Random Traveller #109 with Nikki of The Pin The Map Project

by Poi on April 8, 2014

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Welcome to round 109 of ‘Meet a Random Traveller’. The series dedicated to bringing attention to fantastic people all around the world doing their thing.

Random Traveller #109

isla baru, colombia

Who are you?

I am a freelance travel writer and photographer based in New York City with a career in media advertising. In addition to my site, The Pin the Map Project, my travel writing and photography has previously been published on FOOD & WINE, Thought Catalog, Bootsnall and the Hostel Life.

What’s the deal?

All too often I hear friends and co-workers lament never having taken their dream trip. Whether backpacking through Europe, exploring Africa or island hopping in South East Asia they seem to take on this wistful look as they reflect on their choices and blame life for “getting in the way.”

Planning a trip does not start when you pack your bags but rather goes back months—sometimes years—to the inception of an idea and goal to see the world. Whether planning for a week trip to Colombia or a six month tour of Asia, people can be deterred by travel because the process of planning is unclear and can seem overwhelming. Saving money, choosing destinations, picking accommodations and putting your home life on hold are big steps that require more than a few sentences in a travel guide.

The Pin the Map Project offers readers a candid look into how someone goes from an average 9-5 pm job to a world traveler without sacrificing enjoyment in the present. The Pin the Map Project addresses saving tips, trip planning, destination selection and above all balance between enjoying today and planning for tomorrow as I plan for my own long-term travel through South East Asia.

You say you are planning your own long term travels but you’ve obviously already caught the travel bug from somewhere? Tell us about it?

I have always loved to travel but I didn’t really catch the travel bug until last year when I booked an impromptu trip to Cartagena with my friends. Up until last year, travel had felt like a luxury reserved for established adults with high paying jobs–hardly something I could indulge in as a young 20-something just 2 years out of college. On a whim, my friends and I decided to travel to Colombia and I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to learn that I could afford to travel and that everything–from the flights I chose to the accommodations I booked–are customizable and do not need to break the bank. My love for travel has flourished ever since and has taken me from Colombia to the Caribbean to France and, most recently, Panama all in the past 6 months!

The Pin The Map Project

Paris, France

And so far how much have you planned of your own trip?

The first steps of planning a long-term trip are hardly glamorous but are necessary so I am very much in the financial phase of planning my 2016 tour of South East Asia. After spending some time researching destinations, visas, flights, accommodations and other travel costs I have come up with an estimated budget that I am now working towards.

Whats the number one piece of advice you would give to someone who’s thinking of following a similar path?
In my recent post about saving for travel, I go into tips and tricks I’ve found for revamping my approach to finances to maximize my savings for travel. By far the best tip I can give anyone hoping to save for a long term trip is to set up auto transfers to your savings account! You’ll love how quickly you forget about the money and how surprised you’ll be when you realize how much you’ve saved toward your big trip.

The Pin The Map Project

Bocas del toro, panama

What’s next?

I just returned from Panama where I was visiting Panama City and the beautiful Bocas del Toro region with friends. The next pin to add to my map? Bali, Indonesia!

A big thanks to Nikki for taking part. Check her out here:
Blog: The Pin The Map Project
Facebook: The Pin The Map Project
Twitter: @wayfarerfoodie

Fancy being Random Traveller #110? Contact us?


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