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About Me

Hey, I’m Nicole…

I’m a marginally less than moderately attractive, slightly overweight 30-something from Alaska.

Antarctica, Gentoo Penguin, Oceanwide Expeditions, penguin, Gentoo, Danco Island, Danco, Girls penguin

Me and a curious buddy on a press trip in Antarctica

The Cliff Notes:

I’ve been traveling an abnormal amount starting in about 2010 and telling ridiculous tales of misadventure ever since. I never totally left my career and at the harassment of some friends and family, I started this blog back in February 2015. You can usually find me at my happiest in remote mountain passes, with camera in hand, no less than 14 gashes, scratches and scabs (I’m a bit clumsy), and a 35 lb backpack strapped to me (okay, maybe I’m happier when pack is off, but you get the picture).

Now For The Full Version:

I was born during a blizzard one October in Alaska in the ‘80s. Since then it’s been a wild shuffle, narrowly dodging death, avalanches, grenades, collapsing ice caves, bullets, trainwrecks, kidnappings, natural disasters and probably a few other less than ideal situations.

As a kid I loved maps and encyclopedias with colorful photos of far off places. By 6th grade I had a teacher who made me memorize every country and capital in the world and every state and capital in the US (which probably didn’t help my fascinations), so we can probably blame Ms. Riley for me getting here.

I didn’t know how I was gonna do it, but I knew I wanted to travel all over the world.

Fast forward to the mid-‘00s and I graduated high school and eventually enrolled at the University of Alaska Anchorage to pursue a degree in dental hygiene. I quickly realized after I finished my program and started working that I could do temp work and live my life in a work-save-travel-repeat cycle. I managed to kind of do what I always wanted to do.

I guess this the part where I’m supposed to tell you that I buckled down, got burned out and quit a six figure salary earning job to be a full time digital nomad (or to become the worlds first “fill in defining quality” woman to visit every country in the world) and also ask readers to give me cash money via PayPal so I can continue rubbing my awesome lifestyle in your face.

Don’t worry, it looks way worse than it actually was

Except the above paragraph isn’t me (ironically though it’s the story of a lot of popular bloggers and influencers these days).

In reality, I was working to live. I don’t hate being a dental hygienist, but I don’t really love it either. I was living for those travels and reliving them by telling their stories when I got home.

It was then when one of my cousins told me I should start a blog.

I had never really read blogs. I had already been traveling to way off the beaten path destinations like YemenMoldova, Zambia and Malawi. He thought I had a wealth of information on how to get to and how to travel in places that people just didn’t really go. Prior to this, it hadn’t even dawned on me to bring a journal and write my travels down while on the road.

So to cut to where I’m going with this: I’ll always be a traveler first, then probably a photographer, storyteller, and blogger in that order. I don’t view myself as an influencer, because I tend to write about places that you had been influenced elsewhere to visit and I provide the useful information you want to know before you go. I always put traveling before all the blogging and sales pitch bullshit. I’m basically the back end of a mullet (party in the back, and lacking the business qualities the front handles).

I have no background in marketing (which I’ve found many successful bloggers do), I also have no background in web design, html, SEO, or any of that other behind the scenes stuff that make some blogs popular. I’ve learned it all as I went along this weird travel blog journey (and I’ll admit I’m still not that good at it).

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Vinicunca, Rainbow mountain in photos

So what can you expect to find on this website?

A little bit of everything travel related. While I tend to focus and write more about off the beaten path travelCentral AsiaAlaska, and the Middle East, and spend the bulk of my time in these locations, you’ll also find guides and itineraries in more popular places, like CambodiaItaly, and Chile.

I don’t always travel on a shoestring budget, but sometimes I do. Occasionally I’ll pop into a Michelin star restaurant but I’m more often found hovering around a street stall. I’ve slept on train station floors and in luxury hotels, but I’m typically happiest in a tent.

I try to put together blog posts that will help you. Anywhere from full blown travel guides, city guides, itineraries, road trip plans, budget guides and more. But sometimes I also share my crazy adventures.

Since my first backpacking trip I’ve survived a motorbike wreck in the Philippines, a train wreck and tooth extraction in Peru, several long-distance high-altitude solo-hiking trips through remote Tajikistan, falling into an open sewer in St. Lucia, Couchsurfing with complete strangers in Moldova, being ambushed by Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, hitchhiking over the rarely crossed Qolma Pass border crossingslid fell down the side Chimtarga Pass, co-lead a tour group of unsuspecting travelers through remote Eastern Tajikistan, Western China & Northern Pakistan on a trip that had a section without even an itinerary, and included a sheep boil/rave in the literal middle of nowhere, unknowingly walked through a tornado in Italy, traveled all over Afghanistan with a friend (who is also female), and hiked the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan solo on another trip, shit my pants in numerous countries (I think I may have an intestinal issue), and countless other (mis)adventures.

Bolshoi Allo, Fann Mountains, Tajikistan

Other Random Things About Me

When I’m not traveling I still can usually be found working as a dental hygienist Alaska, or wandering off into the abyss in Alaska. I’m not a very good travel blogger and don’t crank out new posts everyday (more like once a week or so), and have a ridiculously long list of places I’ve visited that still haven’t made an appearance on this blog yet.

My favorite countries

Yemen
Afghanistan
Tajikistan
Iran
Cyprus
Moldova
Oman

My favorite cities

Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Bangkok, Thailand
Sana’a, Yemen
Lisbon, Portugal
La Paz, Bolivia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Cairo, Egypt

What’s coming up in 2020?

I took a group to visit Socotra Island and Mainland Yemen in February and it looks like that may be it for the year since Coronavirus and all…

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Feel free to shoot me an email at adventuresoflilnicki [at] gmail.com, or sign up below for my e-mail newsletters for updates. If you’re an awesome brand wanting to work together, head over here and make me work!*

*But if you’re a brand looking to get me to review/market/instagram/blog about your product or service for free, take a hike. I have enough on my plate as is working an actual job full time and blogging on here.

Got questions? Don’t hesitate to pester me on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

It’s been nice to meet you. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and adventure!

~Nicole xx

15 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. hi Nicole,
    i inspired by your life story and hard work . i belong to Pakistan and currently living in Cyprus . i had a wish to explore unknown places and my dream place is Alaska. am looking for someone who could help me for invitation for adventure trip so i can get my visa and travel. i love to watch documentaries regarding survivors in different places especially in Alaska. i will be gate if i cloud meet you their and learn about my passion from expert like you.

    hope you having great and amazing trips in future…
    waiting your amazing response

  2. Hi Nicole,
    Came across your adventures when looking for some stuff about Afghanistan (where I am from). Your stories are amazing, congratulations. I’ve been a nomad too and I could relate to your stories.
    Greetings from New York.

  3. Aloha Nicki, I’m a life-long Alaskan myself, though currently living in Hawai’i, which you might really consider as “Alaska South” there are so many similarities. Just read your blog on traveling to Socotra, which is now on my bucket list. You made mention of not having much opportunity to see sand dunes in Alaska? Maybe it’s time to do a little in-state travel? Check out The Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, just above the Arctic Circle: https://www.nps.gov/kova/learn/nature/great-kobuk-sand-dunes.htm. Maybe the best way to see them is to do a float down the Kobuk River from Walker Lake to Ambler, or even all the way to Kotzebue: https://www.nps.gov/kova/planyourvisit/boating.htm

    1. Hey Peter,
      Yes! Kobuk Valley has been on my to-do list for a while. I really would like to see all the national parks/preserves up here, so thanks for those links. Hope you make it to Socotra sometime, it’s really amazing

  4. Dear Nicole, how are you? I must congratulate you for your blog, it’s just amazing.

    I am contacting regarding Yemen. You were there last year and I’m sure you fell in love with it. Moreover, I’m pretty sure that you are very concern with the current situation there.

    I would like to introduce you our organization. We are people from Barcelona who have visited Yemen several times. Due to the terrible war that is going on there, we have created Solidarios Sin Fronteras, an international development and humanitarian aid organization. We collect money to send it to Yemen so our counterpart there can buy boxes of food and hygienic material to deliver them to families with injured children and women from the bombings that are in hospitals (you can visit our FB page and see the pictures).

    Since you have a lot of followers, I would like to ask you to mention us here, in FB or Twitter so more people can get to know what’s happening in Yemen and that the civilians find themselves in an EMERGENCY SIITUATION.

    I will follow you on Twitter, too.

    Thank you and keep doing what you do, it’s incredible!

    1. Thanks great, I will go check it out. Yemen still is my favorite place I’ve visited, and I’ve been worried especially since not only the war, but also the cyclone that came through.

  5. Nicole,

    Oh my gosh — seeing you followed me on Bloglovin’ was such a blast from the past! Great to connect with a fellow Eagle River/CHS grad who also realized there was way too much of the world left unseen!

    I’ve added you to my RSS reader, so I’ll be sure to keep up on your adventures 🙂 Hopefully you’ll have a moment to check out my blog at some point, and I’m sure I’ll comment here and there 😀

    Safe travels!

    1. Hey Valerie!
      Yeah I by chance stumbled across your blog and was blown away that I found someone I knew from school! Crazy! Yes I’m going to head over and check out your blog for sure. So awesome to see someone from your corner of the world out there travel writing!

  6. Corey cox (spork)

    Nic, I’m so proud of you and your great accomplishments in traveling. One day I would love to travel with you to some end of the earth. Love your lil cuz Corey

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