Articles

Originally from Verona, Wisconsin, Kat has a degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College, with a focus in Journalism. She started learning Japanese at the age of six, lived in Okinawa, Japan in high school, and spent a year living in Amman, Jordan in college where she attended the University of Jordan, studied Arabic, and traveled throughout the Middle East. She currently lives in Los Angeles, and is a producer, blogger, and on-camera host for projectexplorer.org, a non-profit that creates online educational travel series for kids and families. Follow her on Twitter @lilkat_bigworld

What To Do When Things Go Wrong

I wrote a piece a while ago about the risks of travel.  My point, mainly, was this:  Travel means taking risks, and travelers, in turn, should be prepared for things to go wrong.  Why?  Because, on the other hand, it is just so awesome when things go really, really right.

There is nothing you can do to guarantee your safety.  Should you get blackout drunk by yourself, and stumble alone down a dark street?  Best

The Risk of Solo Travel (and Why It’s Worth It)

If you’ve been following travel news at all–or, perhaps, just news in general–I’m sure you heard about Sarai Sierra, a young American mother traveling alone in Istanbul who went missing and was later found on the side of the road, half naked, bludgeoned to death. My heart broke when I heard the news. I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Sarai’s story hits close to home for a lot of women who travel, solo or otherwise. …

The Identity Crisis of a Traveler

“I believe in the transformative power of travel,” Andrew Zimmern began when he got up on stage. He had just finished showing a clip from a recent episode of Bizarre Foods, the hit Travel Channel show that made Zimmern the travel celebrity he now is.

People were eager to hear what Andrew Zimmern had to say, and even in the sensory-overload setting of the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Expo, all eyes seemed to …

Five Reasons to Visit Jordan. Now.

In 2007, I packed up a (large and over-flowing) bag, hopped on a plane, and moved to Amman, Jordan for my junior year of college abroad.  It was, for about a thousand reasons, a year that completely changed my life.

Anyone who has spent a day with me—maybe even just an hour—will acknowledge that I talk about my time in Jordan pretty often.  I can’t help it.  Jordan is one of those places that just …

How to Travel Alone (Without Being Lonely)

I’ll admit:  I have a complicated relationship with solo travel.  On the one hand, going solo allows one the most freedom, the most time for reflection, the most opportunity to meet new people (because, really, you have to) of any travel experience.  It also means you can, whenever you’re ready, just go.  No working around other travelers’ schedules, no begging potential travel partners to see the value of an adventure.  Just hop on a plane, …

National Parks: Essentially American for Essentially Every Budget

In honor of the recent celebration of Earth Day, the government not shutting down in the midst of budget crisis, and the blossoming of spring and summer in general, it seems fitting to bring to attention a travel destination often overshadowed by international escapes and beach resorts:  Our national parks.  Offering some of the most breathtaking views in the country in nearly 400 different places, chances are there’s a national park close by.  Convenient, since …

Go Ahead, Buy Some Happiness

Anyone who tells you money can’t buy happiness is wrong.   What they mean to say is possessions can’t buy you happiness.  Money, on the other hand, can buy you plane tickets and visas and bottles of foreign wine to be uncorked while gazing out over a perfect beachside sunset.  Money can take you out to dinner with friends, or buy an espresso at that tiny corner café in Italy, or tickets to the Berlin Philharmonic.  …

How to Have a “Perfect” Trip


The secret to a perfect trip is much like the first rule of Fight Club:  There is no perfect trip.  There is no recipe for success, no combination of details that will guarantee you a good time, no amount of scheduling and booking that will make your time from touch-down to take-off completely carefree.

The beautiful thing about travel is its unpredictability, the glorious way you can plan out an entire day—an entire trip even—and …