It’s been a dream of mine to not just travel the world, but, to live around the world experiencing culture the way a local does. Not one to just talk the talk, last year I left my budding PR career in Manhattan when I was presented an opportunity to turn this dream into a reality — teaching English! I thought I would be away for four months and I ended up staying the full year. Spending 2012 in Thailand was incredible and now I WANT MORE!

Next stop… Australia! And this time I won’t be teaching. To be honest, I don’t know what work I’ll find or where I’ll be living. A little crazy? I guess so. But to not follow your dream would be crazier.

For those of you who want to know if I’m scared. YES! I’m terrified. but, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”

I’m taking a chance on the world down under and I invite you to travel with me :)Ha Long Bay


57 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks Kate!!! I haven’t had internet in awhile so this is such a nice surprise to come back to! I’ll be checking out your blog for sure!

  2. I admire your boldness in not only to travel the world but to also live around the world. That is indeed, the best way to experience culture! Traveling around the world has always been a dream of mine but it’s complicated. Thanks to you and many travelers out there, I’ll be able to get a glimpse of the world.

  3. Hey…my names Hana and Im from LI too and have lived abroad and worked abroad the last two years as well as traveled to other places. This might seem weird but you honestly sound like my twin with all your tips and experiences! I write too about my travels and I love meeting others who do too. I would love to get in touch with you to talk about our travels! Hope to hear from you :)

  4. Hello there!

    I stumbled on your blog today and I just wanted to tell you how scary similar you are to myself. I graduated from ball state university in indiana with a degree in public relations last May. I went to teach English for a month in thailand and now I am currently living in Bondi Beach, Sydney.

    I completely agree with what you said about teaching in Thailand. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I’m so happy to hear about your travels and see that someone has the same mentality I do. If you’d ever like to get a cup of coffee and chat, don’t hesitate to contact me. My email is ljhayden22@gmail.com or my Aussie number is 0401169203.

  5. Hi Kate!
    I am wondering if there is a certain time of year that you need to be in Thailand to begin teaching? I have lived in the USVI for two years and will be working seasonally this summer in Alaska. Tossing around some ideas of where to go next, but it would be in October some time. Thanks :)

  6. I know exactly how you feel. In the past year, I took off and worked on a cruiseship in Australia and then au paired in the Czech Republic and backpacked Europe before coming back to the States and deciding I wanted to go back to Australia for a year. Feel free to check out my blog toddsmidt.wordpress.com

  7. Dear Kate.

    As a student who is about to graduate from college with the same mindset as you, let me tell you what an inspiration you are! I came across your story on Facebook. Recently getting back from a little traveling myself, I have this whole new outlook on life and this itch to travel after graduation and be able to experience different cultures because there is SO much to learn. I had an incredible time where I was and the locals there gave me such a different perspective on life, especially with how passionate and happy they are when they have little to nothing. Truly admiring stuff. Just wanted to tell you to keep on doing what you’re doing, there’s so much more to life than the “American Dream.”

    The broke, but ambitious, college student you’ve inspired

  8. You’re so beautiful and amazing. Thank you for sharing your spirit journey with us. I would like to know what you were up to these days and perhaps have a correspondence. I am almost 33 and have tramped about living more traveling all over the world for a very long time. I have traveled some outside of the country but some health issues got in the way and now that I am better, I’m trying to figure out what I want. It’s funny because I recently moved to NYC from Cakifornia. Would

  9. You’re so beautiful and amazing. Thank you for sharing your spirit journey with us. I would like to know what you were up to these days and perhaps have a correspondence. I am almost 33 and have tramped about living more traveling all over the world for a very long time. I have traveled some outside of the country but some health issues got in the way and now that I am better, I’m trying to figure out what I want. It’s funny because I recently moved to NYC from California. Would love to hear from you. ❤️

  10. This is insane!

    I wish I could do this. My dream is to also travel and work around the world! Good luck with your travels. ✈️😃

  11. I read your article, and then went to sleep adding the words *kate from states on my never ending, but more often never starting to-do list.

    This was a week ago. And like most of my earnest inclinations, it fell victim to the daily insecurities that accompany the rising sun.

    Today, I sat down to finally tell you all the ideas I resonate with, notate the struggles I’ve had with our society’s acceptance of mediocrity, and both applaud and encourage you. (Though you may be self assured in your aspirations, I wasn’t, and sometimes, am still not.)

    I’ll spare you the longer letter, which would have ended with a cheesy line about grabbing a drink if we ever crossed paths, and chalk it up to the moral of the story.

    Good for fucking you!

  12. Like anyone else with half a brain, I love everything that I’ve read hear :-)

    I also discovered that credit cards could be exploited… To date I have paid for tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise/services/etc. with plastic but paid $0 in interest, and instead redeemed thousands in rewards/intro offers. I believe I have only paid one annual fee even though I have opened and closed a few dozen accounts… but it was worth it! Two round-trip business-class flights from Detroit to Puerto Rico for spring break last year, plus 5 nights in a hotel! Actually, all of that came from 3 different cards/intro offers, and we had to switch hotels after 3 nights. The hotels were less than 2 blocks apart :-)

    I am extremely intrigued by your ingenuity and resourcefulness, and I’m wondering if I could buy you a drink sometime. Even if I might have to fly halfway around the world to do so. I’m completely serious! Even though I do not have even a fraction of the funds to accomplish that by traditional means, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Ok, I’m preaching to the choir, haha.

    I truly hope that by some stroke of luck you read this, and are somehow able to get in touch with me. Regardless, I wish upon you all of the happiness that you can dream of, and then some. And safe travels!!


  13. would like to read a post on the bad stuff you’ve experienced while travelling. the challenges, loneliness, tactics to handle the lows, etc. would be interesting.

  14. Hey Kate!

    Come to Romania. I’m pretty sure you’ll understand why if you just google it.

    See you around!

  15. Hi Kate,

    Stumbling across your blog was exactly what I needed this morning.

    My name is Emily and I’m from Winnipeg, Canada. It’s a city of 700,000 that feels like a small town. It’s a beautiful place (when it’s not -50C), and the people here are incredible—but they never dream of leaving. Not for the longterm anyway.

    Just yesterday, I was telling a co-worker that I feel as though my whole world and everyone I love is contained within the perimeter of this city. He asked me then, why would I ever want to leave.

    “That’s exactly why I have to.”

    His stare was blank. Winnipeggers, eh?

    I’ll graduate in June and all I want to do is leave. Like you, my dreams aren’t so tangible. When people ask what my post-graduation plans are I say, “I want to go everywhere, see everything, and if I can use a bit of what I spent five years studying in school, I’m happy.” (My degree is in Communications, a major in PR, so your story really resonates with my own).

    Thes post-grad pipe dreams aren’t coming completely out of nowhere. When I was 19, I went with a fews friends on a working holiday visa in Ireland. It was incredible, and the whole experience really opened my eyes to the concept of living abroad.

    Like you, I want to experience the culture. I want to see a country from the eyes of a local.

    So after my long-winded spiel, I do have a few practical questions for you if you have a chance a answer.

    On obtaining a visa, did you go through a third-party agency (for Ireland we went through SWAP, not sure if you have that in the States)?

    On jobs and finding work abroad, is finding work in communications/PR a priority or possibility for you? Reading a bit, I see you’ve taught English in Thailand, but for your next and future visas do you hope to find work in (forgive the term) ‘your field’? (I love what I’ve learned in school, and I’m one hell of a waitress/barista, but I’m just wondering if you’ve found that career-related work abroad is a possibility).

    And lastly—I swear, sorry this is so long-winded—what do you tell your friends and family back home? And side question, if you have any words of wisdom on the ‘Sorry Mom, finding-a-husband-and-having-babies-aren’t-quite-on-the-near-future-to-list” conversation, I’d love your advice!

    Wishing you all the best in your travels and life abroad,


  16. You’re basically doing exactly what I did ten years ago. I taught in Bangkok for 2 1/2 years. I was backpacking through Southeast Asia and never went home. :)

  17. Hey – First off, you are awesome :) SOOO this is so long and I really appreciate you writing it so I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Visa – You can apply online for the Australian visa. The Thai visa, I got at the Thai embassy in NYC. Jobs abroad…. I show up and see what they need that I have experience in. And I do that. I don’t limit myself. And I also don’t stick my noise up to any job either. I’ll do anything (almost) But it’s not a career venture for me right now. Although I wouldn’t turn down an opportunity in PR, I’m also not looking for one. When I’m ready to settle down, I’ll get back to it….

    As FOR BABIES LOL>>… I tell my mom that being a mother is not as important to me as being an awesome mother. When I have kids I want to tell them to follow their dreams. And I want them to believe me when I say that that because I followed mine.

    I hope this helped! Best of luck to you too :)

  18. Hey Kate,
    I’ve taught English in Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now Taiwan. Taiwan’s quality of life is by far the best. I live 50 feet from the beach and only work on weekends. I get full health care from the government. Taiwan is super modern and the people are some of the most loving and trusting people almost to a fault. Your next stop should really be Taiwan at the very least to just explore if not to work.

  19. Hi Kate,

    Today i read your blog post about how you started your journey and i must say i found it at the right time. I am presently chasing a huge dream of mine within the music industry and have made the decision to move to London in the summer to build momentum with my band(its been going very well so far). But i feared i wouldn’t have enough money or that work would get in the way, you know the usual big move fears when money is needed, but upon reading your post i felt a weight lift off me, i must say i lost my way and confidence recently, but now i am quite confident in the task at hand again. So thank you very much. If you ever hear of the band Spooky Wagons apart from now of, you’ll know we did okay ;)

    I wish you the best in everything you do.

    Nathan Fitzpatrick

  20. Hi Kate–

    I was wondering if there was any way that I could get in contact with you. I am going to be graduating college this coming May and what you are doing is my dream. I was wondering if I could contact you for some tips and advice on how to move out of America while being successful.

  21. Hi Kate!

    Very impressive blog and it is so cool that you have don e all the travels you are describing.

    I can relate to travel and not having money. This is just write at the moment so i some of the spelling might be wrong, added to the fact that im Ecuadorian and English is not my first language.

    Im the second of 3 children in a middle class family of the interior of the coast of Ecuador. Started working for the first time putting stickers on the bananas at the banana farm my dad was working at the time i was 12 years old (my dad was managing the place, so i “worked” but i was not really working all the hours as my dad was the boss and sometimes i will run to the house, in front of the packing area, to go play Super Nintendo, yes im that old… 34, and prepare some ham and cheese toasts and a banana smoothie.)
    I have never been good at school so after failing high school twice I finally finished at age 20. Then i dedicated 3 and a half long years of my life to learn english. First in a Mormon Church, where there were free lessons, and then completing all levels in an Institute in Guayaquil the big city I moved to get to do all this possible.
    Then i got a work translating for Mission Trips coming from the US and since then i got contact with tourism. I was doing that for almost 4 years, brushing up my english skills and getting to know more people.

    I started traveling when i was 26. that was my first trip to Brasil, going to a week conference and then coming back to Ecuador by land via buses. i worked translating for like a year and a half to get to do that trip. Spent all my 1500 dollars that i saved in all that time and ended up not having enough money to go to Machu Pichu, which my sister kindly provided via Western Union and i think i still havent paid back to her…. sometimes she makes sure i remember that.

    That was a 2 and a half weeks trip spending all my savings and the next time i travel was 2008 to Colombia for also 2 weeks visiting Popayan, a friend in Cali, and Bogota.

    All this times i wanted to travel more and stay longer in the countries and everytime i had the chance to go and see something new around the country i will do it.

    2009 i found myself having a long distance relationship and having a chance to save enough money to go visit my girlfriend in Vienna to spend 3 months with her and see how things were gonna work for us. Not having a credit card to buy a plane ticket… She ended up doing that for me so i can give her that money on my arrival. 2009 I was working for an organization from the states leading tours around Ecuador, talked to my boss about this trip and ask him for a loan to pay for this plane ticket that could have been paid easily with the work of the following year, 2 weeks before going i learnt my boss was not gonna do that loan and i ended up going to Austria without all the money, finally having problems with my girlfriend from all the time i didnt get the money (1 and a half months) and after 3 months of my visit ending up finishing that relationship.

    my second chance came when after trying to start my own hostel in Banos Ecuador and being asked for the owner of the building to paid double of the rent i was paying for the place, i decided to screw it all and go for a loan with the goverment to get a course to increase my knowledge of German Language. I didnt want to have the same problems i had before with any other girl so I decided i will do this on my own. My plan first was to loan 4000 to go on a school of the German Government and spend there four months. After finding out that all the documents i needed to do that will take me at least 3 months to get together i decided to go through a private school (EF) who will give all this documents in 1 week! So i ended up being granted a 14000 student loan by the government of Ecuador to get a better level of German. School itself ended up being 8000 with accommodation with a family and breakfast and dinners included, and 4 hours of classes from Monday to Friday for about 4 hours per day.I had to pay Lunches, excursions, daily transportation, some money of my moms surgery for cataracts, some trips around Germany and Amsterdam, so no money left when i was back. I came back did my last year of the guiding tours and ended up with no plans and grabbing my backpack to go to Peru for 6 months with 200 dollars in my pockets.

    That was the time i have worked the most in my life! First month i was really sick and spend all my saving in medicine, to at the end being recommend by a naturalist doctor from Australia to just have hot water with a lime squeezed every morning, which solved the problem. i was volunteering in a hostel for free accommodation and breakfast in Cusco, Peru and first i had a work guiding walking tours in the city but after i left that job, didnt have a valid tourist license for Peru, and went to work at a restaurant/bar. I was working 6 hours in the hostel 5 days a week and 9 hours at the restaurant/bar. Ended up learning how to bartend, I dont drink since 2001 so that was very ironic to do, meeting lots of people, partying lots, and sleeping 4 hours a day for a long period of time…… and it was the best time of my life!!!!! i got to save enough money to go back to Ecuador and then stop in a couple of places in Peru: Arequipa for a rafting trip, Huacachina for a sand dunes trip on buggies and sandboarding, and Lima for hanging out with people i met on my time in Cusco.

    And my last trip was this year spending one month traveling Europe visiting Holland for a week in Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Nijmegen, Germany traveling through Dusseldorf/Bremen/Hamburg/Berlin/Dresden, and spending three nights in Dornbirn, Austria visiting friends.

    At the moment i have no savings but i have a good work i can do and a very nice group of friends i can rely here in the country and anytime i feel like talking to them. And im already planning my next trip for April and i wanna go to Europe again and Kenya!!!! I have no idea if im gonna be able to put that together but you know what…. I never thought about doing that trip to Brasil on the first time!!!! and i might not have any savings, that will sound not very attractive for a 34 year old especially when talking to girls i would love to have a long term relationship with, But i will do it again with no regrets!!!

    Its inspiring to get to read you got the guts to take that step and do things without believing they are not gonna work just because in the paper it seems it is not going to. It inspires me to keep looking that dream of getting to see more places and now life is getting different things like my own business and some other challenges but i am for sure getting into traveling and learning more about places at anytime.

    Good luck for everything in your travels, you are truly blessed by being american and not to deal with the visa requirements i have to go to go to some places….

    Take advantage of that as much as you can!!!

    and sorry for the long post… I just felt like writing this

  22. I ran across one of your posts on facebook. not sure on who’s page. but either way I love your blog. Enjoy the travels =)

  23. I really admire what you’re doing. I’m also jealous you had a budding PR career in Manhattan, and love the layout of your blog. Enjoy your adventures. I look forward to your next post!

  24. hey kate, it’s nice that you are getting people to think of options other than the daily grind of alarm clocks, commutes, mortgages, and credit cards. my adventure took me to spain, where i started teaching kitesurfing and living in an apartment about 2 minutes from the beach. it was pretty sweet and i’m looking forward to my next experience!

  25. Wow Kate did I need to read your story today
    I live in Perth Western Australia and have a career in tourism, absolutely love my job and I was made redundant on Tuesday
    Now with the world at my feet and having been unemployed for the first time since I was 14 your story is just the kick in the pants I needed to see that Dreaming is real and there’s no reason to hold back

    So thank you, more than you can know


  26. Hey Kate, excellent blog!

    I’m going to Thailand in a few months myself, do you have a quick list of the places I should go? How was the ‘local talent’ if you don’t mind me prying (and if you get what I mean)? :D

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