A month before her 26th birthday, Nina Ragusa landed in Bangkok, Thailand.
About five years later, Ragusa has only been back to the US twice.
Her mission is to live on all seven continents (she doesn’t yet have a plan for Antarctica), and she was just able to squeeze in Australia under a year-long visa before she ages out of the option.
She’s currently living in Darwin, Australia, working to save up money for a cross-country adventure in a camper van.
“Everyone wants to know how I’m able to do this, but ironically, I never had a clue myself how to live this life,” she told Business Insider. “Through my initial travels, I met people and inquired, I researched endlessly, I took risks, I leaped before looking a few times, and I’ve failed miserably along the way.”
Just because it’s hard, though, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. “This life isn’t always easy to maintain. It’s a constant flow of challenges that you have to overcome, but it’s worth every drop of sweat, tears, and beers,” she said.
“It’s going to be scary, confusing, and you will fail,” she advises others who want to pursue long-term travel. “I know I did. But knowing that you failed because you tried is better than not knowing what could have been.”
In Pai, Thailand.
Ragusa, who has held jobs doing everything from teaching English to bartending, says that finding opportunities to live abroad is more attainable than most people think. “You just need the right mindset to manage yourself well, which is something I learned quick when I was solo travelling years ago for the first time on a continent I’ve never been to.”
In the meantime, she told Business Insider via email from her current home in Darwin, Australia, her adventures have included “hiking down through a volcanic crater to see blue flames coming out of the ground in Indonesia, drinking coconuts and jetskiing at a lagoon in Mozambique, rock climbing on some of the most incredible karsts in Krabi, Thailand, snorkelling with blacktip reef sharks in Malaysia, wandering ancient temples and seeing a friend’s father and brother become monks, eating everything as you walk down the chaotic market streets, and hiking with orangutans on Sumatra.”
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