My Amazon Site Paid for My Trip to Washington DC! (And I Met Nomadic Matt)

Last Update: August 07, 2019

Sooo... Did you recognize that guy on my cover pic? Did I catch your attention? 😄

Hey guys,

It's been a while. I must say I suddenly got a lot active in my life (work, family, health/physical activities, social life).

In this post, I want to share how my Amazon niche site paid for my first ever trip to the US!

But let's start from the beginning...

Basically I have a friend living in the states that I haven't seen for 4 years.

She was waiting for me to visit her, but during the whole surgery/post surgery period I obviously couldn't.

Recently, she messaged me again saying that it's about time we meet.

And I thought:

  1. Hmmm, first, I have the money I made from the site to comfortably travel to Washington DC.
  2. Second, she knows my ankle situation and since I still can't walk around the city for too long, we'd just bike around the city.

And it was decided!

I spontaneously booked a ticket for July 19-22.

Guess what happened next?

Another friend of mine who lives in NYC found out I'm in the states and she decided to bus to Washington DC to see me too (and I knew both of these girls would get along just fine).

Unusual turn of events!

I totally felt comfortable with them too, you know, with regards to my ankle.

Aaaaand, I really missed travelling like I used to (as a language student).


I got to meet Nomadic Matt! (Huge travel blogger). More on this later.

Spoiler alert:

It was certainly a great decision and one of the best weekends this year so far!

I'll add some photos here, but you can check out highlighted stories and future posts on my personal Instagram page >>> @zkasotty.

Quick overview of what went down in DC.

Day 1

Just catching up and having a dinner together at my friend's place.

Lots of catching up and lots of laughter!

And appaently their dog loved me :D

Day 2

Surprisingly, I could easily bike around the city. 10+ miles in 3 hours!

(Walking is hard, biking is not. Even dancing is easier than walking).

Following this experience...

I decided that from now on, I'll try to travel and it'll be more like "velotravel" haha. I don't want to let my current circumstances affect my life in a negative way!

And guess what?

That friend of mine is coming to Ottawa in August and we'll explore the city by bikes together.

(I'm from Toronto, so for me it's just 5-hour drive there).

Day 3

Just spent a rather quiet day with the girls and then we walked my NYC friend to the bus station.

Then my Washington DC friend decided to surprise me.

She knows I love poker so that night we decided to hit MGM casino haha.

She showed me roulette LOL 👇


We lost $60 and I told her to lead me to the area where I AM good at... the poker tables LOL.


Bought in with $200 ($100 x 2), left with about $450.

My friend was actually there to capture my biggest win of the night, the "double up", lol.


I made my money back that we lost on roulette and I used the profit to treat my friend and her boyfriend with sushi the next day, before my flight.

Day 4

Day 4 was rather unexpected, spontaneous (well pretty much the entire trip was spontaneous).

The thing is that I gave my friend Nomadic Matt's book as a present, knowing how much of a travel lover she is.

Note: Matt Kepnes aka Nomadic Matt is a huuuuge travel blogger.

She did not know who he is and when she started reading his book and site, she fell in love with his content.

So on Day 4, I was in a bookstore near my friend's work with her laptop, while she was working and suddenly I get a text from her 'yelling' in excitement:

  • "Zarinaaaaa, Matt is here in Washington DC and TONIGHT at 7pm he's hosting a book tour!!!"

I mean...

What are the chances I'd be there the SAME weekend nomadic matt was?

And because my friend's boyfriend works in the airport I was supposed to fly off, he said that it's ok to come there 2 hours before the departure, instead of 3.

My flight is at 10pm.

Nomadic matt is at 7pm.

We decided to go for it, see him, say hi, get autographs, listen for about 20 mins... And that's exactly what we did!

A quick shot with Matt presenting:

And then 20 mins later we had to leave for airport.

I must say...

It was a BLAST!!!

It was the first "travel" I did in the last 2-3 years, surgery and the inability to walk back then really put my life on hold.

And now I feel like I'm ready to explore. Again.

I already booked a trip to Ottawa with the same friend, her boyfriend and my sister end of August-beginning of September.

I'm considering Montreal since it's close to me too. (And I know they have tons of city bikes there).

Aaaand I'm about to book a trip to Brazil (probably Rio de Janeiro) next spring, for 2 months, while learning Portuguese in a private school.


I'm so thankful to my friend for getting me out of Canada and reminding me just how much I love travel.

Which was pretty much the reason why I started considering online opportunities and how I came across it back in 2015.

Now that I left my comfort zone and now I'm trying to push more.

And I'm happy I have a website that helps me cover my travel-related expences.

This truly is the beauty of living a laptop lifestyle!!!

Thank you WEALTHY AFFILIATE!! Kyle, Carson, Jay and fellow WA'ers who helped me on my journey.

You guys are awesome.

For more pics and stories, check out highlighted stories and posts on my personal Instagram page >>> @zkasotty.

And as always, I'll leave you with this image and word of advice...

  • Follow the training.
  • Connect with people, ask questions.
  • Do the work and be PATIENT. It's a business and it takes some time to take off.

Dig your way to success!

Join the Discussion
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Recent messages
tommo1968 Premium
Great post Zarina, I follow you on Instagram so was aware of the trip but great to hear about it none the less.

Seeing a city by bike is my favorite way to do it. I have traveled all over Europe and spent many an hour on a bike exploring. One of my favs was Barcelona.

Not only do you get around faster and further but the sights, sounds and smells are in your face as you go.

You can't get that from a car or bus and walking is just too slow or in your case too painful.
Zarina Premium
I know, right!? I mean I always loved biking but I never realized I could explore the cities this way. And it's a great exercise as well, so guess my ankle situation will force me to stay healthy/healthier 😄

There's so much more to say, this was like a quick overview of how it went down. But yeah, amazing trip indeed. I mean I was in a constant state of happiness 😍

Thanks for stopping by, Mark!
RobbieS2 Premium
So cool Zarina! I know you love traveling so that must've been amazing to get back into it! What an adventurous little vaca :) and now more to come :) I have still yet to go to Ottawa lol, a little ironic since it's the Country's capital haha.

But seriously, that is awesome how your internet marketing biz can pay for your excursions!! Keep up the great work!
Zarina Premium
Oh yeaaaah! So happy to be back into it, for sure.

And yeah, it was the best 4 days of this year LOL. Like perfect. (Except the 2-hour delays there and back but it didn't spoil my mood haha)

Honestly, knowing that I can take a week off and enjoy my trip or something, or babysitting my nephews without having have to worry about my site, is amazing. I'm so glad I listened to my heart and decided to follow this path.
Jessibelle72 Premium
Wow! You are on fire, girl! That joy, happiness, and excitement are just oozing from your wonderful post. I am so happy for you, that you got to discover all the fun with traveling again! You are setting new goals and you will reach them, for sure. Thanks for generously sharing your experiences!
Zarina Premium
Honestly, I was and actually still am in a constant state of happiness, especially after that trip!! It's amazing.

I am so thankful I finally got to get out and try travelling "on the bike". I feel more confident in my ability to travel if I were to, and I'm certainly gonna use this chance!

When I went through the post-op ordeal, I realize just how short life is and I made myself a promise that as soon as I start walking again and get better overall, I'll try to seize the moment. Enjoy life as much as I can.

So far I'm doing a good job 😄 Trips, bachata social nights (I love dancing and I missed it), seeing friends and spending time with fam in general. Even the ability to play poker if I feel like it. Meanwhile my website working for me.

Ah, the beauty of living a laptop lifestyle!
EdwinBernard Premium

You blew me away with how much activity you packed into just 4 days! They were amazing experiences so thanks for sharing them with us.

The excitement in your writing was contagious. I can only imagine how good your blogs must be.

Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, are cities familiar to me. I used to live in Canada many moons ago.

I wish you continued success in your business, education and travel pursuits.


Zarina Premium
Hi Edwin,

I'm certainly a better writer than I am a talker! My blogs aren't on travel though, but maybe I should consider this, reading comments from fellow WA'ers here haha.

Appreciate the support!!
Debs66 Premium
Wow what an awesome time you have had Zarina. I don't know of the travel blogger you talk about.

However, I have just looked at your Instagram photos. They are lovely and I gave you a follow also.

Not being able to walk with your ankle must have been so hard for you especially being so young.

Zarina you are amazing and yes go on the girl winning at Poker woohoo. I hope you all enjoyed your sushi. :)

This post is amazing. I am so happy for you that you had a blast with your friends. Many more travels ahead for you girly.

Way to go. Please give me some tips on Poker lol :)
Zarina Premium
Nomadic Matt is huge in the travel blogosphere/circles. He has like a 10-year old site that has millions of visitors if I'm not mistaken.

Yeah, it was a messed up situation but like I mentioned to Garen below it was a blessing in disguise! And it was also the reason why I'm trying to catch emotions and more moments now, despite that I'm not fully recovered. (It was a bad one)

Thank you very much for your support, Debs!

P.S. Poker requires lots of losing money when starting out. Really takes a lot of experience and patience to get better and start to win on a regular basis. 🙈
GarenArnold Premium
Hey Zarina,

I couldn’t imagine not being able to walk for extended amount of time. But the important thing is you learned a valuable skill. For instance, you learned that affiliate marketing can be probable. But it does take a lot of persistence and motivation. There is a learning curve but you’ve already went through it.

Now you can just rinse and repeat. Expand, Explore different niches, and outsource what you don’t want to do.

You never know you could end up being the person that travels, writes books, and gives speeches.

What are your goals now for the next 3 months, 6 months, and a year?
Zarina Premium
Hey Garen,

Yeah, this is the situation where I can surely say "it was a blessing in disguise". I was forced to take action, to use my brain so I don't go crazy in 4 walls from physical pain I endured for months.

I certainly feel experienced in terms of SEO and affiliate marketing, and that's an extremely valuable skill indeed.

Goals travel-wise:

- Ottawa end of August, beginning of September
- Perhaps Montreal this year as well
- Washington DC again, autumn
- Rio de Janeiro next spring

In general:

- Get my foot better, improve walking etc
- Grow my business to 5 figures a month
- Learn investing now that I have a site that brings recurring income
- Still thinking whether I'll need a condo in downtown Toronto if I plan to try to travel more, but it's one of the things I'd like to achieve

These are just right off the top of my head.

Thanks for your constant support, man!
Swangirl Premium
Congratulations Zarina! What a success all the way around! You got to pay for your trip with your online profits, go somewhere finally (I have been stuck for years too do to health issues) and have a great trip! I am so glad things are working out for you. Your upcoming trips sound great!!

I have heard of Matt. That is pretty awesome!

Zarina Premium
It is an awesome feeling, indeed, Jessica! And can't wait for you to use your profits to do the things you enjoy doing! Thanks so much for your support :D
littlemama Premium
Wow!!!!! What a trip you had indeed! That's so cool Zarina and I know when you get back to working even more, you're going to be able to travel so much more.

This stuff works and many have proven this! I'm so happy for you Zarina!

To much more $$$!
Zarina Premium
Yeah, Grace!!! I love seeing results and it excites me to think what opportunities the future holds for me and my site(s)! Soon I'll be ready to hire a full-time write, guess I should go through Jerry's training again! :D

Thanks so much for your constant support, Grace!!! 😁😘
littlemama Premium
Yes use his training Zarina, I did and have writers from there. That place is good, but you do have to swift through them and his tactics on hiring is spot on.
Zarina Premium
Apparently the comment didn't go through here too! Must be some WA glitch 🤷‍♀️ Yeah, I'll certainly follow Jerry's recommendation and will prepare to train my future writers!
littlemama Premium
hhhmm, that's really annoying then. Mention it to Kyle or Carson.
SondraM Premium

I am glad that you had such an awesome trip with your friends.

That is cool that you were able to meet Mat at the very end. He is an awesome blogger with great ethics! For example, he does not do any sponsored posts on his travel website. He wants to travel like his target audience travels.
Zarina Premium
Yeah, and he's sooo funny too! I got to listen only for about 15-20 mins and his sense of humour really showed. Humble too.

Thanks for your support, Sondra!
SondraM Premium
Maybe some day I can meet him also.
kurian73 Premium
It was really nice to read your little getaway, it truly serves as an inspiration to us all, hard work and dedication did pay off.
Zarina Premium
That's true! Follow Wealthy Affiliate training, take action, give it some time and eventually you'll be able to pay for your getaways too 😁💯
FKelso Premium
Sure glad you had such a good time. Friends and fun is an excellent combination.
Zarina Premium
Definitely, Fran! Especially if it's close friends I am completely comfortable around!
Palatia Premium
That is so awesome. I really enjoyed your pictures. :) Great camera or cell phone (guessing a camera). lol. Congratulations on your success! Paula
Zarina Premium
Actually, I left my DSLR at home, so my friend and I just used smartphones :)

I regretted not having an action camera though, to attach to the bike, because Washington DC is sooo beautiful!
jetrbby80316 Premium
Wow, this is a complete Travelogue! Congrats on your Success Zarina, its great this all came from Amazon commissions!
Zarina Premium
Haha yeah. Though more shared on my Instagram stories (haven't posted any pics yet, just stories). There's a lot more "travelogue" haha
jetrbby80316 Premium
DarrenNicola Premium
Congrats on your success.
Darren :0
Zarina Premium
Thank you, Darren! All thanks to Wealthy Affiliate foundation :)
JKulk1 Premium
Sounds like you had a ball. Well done. Jim
Zarina Premium
Thanks, Jim!
elores Premium
WOW! It seems like you had a great time. It's good to meet up with friends and family. There's something about it that I cannot explain. Thanks for sharing.
Zarina Premium
Yeah, certainly!! Especially when you don't see them for FOUR years! It was amazing indeed.
Mick18 Premium
Looks like such a fun trip. I've enjoyed reading your post and looking at your pictures. That's wonderful that your site is providing that you can live your life style.
Zarina Premium
Thank you, Mickey! And yes, it's amazing to have a money-making site and not have to worry about work for time I was away.
KenShaddock Premium
Thanks for sharing Zarina. Wonderful adventure. Love the energy.
That’s how life should be, eh.
Zarina Premium
Exactly, I'm striving to create a life where every day is a "holiday" 😄 Thanks, Ken!
Samueel Premium
Congratulation this is a great news and very inspiring
Zarina Premium
Thank you, glad you enjoyed the read!