Our latest interview is with Kate from adventurouskate.com, and this American girls’ story can really inspire those who are sitting at home dreaming of worldwide adventures.
Tell us about yourself and your story.
I am an American girl in her mid-twenties who decided to trade her nice but boring professional life in Boston for an adventurous life of long-term travel. I just finished six months of backpacking through Southeast Asia and had the time of my life!
I’m currently working to become a location independent digital nomad, turning my part-time online work into a full-time income that allows me to travel indefinitely. In the meantime, I plan to continue having as many adventures as possible!
Traveling has always been a major part of my life, and I had been saving for a round the world trip to take place “someday.” But in January 2010, I was hit with four blows in a row – I lost my job, I lost a lucrative freelance job, my relationship ended, and a major election did not turn out in my favor.
Having those four things happen in a row was the kick in the pants I had needed for so long – it was time to leave Boston and go after my dreams. Shortly after, I bought a ticket to Bangkok.
What has been your favourite travelling destination?
Far too many to list! For now, I’ll say that I have a special place in my heart for cities like Paris, Buenos Aires, Budapest and Saigon, for islands like Koh Lanta, Koh Chang and Capri, and for countries like Italy, France, Thailand and Cambodia.
What has been your scariest moment while traveling?
I was on a cruise that shipwrecked off the coast of Komodo Island in Indonesia. Everyone survived without serious injury, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been – but it was still the most frightening experience of my life.What’s the strangest situation you have found yourself in?
Dancing at La Bomba de Tiempo in Buenos Aires. I thought it would be a run-of-the-mill percussion show – instead, drums were pounding in a stadium-like room, everyone was screaming and drenched in sweat, and we flung ourselves around nonsensically, jumping on each other as beer poured all over the place.
It was pandemonium. Pandemonium that I highly recommend if you’re in Buenos Aires on a Monday night.
If you could go back in time to before you left home, what would you tell yourself?
“Kate, when the ship goes down, take your damn passport! Yeah, they’ll recover it, but seriously! What the hell were you thinking?!”
What do you miss most when you are away from home?
If I had to pick one item, I would say cheese. While this is no problem whatsoever in Europe, where I stuff my face with cheese more or less nonstop (it’s not pretty), let’s just say that I had issues in Southeast Asia. I will never forget the lovely Lao lady who saw me salivating at a block of cheddar and cut me off a few chunks.
What do you miss the least?
I don’t miss driving! It seems like every other country in the world has a better public transit system than the US! I love driving motorbikes, but I’ve always been ambivalent about driving cars – I’m happy to ride shotgun. Especially if I can pick the music.
Do you plan to stop?
Never. My travel style may change, but I’m a traveler for life.
What’s in your backpack? Which item could you not live without?
I highly recommend taking a drybag. I use it to swim with my valuables when I go to a beach alone, it kept my iPhone dry during the shipwreck, and it was a must while tubing in Vang Vieng and celebrating Songkran in Bangkok! Also, sexy undies. Your underwear will likely be hanging out to dry in public – at least make sure it looks good!
Who inspires you? What other travelers do you look up to?
It’s strange, but I actually consider actress Tilda Swinton my role model – because I admire her incredible individuality. Tilda will show up on a red carpet dressed like an alien, wearing no makeup, perhaps with her much-older husband, perhaps with her much-younger lover.
Tilda doesn’t apologize for who she is – instead, she’s witty, funny, and a class act. I try to apply her individualistic spirit to all aspects of my life, including travel.
In mid-May, I return to Boston. I will be spending the summer with my family, hopefully taking a few adventurous trips in between, and I hope to move on to my next international home by late fall.
I currently have images of Colombia and New Zealand dancing through my head, but we’ll see what happens! I have absolutely no idea what the future holds, and that thrills me.
What advice would you give newbie travelers?
Stop worrying about what you’re “supposed” to be doing in a given destination. If you’re sick of museums after a week in Italy and have the urge to draw a moustache on the statue of David, take a break and spend the afternoon drinking red wine in a café.
That’s still culture, and that’s still Italy. Do what makes you happy.