From Where I Work

From Where I Work: Nikki of The Pin the Map Project in Astoria, New York City

New York based blogger Nikki from The Pin the Map Project has recently launched her freelance career but has already sussed out the best places to work in her borough. Read on to find out what it’s like to be a blogger in Astoria.

Nikki Says:

It is 10 am on a Saturday and I quite literally just had the oddest dream! In my dream, I was working at my old office and the day seemed to move by in hyper speed until at about5:50pm I looked down at the clock and was shocked to find I had wasted eight hours at my computer–without eating, without going to the restroom, without moving. Before I was abruptly woken up by my boyfriend playing blanket hog and our new kitten purring on my face, I remember the last scene of the dream as me finding my other co-workers half asleep at their desks; all of us groggy and confused as to where the time and day went.

Nikki of The Pin the Map Project

Having made the leap to freelance and turned my back on the shackles of a 9-5 desk job, I think there is something telling about this dream and how the corporate world and I will never reconcile our differences. Although the freelance lifestyle gives me a bit of a stomach flip as payments are sporadic and projects are inconsistent; I am in love with the freedom of waking up, flipping open my Macbook Air and not having to fall into line with the rest of the blank faced NYC commuters.

My office is no longer a fluorescent-lit, open space room with 30 people whose eyes are glued to a screen; instead my workspace is a lovely coffee shop in Astoria called Madame Sou Sou, where fresh pastries, foamy cappuccinos and an uncanny selection of my favorite music is always playing. I sit by the window and watch as my borough of this big city unfolds before me; as I fight the urge to post 15 instagram pictures of the adorable coffee cups, plates and flowers that dot the shop.

Nikki of The Pin the Map Project

My other office is the comfort of my own living room where my co-workers are my freelancing, filmmaking, comedian boyfriend & our rambunctious kitten named Peeps who alternates between head nuzzles and sweet kisses; and toe bites and playing keyboard cat on my computer. While I do love to venture into Manhattan on occasion to work, I tend to stay in Astoria where each street is an eclectic mix of cultures. My coffee shop is down the street from my favorite Colombian diner, which is across the street from the best Greek restaurant and bakery in town, which is down the street from a tapas spot and nearby a Korean BBQ joint. As a travel writer and blogger behind The Pin the Map Project, there is something kind of wonderful about discovering new cultures and flavors in between my assignments abroad!

profile picAbout Nikki:

Nikki is an NYC-based travel journalist with stories in VICE, FOOD & WINE, Roads & Kingdoms, Matador Network, The Daily Meal and more. Nikki is also the founder and blogger behind The Pin the Map Project, which is part of the Mode Media Network (ranked #7 of the top 100 web properties and reaching 406 million readers worldwide!). On her blog, Nikki speaks often to solo travel, blog tips, travel hacking, destination guides and more! Nikki will be headed on assignment to Morocco and Vietnam in August and September; and will soon be sharing her city guides to places like NYC and Cartagena via CreateTrips!

Follow Nikki on her upcoming assignments and adventures on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook!

About Author

I'm a full time blogger with a passion for travel and interiors. A travel blogger for 12+ years, I took a course on interior styling during the pandemic when travel was not an option. I now run 2 Instagram accounts - @jayneytravels, which covers authentic, affordable luxury escapes and @ourtravelhome which is all about decorating our new build home with a modern rustic style.


  • Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite
    July 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    That’s great! I’m looking forward to going back to freelance writing after one last school year in China. Great to see people being successful and happy, doing what they love 🙂

  • Todd @ Visit50
    July 15, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Congrats on the transition Nikki! As one of the few travel bloggers that used to work with you in your last career, it’s so exciting to see the next chapter.


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