan is unsafe. With standard precautions, it’s an unbelievable destination with some of the most welcoming people the world over.

10 Reasons to Visit Antarctica: Need help convincing you to book the upcoming trip to Antarctica with me? Here’s 10 reasons to go!

Guest Posts:

An Igneous Paradise: Franklin Island: My guest post on Oceanwide Expeditions’ blog about Franklin Island in the remote Ross Sea. (In partnership with Oceanwide Expeditions).

10 Reasons to Visit Antarctica: A short, easy to digest listacle over at Buzzfeed. (In partnership with Oceanwide Expeditions).

10 Reasons to Visit the Most Remote Place on Earth: The Ross Sea, Antarctica: See the allure of the most mysterious and remote place in the world over at Buzzfeed. (In partnership with Oceanwide Expeditions).


Products I’m obsessed with:

*Some of the following are affiliate links, meaning that I do get a small commission if you choose to purchase some of these items, at no additional cost to you!

Coleman Peak 1 Stove:

Hi! You probably know I’m a big fan of camping… I finally bought a stove and I’m in love with it.

Ozark Trail 10 Piece Camp Cookset:

To match with the stove I bought this awesome cook set that will take care of two people. I’ve always carried a one-man set, but finally bought a larger set up for going camping with others.

Tactical Camping Hatchet Tool:

It’s a hatchet, a knife, a can opener, a bottle opener, and more! It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of tactical gadgets.

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Bundle:

This was a huge splurge, but if you want professional grade aerial video this drone is a backpacker’s best friend.

MSR Hubba NX 1-Man Tent:

I know I’ve raved on endlessly about this tent. Still hasn’t changed!

Osprey Ariel 65L Backpack:

Another item I’ve probably worn out with my fond appreciation, but I’ll keep on keepin on… Osprey makes the best packs in my opinion. Plus it’s hard to beat their lifetime guarantee!

Heather’s Choice:

I was just recently introduced to Heather’s Choice Dehydrated Meals by my friend Amber. Heather makes them locally in Alaska (don’t worry, you can order online here!). She has a background in evolutionary nutrition and makes tasty, nutritious and healthy dehydrated meals perfect for adventuring!

Collapsible Drinking Cup:

Perfect for traveling, backpacking and camping. These cups are made of silicone and fold up flat and weigh next to nothing!

So what’s coming in July?

IRL (that stands for ‘in real life’, Mom) I am hoping to take off on loads more adventures in Alaska! Of course, now that I’ve realized how little Alaska is covered as a destination, and the pathetically minuscule amount of info on the internet about how to do it on a budget… I hope to research more places and try them out for you guys to share how you can do it too, whether you’re a local or are a tourist planning a visit. I do have posts on deck about Oman, Antarctica (including the one I promised earlier with more info on the upcoming trip with yours truly), Socotra, Alaska, and more… so be on the look out! I have so many ideas and can’t write them out fast enough. Aside from that I will be planning my upcoming trip to Tajikistan and eventually to Cyprus… What happens in between  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ suggestions are welcomed! Where do you wanna see me go in between?

So happy 4th this upcoming week to all my readers in ‘Merica, and happy July to everyone else! See you next month…


PS: Be on the lookout on Instagram this weekend for the giveaway I’ll be doing in part with Earth Bands!



This entry was posted in AOLN monthly recaps

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