Kim started her travel blog 2 years ago, before she’d stepped foot from her door. “It was around this time that I’d admitted to myself that I wasn’t happy and I didn’t want everything that I had- a good, professional job, a house with a mortgage, two cars, lots of stuff. I’d decided I wanted to shed it all and travel the world and I wanted to pursue my lifelong dream of writing for a living. I started the blog to document the whole process. For 1.5 years I wrote about all of it- selling everything I own, quitting my job, the reactions of my friends and family, saving money. I wanted people to know that the process is scary but the end result is worth it. At the time it was just a hypothesis, but now I know it is true.”
So many of us dream of leaving it all behind, but Kim’s blog outlines her process of actually making it happen. And it’s not just “#&*% it!” and buying an around the world plane ticket (well, for some of you it could be), but a slow, deliberate process.
“Even though I write a travel blog I don’t really think of it as a travel blog. Travel is the lens through which I tell my personal story of leaving behind a life that was unfulfilling to live in a way I’d always dreamed of living: exploring the world and writing for a living.”
Sushi or pork roast? I’m a vegetarian!
Coffee or Red Bull? Coffee
Wine or beer? I love both
Suitcase or backpack? Backpack
Night train or night bus? Train
Sleeping bag or bedding? Sleeping bag
Window or aisle? Window
Diarrhea or constipation? Ha… neither? Diarrhea
Malarone or malaria? Malaria
Hops or grass? Hops
tw: Once you actually quit your job and bought your first plane ticket, what did you feel?
Kim: “Terrified. Up until I actually got on that plane I wondered if I’d made a horrible mistake. But a few hours into my flight to Ecuador I knew I’d made the right decision. I haven’t looked back.”
How long did it take you to ‘save up’ for this event? What are your worries?
“Well, I am traveling with my husband and we saved for about two years plus used the savings we’d already had. We sold everything we owned- literally. I thought I would worry about having no possessions but I don’t worry about it. Actually, I love it. That stuff is just stuff. You think you’ll miss it but you don’t.”
Why travel together?
“Well, we’re married, so it was either travel together or go our separate ways! At the beginning, when I first broached the topic, Brian wasn’t totally sold. But over time the idea grew on him and now that we are traveling he loves it as much as I do. Traveling as a couple is HARD, but we are leaving a lot about each other and having such an amazing experience.”
Why is traveling so important to you and how would you define ‘real travel?’
“Oh God, I don’t know. I hate that whole “real travel” thing. Travel is what you make it. There is no right way and no wrong way. Go out in the world and let it change you- there’s no way it won’t.”
Do you plan to travel indefinitely?
“I don’t know how long we’ll travel. We say we’ll travel until it isn’t fun anymore or until the money runs out. We do both work a bit. I do freelance writing and the blog. Brian works a bit on contract for his old job.”
Which three items do you not leave home without?
“Earplugs, steripen (for sterilizing tap water), jeans!”
What is your favorite place in your home country or city?
“Well, I love Portland, Oregon where we lived eight years before traveling. I also love the National Parks. When we first quit our jobs we spent the summer traveling through the National Parks of the West. Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, Tetons, Yellowstone, Kings Canyon- they were all amazing.”
Do you have favorite travel blogs that you read regularly?
“I read a lot! I love www.hecktictravels.com, www.sarahsomewhere.com, www.furtherbound.com, www.one-giant-step.com… the list goes on.”
Mountains, beach or city? Mountains
Couch-surfing or guesthouse? Never couch-surfed. Hopefully soon.
Cockroaches or rats? Rats
Skiing or surfing? Skiing
Postcard or emails? emails
How do you inform yourself about your next destination, and how do you prepare for the trip?
The best breakfast in the world is… yogurt and granola. Simple.
What is on your bucket list and where you will your next trip take you?
“I don’t have a bucket list but I want to go everywhere! Right now I’m dreaming of Easter Island (Chile) and, longer-term, hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain and the Appalachian Trail in the eastern U.S.”
If you could recommend three places our readers must visit in their lifetimes: