Hello! Below, you'll find a small sampling of my work, organized by category.
I’m a writer and editor specializing in travel, wellness, personal finance, dating, personal essay, and lifestyle topics.
I freelance regularly for various outlets, such as Business Insider, and worked for Bustle for almost five years, until November 2019. Since October 2021, I have been a wellness writer for The Zoe Report, covering topics such as mental health, health, relationships, and travel. Sometimes, I interview celebrities about their wellness routines, too, including Kate Hudson, Mandy Moore, and Mayim Bialik.
Some of my work highlights include:
—Both of these Business Insider pieces have received more than 1.1 million views: “12 clever ways to save money every day, according to financial experts” & “7 signs someone is in love with you — even if it doesn’t seem like it”
—My Business Insider article, “I’ve flown at least once a month for the last year — here are 17 things I never travel without,” has received about 550,000 views.
—In May 2019, Arianna Huffington shared one of my Business Insider articles on LinkedIn about how I deleted 45 apps from my phone.
—In May 2019, Amtrak shared one of my Bustle pieces on Facebook about how taking Amtrak keeps me connected to my deceased grandmother.
—In January 2018, the TODAY show referenced my Bustle article, “The Best Conversation Starters To Use On Dating Apps In 2018, According To An Expert,” on the air.
My writing has also appeared in places such as Forbes, Yahoo, MSN, INSIDER, Inc., Thrive Global, Insight Timer, Grow (Acorns + CNBC), Lonely Planet, Culture Trip, The Independent, Betterment, Health, xoJane, Marie Claire UK, Scary Mommy, Elite Daily, The Daily Dot, Purple Clover, HelloGiggles, Mic, Simplemost, LearnVest, Financial Review, Pillar (student loan app acquired by Acorns), and the SFGATE, L.A. Times, and Chicago Tribune's RedEye.
I’ve had feel-good nonfiction stories published in several Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, too.
Editing-wise, I freelance and help people shape their personal essays, which have gotten into publications like Salon and Cosmo.
And since August 2020, I've worked as the Associate Editor of HighlySensitiveRefuge.com and IntrovertDear.com. In that time, I've edited more than 1,000 personal essays and listicles on all kinds of topics, from relationships to self-development. I also created a roster of 50+ contributing writers and manage them — take their pitches, assign pieces and help structure them, do developmental and line editing, and track deadlines. I help manage the editorial calendar and ready posts for both search and social optimization, too, and prep headlines and source images. In addition, I work as the Submissions Editor and select pieces for publication from freelance writers, as well as ongoing ones. I then help them finesse their pieces so they're the best they can be! : )
KEEP IN TOUCH:
You can contact me at [email protected] regarding work-related topics — or just to say hi. : )
P.S. As an on-again/off-again digital nomad, I sometimes blog about my travels at NomadicNatalia.com, too (see link below).
See you online — or on the road!
You may think it's impossible to pack light. After all, you're going to Europe for two weeks, and you'll need plenty of changes of clothes. But there's a difference between items you'll need and items you'll want. "You'll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags, 'Every year, I pack heavier,'" Steves said.
The temperature of the beach water felt like a lukewarm hot tub around my feet, far warmer than the 50-degree Fahrenheit temperature permeating the air around me. It was a comforting feeling; I never wanted to leave. Unlike many beaches in Iceland -...
I've been traveling and working abroad for two years with nothing more than a carry-on backpack. Through trial and error, I've perfected a system that leaves me with as little luggage as possible whenever I move to a new destination. Here are 11 of my best tips for packing light that you can use on your next trip.
I bought a one-way ticket to Switzerland to work as a goat-sitter after my grandmother's death. I learned that sometimes the most spontaneous decisions we make turn out to be the best ones. As a result of that one-way ticket, I've been traveling the world as a digital nomad for more than 18 months.
Back in October, I had to get my car from Chicago to L.A.... and it was all the DMV's fault. In California, your car has to pass a smog test each year, and since I'd been living abroad for nearly two years, I was a bit overdue. I tried thinking of...
Every time I hear a train whistle, I think about my grandma. She raised me, and when I turned 11, she had a surprise: A trip to California. Only, we wouldn't be flying there from Chicago; we'd be taking the train. At the time, I didn't care how we...
As someone who was raised on Amtrak and has taken dozens of their cross-country trips over the past 20+ years, I'm a big advocate of train travel. Aside...
A good way to get familiar with a new city is by taking a walking tour. Luckily, Dubrovnik has many options. Free Dubrovnik Tours has both an Old Town and Game of Thrones one. Even though they are of no cost, tipping your guide is encouraged.
Let's say you want to take a trip to Spain this summer. Your best friend was going to go with you, but now can't. You can go alone... or you can look into going with a group travel company. Of course, there are pros and cons to both scenarios. I'm...
Even though we have to wait until 2019 for the next season of Game of Thrones, there's still one way to stay connected to the show. Now you can spend the night in this Game of Thrones-inspired hotel in Finland that's made of ice and snow.
On flights, it's important to bring certain must-have items. The more you travel, the more you learn what to pack - and what to leave behind. With a bit of planning, you'll have everything you need to have more comfortable flights, from earplugs to snacks.
If you've always wanted to sleep in the legendary Moulin Rouge in Paris, this is your time. And not just in the Moulin Rouge, but in a secret room inside its iconic windmill in Paris' eclectic Montmartre neighborhood.
Personal Finance & Career
You're in an amazing relationship - you and your significant other have a lot in common, similar values, and they do the sweetest things (like leave you notes wishing you luck with a work meeting). But there's one compatibility factor you and your partner need to have...
Whether you have a lot of debt, live paycheck-to-paycheck, or are struggling to balance your budget, money is probably not the first thing you want to bring up to your friends and family. However, it's important to talk about money in order to end...
"Good remote workers understand the importance of communicating clearly with their team in any medium they're using," Greg Caplan, CEO and cofounder of Remote Year, told Business Insider in an email. "It's much harder to swing by a coworker's desk to ask any questions they have about a request, so they make sure to include any relevant details and context along with any communications they send."
Money-saving tactics can often be unrealistic or forced. There are easy ways to spend and save money every day, like removing stored credit card numbers, implementing a 48-hour rule for spending, and tracking every expense. Here are 12 unusual ways you can save money every day.
When I first moved abroad nearly three years ago as a freelancer, I had to deal with several expensive setbacks in quick succession. I lost a client. I had to get rid of most of my belongings and find a new place to live after getting bedbugs, which cost about $600.
You may not even realize that your favorite ATM or credit card charges you a foreign transaction fee for each purchase until you're reviewing your statement after your trip. While 3% percent - which is a common fee - may not seem like a lot at the time, each transaction adds up.
Money is a feminist issue - and yet, women are still reluctant to talk about it. According to a recent Bustle survey of more than 1,000 Millennial women, more than 50 percent of people said they never discuss personal finances with friends, even...
A good boss shows you the ropes of your industry and guides you in achieving your long-term goals. Though you may have had both good and bad bosses, you've most likely walked away with valuable lessons that have stuck with you from a memorable boss.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a superstar to us, but we just learned something surprising about the actor/composer: Lin-Manuel Miranda didn't get his first credit card until he was 28 (!), reported The Washington Post. Riiiight?! "There is so much I wish I knew about money when I was first starting out my adult life, but in particular, the importance of building good credit," Miranda told Morgan Stanley.
Dating, Relationships, & Sex
In romantic relationships, or any relationship for that matter, there are certain words you should avoid using at all costs. Some would say phrases like "You always do this," or "You never do that" are big no-nos. But there's one specific word that trumps them all: "should."
Dating apps are now a common way to meet people, though there are many who prefer not to use them. People have various reasons for not using them, from saying they're a waste of time to preferring natural, in-person chemistry. Here, 21 people reveal why they don't use dating apps- and how they meet people instead.
"Alone?" the waiter asked in a Spanish accent, two menus in his hand. "Yes," I said as I sat down at a table for two, couples occupying the tables around me. "Alone forever?" he asked, laughing. "I hope not," I said, forcing myself to smile as he...
Dating these days comes with its own unique terminology. Ghosting, breadcrumbing, and gaslighting are all relationship phenomena people could run into when trying to find their next partner. Here are nine terms, from a relationship expert, that define modern dating.
Words by Natalia Lusinski From the editors of HelloGiggles Demi Lovato has been in the news a lot lately. She keeps releasing new songs, and we cannot get enough of them. Now, however, Demi Lovato shared why she doesn't talk about her sexuality in interviews, reports Teen Vogue.
Sometimes, it's tough to tell if someone is in love with you. However, some relationship experts believe that there are ways to tell if someone has stronger feelings than you may realize. With a bit of detective work, you can look for behaviors that indicate that a person secretly loves you.
You may think you're immune to HPV - however, if you've ever had sex, even just once, you're a candidate for it. And, it's a lot more common than you think. If there were an STI popularity contest, it would win - it's the most common STI in the Unite...
There seem to be two kinds of people in this world - ones who love Tinder and ones who hate it. Now, a new study revealed how many people are using Tinder because they're bored, not because they want to date, reported Glamour. We know - it's not fair.
In this cyberstalkable age, I don't Google stalk my dates in advance. Whether I met the guy through friends, at a party, or online, I prefer getting to know him as the actual person sitting across from me versus whom I read about on my laptop via an Internet search.
"Nat, if you run down the hall, you can still catch him," my 93-year-old grandma said to me from her hospital bed. "Who?" I asked. "My new doctor," she said. "He's a very good-looking young man. He reminds me of my George Clooney." She had a thing...
"Potatoes again?" my 9-year-old self asked my mom, who was across the kitchen peeling a large bag of them. "Fried this time," my mom said, staring at the peeler instead of me. I could have sworn I saw tears in her eyes, but I didn't say anything....
I woke up to someone knocking on my door at 7 a.m. I opened my eyes and, for a second, I didn't know where I was. The first thing I saw was my work desk, piled with television scripts and revised script pages of all colors - pink, green, yellow, a...
I've always loved Coldplay, but during this week's concert in Chicago, I became an even bigger fan. They were able to do for me what no one else has been able to do thus far: Help me grieve and mourn the loss of my best friend, my grandma. Her death happened suddenly.
One of the best dates I had with my boyfriend, Matt, was our last. We called it our "Breakup Date" and went to see Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium in LA. We laughed one second, cried the next-like a very long therapy session.
“How will you ever find a boyfriend wearing that?” my 93-year-old grandma asked me as I stood before her in the nursing home.
Most of us online date-but many of us don't know how to market ourselves. After a while, all the profiles sound the same, full of similar clichés and adjectives. "Looking for a partner in crime," "Are you my other half?" and, my favorite, "I like candlelit dinners, sunsets and walks on the beach" (yes, people still say that!).
We all go on blind dates, but not all of us go on Blind Date, the TV show. You know, the one with the thought bubbles above daters' heads.
Growing up, my grandma was never short of advice for me, especially about dating. And, as much as I refused to listen, she ended up being right. Since she dated a lot before she got married - "Many men tried to court me before your grandpa caught me" - and stayed married for almost 40 years, I figured her tips had merit.
When people find out I don't text, they look at me with a mixture of shock and pity like something's wrong with me, as though I live in a land foreign to them. The thing is, I used to text. A lot.
"Nat, it's an emergency," my 66-year-old mother's voice said as I listened to her phone message outside of my office. After she called five times in a row, I figured it was important and snuck out of work to hear it. I feared her next sentence.
After the tenth time I triggered my apartment's smoke detector from a frantic, germ-blasting, Jacuzzi-temperature shower, I knew things had gotten out of control. It was 2 a.m. as I stood naked, teetering on a chair, trying to shut off the incessant beeping.
Mental Health & Wellness
Wellness seems to be at the forefront of many people's minds these days, whether that means practicing more self-care or creating healthier habits. Mandy Moore is no stranger to this, so she partnered with supplements brand Nature's Way for the brand's 50th anniversary to help spread the message of wellness at their event Anaheim, CA.
Whether you know her from playing the young Bette Midler in Beaches, as the hat-wearing titular character in Blossom, or as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory, chances are Mayim Bialik's been a part of your life in some capacity.
Although you know her from the big screen, starring in fan-favorite movies like Almost Famous and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Kate Hudson also does a lot offscreen. In addition to having co-founded athletic clothing brand, Fabletics and INBLOOM, a wellness brand that creates plant-based supplement powders, she also recently teamed up with Juice Beauty, renowned for its organic beauty products.
I deleted all the apps off my phone for a week to see how it would affect my productivity and attention span. Surviving a week without apps was much more difficult than I expected, and the app that I missed the most was not the one I expected.
The work day is full of potential stressors: we may misinterpret a message from our boss, have to juggle multiple deadlines or lose our WiFi connection mid-Zoom meeting. Remaining calm rather than reactionary at these moments is a skill, and meditation is the practice.
You may think that the first thing you should do in the morning is grab your phone, right? Same here. After all, one minute, you're turning off your alarm; the next, you're checking work emails and texts and Insta Stories - and, suddenly, an hour's gone by and you haven't even had your coffee yet.
Whether it's an overall feeling of fear or full-blown panic attacks, anxiety can come in a multitude of forms. And while things like therapy, exercise, and meditation can all help you get rid of anxiety for the longterm, what about combatting it in real time?
I'm on a date, and we're sharing some homemade potato chips at a cool new cafe in town. He drops a chip on the table and then EATS IT. I watch this in slow motion, repulsed and trying not to make a disgusted face.
Spoilers for This Is Us ahead. Although sadness is an emotion everyone deals with sometimes, depression is another story. It's like a magnified version of sadness, with symptoms such as less energy, a loss of interest in activities you once liked,...
Surrounded by the Adriatic Sea - a symbol of vitality in and of itself - the island of Hvar is full of wellness options, from remote beaches to hikes with breathtaking views. Whether you're seeking a serene spa, yoga class or taking in natural aromatherapy via Hvar's renowned lavender fields, you'll find the perfect wellness activity to soothe your body and soul.
Of course, there are all kinds of ways to help make a habit stick. You can use the buddy system or you can hang up a calendar so you can make a big "X" through the day once your daily mission is accomplished.
Stress and anxiety. Who doesn't have them, right? It seems that the older we get, the more there is to worry about. Paying rent turns into paying a mortgage, getting engaged turns into planning a wedding, and changing jobs turns into way more responsibility.
If you love a good pay-it-forward story, then you're in luck. A stranger just bought a mom a candle at Target, and his kindness meant so much more than he knew. The mom of four, Erin Bennett, lives in Bristow, VA. On Wednesday, she took her two youngest kids to Target with her.
For most little girls, father-daughter dances are a big deal. But what do you do when you don't have a father? If you're 6-year-old Noor, your brother steps in. Yep, teen Mohammad Hasher escorted his sister to her father-daughter dance, and the internet is in love.
Okay, get ready to break out the Kleenex. Here's an elderly man serenading his wife with a love song, reported Country Living, in case you wanted your heart to explode. (We're still piecing ours back together.) Yes, Valentine's Day is coming up and everything, but it's the daily expressions of love that show someone you care, right?
Love You Forever is one of those timeless books from our childhoods about a mother's love for, and bond with, her child. It's a perfect book for Mother's Day, and every day. Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw, the story is about a mother and her son.
For over eight months, Anita and Wolfram Gottschalk from British Columbia, Canada, both in their early 80s, had to live in separate nursing homes... after being together for 62 years. (Wow.)
Get ready for your heart to melt. 10-year-old Thomas Moore spent the last two years growing out his hair so that he could donate it to a girl with cancer. Two years of combing and brushing and braiding his ever-growing locks. And, a couple weeks ago, Moore got it cut.
Playgrounds are no longer just for kids. There are more and more popping up for senior citizens. Not only do they help keep them fit, but also gives them a chance to socialize.
When Bob Cornelius went to back-to-school night at his son's school, he learned a lot about his son, Christopher, via a worksheet posted on the wall. "Pizza" was listed as his favorite food, and "soccer" was listed as his favorite sport. But when it came time for Christopher to fill
Grab some Kleenex, because this is going to make you cry. We already know nurses are remarkable human beings, and this group of them only proves our point when they sang "Let It Go" to three-year-old Millie McColl, who was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastom (a nerve cell cancer) this past June.
Garbage men don't have easy jobs. But 34-year-old Delvar Dopson's became sweeter when 3-year-old Brooklyn Andracke waited for his arrival and gave him one of her birthday cupcakes. Her mother, Traci, said her chatty daughter was "instantly speechless" when she finally met Dopson for the first time after waving
We could all use some therapeutic advice now and then, right? We may be depressed or need help with an issue we're struggling with. Maybe we get that advice from family and friends, maybe from a therapist or-in one unique case- maybe from a tween on a subway station. That's
Okay, be prepared to see the cutest thing ever. When you're a little kid, teddy bears are the best, right? Well, this baby thinks so, too, and can't get enough of this gigantic one her grandfather gave her. Grandpa bought her a teddy bear???????????? pic.twitter.com/9PWRMZHV9U - Sabrina (@brina_lioness) September 17,
The smartphone has changed our lives for the better in some ways, but it definitely has its drawbacks, too. Smartphone use could be negatively impacting your sleep, relationships, and productivity. Here, a clinical psychologist weighs in about the many negative impact smartphones have on our lives.
ICYMI, Betty White will turn 96 on January 17th. She never fails to give us #lifegoals. Now, we just heard the most amazing fact about the actress extraordinaire. According to Vulture, Betty White thanks vodka and hot dogs for keeping her young. Yup, she's ~definitely~ our kind of girl!
If you're like us, jeans are one of those clothing items we should wash more, but often don't. But here's how often you should actually wash your jeans, according to Business Insider. But before we get to the news, any guesses? Weekly? Monthly? Whenever you remember to or feel like it?
A lot of us probably remember our final exams from college - all the late nights studying, hoping we'll remember everything we learned for the day of the big test. So. Much. Pressure. Now, imagine that pressure at nine months pregnant. This woman is going viral for finishing her finals while in labor.
Most people have had the pleasure of trying out a Barbie doll cake, either at their own birthday or at a friend's party. But few people have ever had a Ken doll cake... until now. Recently, Sacramento-based Freeport Bakery just made such a cake - and it's was so unique we can't take our eyes off of it.
Big cheers to this app! We just learned that Yelp is supporting the trans community with this important new feature, Brit + Co reported. Yup, a gender-neutral bathroom search. Woot-woot! As you may know, this topic has been in the news ~a lot~ lately.
'Tis the season, and night, to make a sign for the Women's March on Washington on Saturday. After all, there's still time to take a stand for what you believe in and put pen to poster board. There are several women's equality quotes for your Women's
If you're a member of Gen X or Y, chances are you grew up with a Cabbage Patch Kid. Or several. And maybe you're now even buying the dolls for your own kids. But in all that time, have you ever wondered about the story behind the Cabbage Patch Kids?
As we all know, Pumpkin Spice season is in full swing. However, Martha Stewart has a ~strong~ opinion about pumpkin spice. And TBH, it's not what we were expecting. In the fall, we cannot go anywhere without seeing everything from pumpkin spice lattes and donuts to pumpkin spice pretzels and candles.
Not only does Justin Bieber's music capture our hearts, but so do his charitable acts. This weekend, for instance, Justin Bieber made a big donation to Hurricane Harvey relief. Bieber posted about it on Instagram, and said he's doing the Kevin Hart challenge for celebrities to donate to the cause after all the catastrophic flooding.
As you may know, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in Paris, France, since yesterday.
Of course, we not only look at this rock star as the music superstar that she is, but also as a hair and fashion icon. Now, Gwen Stefani rocked slime-inspired hair at the Kids' Choice Awards on March 11th, reported Hollywood Life, and it's surprisingly sophisticated.
It's ~never~ easy when a pet dies. Holly, Queen Elizabeth's 13-year-old corgi, has passed away, reported People , and we're crying for her. Recently, some companies have even acknowledged how difficult it is when a pet passes away and have offered employees paid time off. So, so sweet.
Aww, if you're like many of us, you miss Barack Obama ~so much~. Barack Obama's LinkedIn page says he's still POTUS, reported Mashable, and it's bringing up all sorts of feelings. By seeing his picture and "President of the United States of America" under his name, our hearts just cried.
We're huge fans of Harry Potter and Hamilton, and we love love love that J.K. Rowling and Lin-Manuel Miranda have a big thing in common. A few days ago, Rowling and Miranda shared the sweetest tweets about their favorite (mutual!) moment in Harry Potter, reported Time. So awesome, right?
We not only love Amy Schumer, but also love following her relationship with boyfriend Ben Hanisch. After all, Schumer's not shy about posting photos of their relationship on Instagram, and her latest post is no exception. After all, who has time to take the cellophane off flowers?
As though we needed another reason to love Lady Gaga, we found one. Lady Gaga gave a gift to Victoria's Secret models backstage the other day, each and every one of them, reported Brit + Co. Awwww. This is exactly why we love her.
ICYMI, Star Wars fans are some of the most dedicated - if not the most dedicated - fans around. Now, fans of Star Wars should get ready to LOL at this new comedy, which is being made all about them, reported CinemaBlend. The comedy? A new film, The Line Kings, that'll start shooting in L.A.
Leonardo DiCaprio Brady Ellison won a silver medal for Team USA in archery on August 6. Yep, at first glance, Ellison could be mistaken for none other than Leonardo DiCaprio, and Twitter definitely noticed: The two men do have a few things in common. "I'm excited, I'm happy," Ellison said.
Just when we thought Demi Lovato couldn't top her Grammy Awards performance from last week, she did. Below, here's Demi Lovato doing jiu-jitsu, reported People, because this chick can literally do anything. ICYMI, Lovato's been open about mental illness, as well as about overcoming eating disorders, and she proves again and again that's she's a fighter.
We all know there's a ton of Insta and Snapchat filters out there for people, and cosplay (aka costume play) is ever popular. But now your cat can join in on all the fun, too. After all, why should they be left out? With @ValiantComics and @Cat_Cosplay, cats will take on a whole new persona.
We can all use some light and fluffy news rn, right? This man looks and dresses like his dog, Cosmopolitan.com reported, and he's our new hero. So if you need some cheering up, you ~have to~ take a look. But what, what, whaaaaat?! Why is he twinning with his dog?
Love stories aren't just limited to people-sometimes, they involve a person and a penguin. If you ever doubted that animals form an undeniable bond with humans, this story will make you a believer. Since 2011, a South American Magellanic penguin has swam approximately 5,000 miles a year to see Joao
If you're not familiar with manta rays, they're super cool sea creatures who look like a cross between a shark and an alien. Now, these fisherman caught a manta ray on camera that's huge, reported Mashable. In fact, it's making us wonder if the Loch Ness Monster might be real.
Many of us probably haven't had hamsters since we were kids, but you may soon be inspired to get one. In the stills and video below, YouTube user yutako55 recreated Super Mario Bros.- with a hamster . (Yes, we'll give you a second to let that sink in.)
Some say that dogs are a man's best friend, but when you see the pictures below, you will soon be convinced than dogs are a pig's best friend, too-at least, if you're a pig named Olive (aka Oliveira Buttercup) in Glenorie, Australia.
There's been a video circulating online recently of an Alaskan fisherman feeds a bunch of bald eagles, and it's giving us serious life goals. In case you missed it, Jessie Peck posted the video back in 2013 with the caption "Just another day in Alaska," and it shows the fisherman
Cute cat story, anyone? Get ready for your heart to melt. This cat has a permanent sad face, but his story turned out to be a happy one, according to The Huffington Post. Windover works at an emergency vet clinic in British Columbia and met BenBen when a rescue worker brought him in.
We all know dogs are cuddly, so who wouldn't want to sleep on or next to them? Apparently, cats and kittens agree, as you'll soon see. Get ready for cuteness overload. Who says cats and dogs don't get along? These 22 adorable partnerships definitely prove that theory wrong. 1.