What was your favorite travel experience? My best friend and I were 22 for our first plane ride. To make it worthwhile, we flew down to South America for one month. We flew from Minneapolis, to Atlanta, to Lima, and at dawn on the second day, we were crossing over the Andes Mountains to land in Cusco, Peru. I’ve been hooked on travel ever since!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received as a traveler? Just be yourself.
How do you stay fabulous while you travel?I feel it is very important to maintain proper sleeping habits, even when you think you’re too excited to do it.
What’s your greatest extravagance when traveling?I have a guilty habit of buying souvenirs for my family and friends. I think they are often appreciated, but I can go overboard.
On what items do you prefer to save money rather than spend money when traveling? I like to save money on the mode of transportation. If I can save a few bucks on an inconvenient flight, or better yet, take a 3rd class night train, I’m in! I do it as much for the novelty as for the money saving benefits.
What’s your most important travel item? A camera is essential. Even if it’s cheap.
What characteristics do you dislike about yourself when you travel? I wish I were better at showing my genuine gratitude without any feelings of guilt or inadequacy for the gestures that people make along the way.
What characteristics do you dislike about others when you travel? I enjoy it when people are willing to communicate with strangers even if they are shy, but I don’t enjoy it when my attempts to communicate are not reciprocated. I consider myself a shy person, but basic social skills are a valuable, learnable trait.
What do you most value in a travel buddy? I like a travel buddy who is willing to try something out of their comfort zone while traveling and who is also social and physically active.
What do you absolutely have to know before you go? Considering that I like to travel abroad, it is important for me to know about any laws or policies that are different from those that I’m used to – and very often take for granted to be the same.
What travel experiences are still on your bucket list? I want to visit the cloud forests in South America, travel around Scandinavia, and spend a few weeks in the Mohave desert in the wintertime.
How do you plan for travel, especially paying for it? I prefer to spend several weeks in one place so that I can get a feel for the life and culture. Either I will save up my money for a long period of time and then go, or whenever possible, I try to build work into my travel.
KATIE HAS BEEN WORKING IN AN INTENSIVE ENGLISH PROGRAM IN MINNESOTA SINCE 2010, WHERE SHE TEACHES ESL COURSES, DESIGNS CURRICULUM, AND IS IN CHARGE OF PROFICIENCY TEST WRITING AND PROCTORING. SHE ALSO ORGANIZES AND LEADS CULTURAL FIELD TRIPS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS. DURING THE 2013-2014 ACADEMIC YEAR, SHE WAS AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOW IN MINSK, BELARUS, CONDUCTING TEACHER TRAINING, ENGLISH LESSONS AND CULTURAL WORKSHOPS IN THE CAPITAL AND AROUND THE COUNTRY. WHILE THERE, SHE ALSO TOOK EVERY AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITY TO TRAVEL TO CULTURAL HUBS IN BELARUS AND EASTERN EUROPE IN GENERAL, INTERACTING WITH ENGLISH TEACHERS AND STUDENTS FROM VARIOUS SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZATIONS.