Courtesy of Nicola Wynn and Pam Stack
Ever since the creation of the North Cobb Magnet program in 2006, people around the community have associated it with the most glamorous aspect; travel. Students who partake in these international adventures learn about the world, gain firsthand experiences, and become introduced to brand new cultures. Most take these opportunities to explore the outer world around them and apply it to their life back home, but for one former NC Warrior, travel became her career.
“So far, my favorite travel experiences have been trying, and failing, to learn to surf in Indonesia, taking chocolatier lessons in Belgium, living out of a campervan in Ireland, riding motorcycles through the mountains of Vietnam, and camping in a tent on a rainforest island that’s only accessible by boat in Panama,” NC alumni Nicola Wynn said.
Nicola Wynn, graduate of the 2010 NC Magnet class, found her place in the world through teaching English to international students, all while documenting her travel on a blog. Wynn’s passion for travel began in the NC International Studies program, which led to personal exploration later in life. While at NC, Wynn competed in cross country and track, volunteered with the National Honor Society, and participated in Model UN. Wynn credits the Magnet program and NC as a cornerstone in her career development.
“The NC Magnet International Studies program is a big part of the reason I decided to prioritize travel in my life. Learning about new cultures and all the exciting things you can experience in the world made me want to see more of it. If I didn’t have that encouragement from both the magnet program and North Cobb, I might not have developed the love for travel I have now,” Wynn said.
After leaving high school, Wynn graduated from the University of Georgia, and later obtained her Master’s degree from Francis Marion University. Following college, Wynn began to teach English in a traditional classroom, but felt a void missing in her passion for traveling. With inspiration from a close friend, she dove into the world of online teaching around 2017, and started to explore the world around her. Since changing the requirements of her job title, Wynn virtually meets with her students from anywhere with a good WiFi connection. This allowed her to become location independent, and travel more than she ever imagined.
“It’s satisfying to help my students understand difficult concepts. With some of my students, I’ve been teaching them English as a second language for many years now and I can see a huge improvement in their conversation skills. I’m proud of how hard they’ve worked and thankful I get to be part of the journey,” Wynn said.
Along with a successful teaching career, Wynn created her own travel blog, and at first thought of it as only a hobby. As she began to travel and teach, she wrote about her experiences and stories, all while publishing them on her site, “See Nic Wander”. Wynn traveled to various countries, such as Vietnam and Panama (just to name a few), all while publishing material on her blog. She then turned her passionate hobby into a job, earning income along with her teaching career. Wynn, a teacher by day and globe trotter by night, mixed two of her biggest passions to create her ideal lifestyle.
“As a travel blogger, I love that I get to write every day. I also love learning new things. I never thought I was a computer person, but now I can build an entire website and fix it when it breaks. When I’m traveling to a new location, it’s fun to take notes and turn those notes into a cohesive article. I also like that I get to make my own schedule and choose the topics I write about,” Wynn said.
Wynn currently resides in Barbados, a tropical island in the Caribbean, and aims to pick up surfing in her free time while there. As for the future, Wynn plans to continue her teaching career, and expand the size of her blog. Down the road, she hopes to write a book and possibly make an appearance on the TV show, “House Hunters International”. Though COVID-19 impacted the travel industry greatly, Wynn knew of her fortunate situation.
“Everyone in the travel industry has been hit hard by COVID. I feel very fortunate that I was still able to do my online teaching job during the lockdowns this year. Because of COVID, I’ve been writing less about travel and more about online job options. I hope to help others discover ways to work remotely too,” Wynn said.
Much like the famous Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”, Wynn allows the places she visits to cultivate her character and cultural diversity. Whether she takes chocolatier lessons in Belgium, or rides motorcycles through the mountains of Vietnam, Wynn lives out her dream one day at a time. Fellow travelers and locals only hope to witness this former NC Warrior put her mark on the world.