Welcome! My name is Kelsey and this is my blog about traveling (and anything else I feel like writing about)! Currently, I’ve been to 37 countries (most recently to Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro), 5 continents as well as 24 states and I hope to bring you along with me on my latest adventures while also entertaining you with stories from my past travels.
Now a bit more about me…
I was born and raised in the small, coastal Pacific Northwest town of Mukilteo (tribal for ‘good camping ground’), but now live in the “big” city of Seattle. I had a very normal childhood, traveling around Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and occasionally further out to California, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming on family vacations. But I always longed to see more of the world. In elementary school I did a report on the country of Hungary, little knowing that it would be the first non-English speaking country I would one day travel to.
In high school, I was involved in many extra-curricular activities including softball, swimming, skiing and marching band. It was the latter (and orchestra, by extension) that really allowed me to begin my life of travel. In 1999, the Kamiak High School Orchestra went to Boston and New York City. It was the first time I went anywhere without my parents, and my first time on the east coast. I loved it! The next year, our marching band flew to London, and a few days later Dublin, to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Talk about a bucket list experience!
By my junior year in college, I had done a few more trips around the US, but hadn’t been out of the country since England and Ireland. That summer, my program offered the option to study International Business and Hungarian at the University of Pecs, Hungary. I jumped at the chance! And since I was already going to be there, why not add on another month of backpacking and see more of Europe? So I made arrangements to travel to Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. I spent most of the time on my own, but I was fortunate enough to be hosted by some friends of my aunt and uncle from their time living in Switzerland. My mom also joined me for my final week of travels. It was an amazing and life changing experience.
After coming home from Europe, I graduated from Central Washington University in 2005 with a BS in Business with an emphasis in Finance and a minor in Economics. Yeah, I’m bored just writing that. But I have to pay the travel bills some how. I spent the next few years traveling around the US – Memphis and Nashville, a return trip to the east coast, and Hawaii and Florida for the second time each.
In 2007, I finally got my passport back out and spent 10 days in Costa Rica with my friends Katie and Adrienne. I also went to Mazatlan, Mexico with my parents, Las Vegas to see the Spice Girls (girl power!) and Anchorage, Alaska to welcome my brother home from fighting in Iraq (he also served in Afghanistan in 2009 and I couldn’t be more proud of him).
Once again I convinced my parents to travel internationally in 2008 – this time on a dive vacation to Belize. My parents were certified before I was born, and I had gotten certified the year before for my trip to Costa Rica and was eager to try some more! I was also able to accompany my mom on a trip to Cancun, Mexico for a conference she was attending where we snorkeled with whale sharks and explored the ruins of Chichen Itza.
At the beginning of 2009, I flew to Tucson, AZ to visit my friend Jesse and in May, Adrienne and I decided to go another trip together. Originally we wanted to go to Croatia, but the cost began to creep too high for us, so we switched our plans to Morocco. I also stayed a week longer on my own to explore Tunisia.
At the end of 2009, I made possibly the craziest decision I could make and bought a house. When I’m sitting in my garden, watching my dogs play and drinking margaritas, I think it was the best decision ever. When I think of all the money I would have to travel the world if I didn’t have a mortgage payment, I wonder what the hell I was thinking.
2010 was spent traveling as cheaply as possible with my new debt firmly in the front of my mind. Using free rental car coupons from work, a companion fare on Alaska Airlines, and Adrienne’s family friends timeshare, I was able to go to Hawaii for the third time, and Mexico for the fourth time.
That was also the year my friend Maggie moved to Madrid to attend the IE Business School and get her MBA. During Easter 2011, I flew over to visit. I spent a week with her and her friends on their spring break before setting off on my own to see Portugal and a few more Spanish cities. Thinking back on it, this was the trip that changed so much of my future travel.
Because of the amazing people I met in Spain, I was able to attend a wedding in India in 2012, where I met even more adventurous travelers. I also went to Monterey a couple times to visit my brother who was living there at the time, Aspen, Denver and Boston to visit friends, and Trinidad and Tobago to watch the Sounders in the CONCACAF Champions League.
I’ve gone paragliding over Neuschwanstein Castle, dove the Blue Hole, rode a camel in the Sahara Desert, drank beer at the original Oktoberfest and seen a few Wonders of the World. And the journey continues!
Besides traveling, I have numerous other hobbies. I play on a summer rec league softball team (Go Buckner!), am a member of the Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol, and an avid Seattle sports fan (I went to the Super Bowl to see the Seahawks in Arizona!). I love to cook and am always trying out new recipes, and I enjoy working in my garden. I’m a compulsive reader and like to sew and crochet in my free time.