It only seemed fitting that if I’m egotistical enough to think that people will what to read about my travels and adventures that my first blog post should be all about me. Maybe I can even convince you to take an interest in the rest of my post.
The Pre-Travel Beginnings
My name is Kathryn and I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri right in the middle America. I loved where I lived and never ventured out much growing up apart from the occasional trip while playing softball and of course a few vacations to Florida. I went to university to get a biochemistry major and discovered that I would never be happy sitting in a lab all day doing research. I changed my majors about 5 times and ending up just filling my schedule with a few education courses just because. It was the best decision I ever made and I loved my teaching classes so much, that I became a teacher. I was headed towards a midwestern American dream. I was getting ready to graduate university, I was excited to become a teacher, and I was even engaged. But then I wasn’t. The idea of being “tied down” and “locked in” was terrifying. So I ended things and moved two hours away. I started heading back down the path of the American dream. I landed a job in a school as a teaching assistant, got a part time job to help save money for a house, and found myself in another serious relationship. I even took a trip to Belize with this guy! I could just see the career, house, 2.5 kids, and standard 2 week holidays. So I panicked, ended things again, and this time decided to figure out why committing to what so many people seemed to want terrified me.
The One Way Ticket To China
In my soul searching, I realized the problem wasn’t that I couldn’t be happy with what I had. The problem was I couldn’t be happy where I was. Ever since I returned from Belize, I had been desperate to get back. My desire to return to Belize soon turned into a desire to visit other places in the Caribbean, which turned to a desire to see all the places in the world that I could. I became obsessed with reading travel blogs and looking through destinations on Pinterest. I was no longer happy just staying put in the Midwest. Despite the number of stories I read about people saving enough money to travel the world in a year or two, I just couldn’t wait. Luckily, my teaching degree came in handy here. I began researching ways to work abroad. What better way to save for a trip to all these amazing countries than by working in one I would want to see anyways?! I applied everywhere. The UAE, China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Tanzania. I waited for interviews and being the impatient person I am jumped on the first job offer I had. I was off to Zhengzhou (whatever that was) and I was leaving in 5 months.
Flash forward a bit and I’m still here in China. I’m just finishing up my second year of teaching and despite my love/hate relationship with living in China, moving here was the best decision I’ve ever made. Teaching here has allowed me to explore Southeast Asia, save up more than enough money for travel, and allowed me a chance to work with and meet some amazing students and teachers. I even met my boyfriend (no one saw that coming right?!), Alex, and moved to Fuzhou after my first year here. I’ve loved my new city enough that I have even signed on for another year. In fact, my last year teaching for an undetermined about of time. Alex and I have managed to save enough money these last few years and we’re ready to take off into the world. We have plans to start in Australia, head to New Zealand, and then start at the bottom of South America and work our way up. Of course, we’ll be having a few more adventures before we head off next summer and I’ll be writing about them all right here. So hopefully, you’re hooked and excited to find out what happens as I trade in my lesson plans for travel plans. I know I am!