In September 2016, a then 29-year-old Nina Bosken found herself on a flight bound from Chicago, Illinois to Malaga, Spain en route to Granada. An adventurous spirit at heart, she had already lived in Nicaragua, learned Spanish, and built animal balloons as a member of the Cincinnati Circus Company. But as she would soon discover, her life in Spain would perhaps turn out to be the biggest adventure of her life. Read below to learn more about Nina’s story and how she manages life as an English teacher, an expat, and the editor of her fashion and travel blog, A World of Dresses.
1. Tell me a bit about yourself!
I am a 32-year-old woman living in Spain. I’ve been working as an English teacher here for the past three years. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and went to Western Kentucky University. My college major was news/editorial journalism and my minor was religious studies.
2. When did you first realize you loved travel? Has it always been a big part of your life?
I would say that I realized I loved it in college. I would always find opportunities to take trips within the United States. My high school friend moving to Denver was an excuse for me to accompany her with the U-haul and then explore Denver once we got there. Another friend of mine spent four years living in Chicago, so I always found excuses to go up and visit for the weekend.
For a long time, I just assumed that overseas travel was too expensive for me. However when I found an opportunity to go live in Spain, it opened a lot of doors for me. Living in Europe has allowed me to explore Europe in my off time while still earning a living over here. Once you’re in Europe, travel is quite cheap! Furthermore, I’ve explored so many places that I simply wouldn’t have the time for if I only spent a few weeks exploring Europe.
3. You currently live in Spain. When did you realise you wanted to move abroad? How long have you lived there?
Living abroad was an idea I had in my 20’s. Back then, I always viewed it as something I’d do for a bit and return to the states. I also thought I’d never find a legit job opportunity overseas. However in my late 20’s, I was learning Spanish and basically falling in love with the language. When I found out about an opportunity to teach English in Spain, it seemed perfect. Not only could I speak the language everyday, but I could travel to so many cool new places.
I arrived in Spain in September of 2016 and haven’t had a desire to move back to the states yet.
4. Tell us about your favorite travel moment. Where were you and what were you doing?
Wow, there are so many that it’s hard to choose one. I think for me, the people make the travel experiences great. This summer I worked at a summer camp in Italy and stayed with Italian host families. I think the experience of staying with people from the place you’re in, trying the food and having conversations with them is the best.
5. Why did you decide to start “A World of Dresses”? What was your inspo?
I’ve always loved writing and I just wanted a creative outlet at that time. My initial inspo was to interview women around the world in a dress. Perhaps I will still do that. It started as a fashion blog and when I moved to Europe, it morphed into A World of Dresses showcasing both travel and fashion.
6. Do you blog full-time or do you have other jobs?
I do not blog full time. In addition to blogging, I teach English through a government program called Auxiliares de Conversación. In this job, I spend 12 hours a week teaching at a primary school. I also teach private lessons both in-person and on the internet.
7. What is your favorite aspect about blogging?
I love the people it introduces me to and the things that I get to experience doing it. I love taking photos and writing as well.
8. What has been your biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?
I think staying motivated and sticking to a schedule can be difficult. I try to write lists and schedule in time each week to blog.
9. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
In general, I’m proud that I’m to the level where I can do collaborations when I travel. I always tell people that blogging helps me subsidize my travel costs. In addition to that, I have met some very awesome people through collaborations.
10. Where do you hope to see yourself 10 years from now?
10 years from now, I would love to still be blogging. Perhaps it would be full time or perhaps I’d be writing in some other capacity. Apart from blogging, in my personal life I’d hope to be settled down with a spouse and some children. I would be totally be okay with it being right here in Spain as well.
11. What is one piece of advice you would give to other people who want to start their own blog?
My biggest advice is to start out by being consistent. Be consistent on producing good content. Apart from that, reach out and collaborate with other bloggers. Collaboration over competition.
12. Is there anything else you would like to share?
If anyone has any questions about moving to Spain, learning Spanish or blogging, feel free to contact me!
Interested in being a part of East Coast Contessa’s Spotlight Series? E-mail Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org!