Welcome to The Pin the Map Project!
The internet is practically bursting with travel blogs, so let me take a moment to give you a metaphorical clap on the back for visiting my page.
Now, who am I? It’s a good question, especially if you’re coming here for travel advice you’ll want to know just how reliable I am with the information I provide. I am Travel Editor of Culture Trip, an international publication reaching a whopping 7 million monthly readers and 3 million social media followers. At Culture Trip, my stories cover everything from human interest stories, travel news, animal rights and global politics.
I have been to Iceland to report on the controversial whaling industry, have flown to Borneo to write about palm oil deforestation, to Colombia to retrace a mysterious murder and interview ex-FARC fighters and most recently, Bali, to write about the dog meat trade.
In other words, this is not your average travel blog. I’ll spare you the ‘look at me!’ selfies and share stories that matter. Be it politics, news and other humanitarian and animal rights issues—I am first and foremost a journalist.
It’s not to say all my posts will knock your socks off with stellar reporting (I wish!). I still write light hearted posts about solo travel, personal memoirs and, yes, wanderlust-inducing guides BUT I also cover harder topics, which is not something I see a lot of travel bloggers doing.
So besides my day job of being Travel Editor and Host & Producer for my new Culture Trip show, Hungerlust, I am blogger of this little corner of the web I can proudly call my own. The journey of The Pin the Map Project has been one hell of a ride.
I was a bride-to-be with a full time job in advertising in New York City who wasn’t happy with the direction her life was going. I started blogging for no other reason but to create some sort of passion project on the side that would be a life raft for me during a tumultuous time.
My little old blog started to become more than a side hobby, it started to consume my life. Writing about far flung places was endlessly more exciting than sitting and staring at Excel spreadsheets all day for my advertising job. Much to my surprise, my blog started to also open doors for me! I started to earn money through sponsored posts and, even more than that, I started to be invited on press trips. Now this, BLEW my mind. As an entry-level worker struggling to make ends meet in NYC, I was suddenly able to see the world on the merit of my writing.
I traveled to the Philippines, I rode ATVs in the Dominican Republic, I went to Indonesia to see orangutans and Komodo dragons, I had a 10-day trip to Morocco that included camel rides and tagine in Marrakech! All of a sudden, the world opened up to me, regardless of my bank account balance.
My life took on a certain Cinderella feel to it. I would travel and stay at gorgeous hotels I could never afford, would visit countries it would take me a year to save for and then I’d come home to NYC and be hard pressed to pay my cellphone bill. As The Pin the Map Project and its opportunities grew, my patience with my advertising career dwindled. I eventually decided to do the unthinkable and quit my job to pursue my passion of travel writing.
Now, I won’t sit here and feed you some fairy tale about how quitting my job to travel was a dream. It was damn hard and I went nearly broke in the process. But, taking that chance was one of the best things I could have done as it made me realize one very important truth: there was no way in hell I could live off my travel blog.
This epiphany pushed me to put my college journalism degree to use and pursue a full-time journalism job. I reasoned that while my blog could always exist as a a beautiful passion project, journalism would allow me to travel write and pay my bills – a win-win!
Last August, after a month-long trip throughout Indonesia, I decided to apply for a job as Travel Editor of Culture Trip. The stars aligned for me and I landed the job!
Just like that, I had a full time job with a consistent paycheck that would allow me to travel write everyday, travel the world on assignment and keep up my blog.
With Culture Trip, I didn’t have to take more press trips (which by this point the novelty had worn off). Instead, our monthly editorial budget allows me to chase stories I love without adhering to the jam-packed schedule of a tourism board.
I am now 29-years old and where I once was obsessed with the basic idea of traveling and landing press trips, I am now more concerned with telling a good story.
That’s where I am today. A Travel Editor, a Travel Journalist and a Travel Blogger who strives to simply make some sort of impact with her writing. Whether that means swaying a reader to not ride elephants in Thailand or simply offering advice on how to book an affordable trip, that’s what I’m here for.