Many of the people I’ve interviewed have remote jobs that let them travel whenever they like. But for a lot of us, that just isn’t a reality. Our Woman of the Week: Karlie is a speech pathologist who works knows that reality well, and has learned to fit her travels in to her schedule during her breaks in the school calendar! Check out her interview for her tips and travel tales, and then head to her blog to learn more about what inspires her to see the world.
Hey there! I’m Karlie. I’m currently living in Chicago, but am from a tiny town in Southern Illinois. I live here with my boyfriend and my Australian Shepherd. I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist with children full time and with adults some nights and weekends. I moved here during graduate school and have loved it enough to still be here 4 years later!
My parents made sure I saw a very good chunk of the US as a kid, but I can say I didn’t appreciate it when I was young. I got an itch to start traveling in college, but wasn’t able to start really traveling until about 3 years ago. I’m lucky enough to have a partner that also has a passion for new adventures.
I started Wandering Nobody recently to continue evolving myself outside of my career. We can often depend on our career to define us and I want to step away from that. This is my outlet and how I share all of the things I love.
WHY DO YOU TRAVEL?
I love to experience new things, but hate change. Haha! I think this helps scratch the itch that I know will give me a full on anxiety attack (AKA constantly moving). This way, I get to experience new cultures, new places, countries, and people, but still get to come back to the comforts of home.
I remember, probably sometime in my mid-teens, realizing that my little network of people and culture is such a small speck on a constantly-evolving planet. It blew my mind. I slowly started realizing that there are so many places and cultures I need to experience in order to fully grow myself. I think that translates to some of my desire today. My normal isn’t everyone else’s normal.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND TRAVEL?
This question won’t have a straight answer. I work in a school, so I am limited to when I can travel. I am only able to travel during the summer months, two weeks at Christmas, and one week in the spring – so when every other family is traveling in the US.
But at the same time, it’s great. I don’t have to feel guilty for taking time off to enjoy my adventures. I work my bum off for 10 months out of the year and have two months to do with as I please. Knowing that my time off is coming while working keeps me sane. Knowing that I have travel planned during that time off makes it worth it.
WHAT’S THE BEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM YOUR TRAVELS?
Don’t have expectations. The place or food or people you’re so excited for and have been excited for some time may be not even half of what your expectations were. But that experience you weren’t looking forward to or really didn’t know much about may become your favorite place.
Also, don’t feel bad for not liking something. When I first started telling people I was disappointed with Rome, I felt like a spoiled brat that wasn’t happy with an elaborate gift she received. But you know what? It’s OK to have that opinion. You’re not going to like everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate the experience.
SHARE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORIES.
This is always such a hard question. My favorite travel memories are the little ones that are unique to me and who I am traveling with. So, I’ll share my top 4. Sorry. 🙂
My first time being in Europe with my mom and brother was so special and filled with so many life-lasting memories.
Paris because I loved just sitting under the Eiffel Tower at night, taking in incredible views, reflecting on what I’m grateful for, and sharing a bottle of wine and my partner.
Budapest because it was our hidden gem on our last trip in Europe. Within 4 hours, my partner and I were absolutely obsessed with the city and couldn’t wait to experience more each day.
And as weird as it is, a 17 hour layover in Reykjavik, Iceland. I was by myself for the first time in a foreign country. I was coming off of my first trip abroad. I was just walking the grounds of the Blue Lagoon and feeling so many feels. It was in that exact moment that I knew my travel adventures were really just beginning.
IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE TRAVEL TIP WITH OTHER WOMEN, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Just go. Go with someone else, go with a group, go by yourself, join a tour. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just go do it. Don’t let others make you feel bad because that’s how you choose to spend your money. Don’t let others shame you or frighten you for traveling alone. You’ll always have push back (hopefully not always, but….life) or someone giving you reasons not to. Don’t let them dim your light, but instead make it shine brighter!
Also, always bring extra plastic (zip lock) bags and band aids. They’re priceless when you’re in a bind. 🙂
I’ve also created three freebies to help you plan your next adventure:
50 Practical Travel Tips from Solo Lady Backpackers (a 6-page PDF)
20 Tips for Sustainable Travel (a checklist)
and 30 Jobs to See the World.
After you join the mailing list up, you’ll have access to all the freebies, AND get the password to the Global Directory! The directory will connect you to my recommended resources for each country and tons of travel topics. All blog posts I recommend are written by traveling ladies. From logistics to inspiration, the Global Directory will help you find the info you need no matter where you’re going.
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