Hello! I’m Kim, The Abundant Traveler, and roaming the world has been my passion as long as I can remember. (There’s likely a photo of me next to the definition of Wanderlust in the dictionary.)
My passion for travel started at a ripe ol’ age of 6 when my Dad’s boss showed me photos of their travels to Africa; I got to roll around on the zebra skin that lounged on their living room floor. From that moment on, I was hooked! My first overseas trip was to the UK in 10th grade with other students and our English teacher. We spent 6 weeks traveling from London to Edinburgh, stopping in Bath, Salisbury and traveling through the countryside. My parents didn’t recognize me when I returned home…. No, I didn’t get a pink Mohawk, and pierce my eyebrow (it was the mid-80’s), but I did return home a completely different person. My eyes had been opened to new people, new cultures and new ideas.
During college, I chose to study abroad in France for a summer. Since you are not allowed a minor in the Business School at The University of Texas, Austin, I chose the most decadent location for my business studies. Nice. “Yeah, that sounds great, I’ll go study French on the Cote d’Azur, run over to Monte Carlo for the F1 race [which I actually did], lounge at the beach clubs and wander the old town eating salad nicoise.” Yes, the city of Nice can be deliciously luxurious, but I was just a broke college student, who chose well for her study abroad. During that summer, living in Nice and traveling via eurorail, I made the commitment to move back to Europe as soon as I possibly could.
Fast forward 4 months, I had graduated from UT Austin with a degree in Finance, and a week after graduating, I bought a one-way plane ticket to London, had $300 in my pocket, and announced to my parents, “Thanks so much for all of your support during college. I’ve decided not to take that investment banking job in NYC, I’m moving to London to be a temp secretary in The City. I’ll be back in 6 months, Cheer-io!” 6 months turned into 5 years: the most influential 5 years of my life.
I lived in Europe from 1992-1997, and yes, I did start as a Kelly Girl in the city of London. After about 6 months of living in London, someone said to me, “don’t spend another winter in the city.” I asked, “What should I do?”, and they replied, “go work in a ski resort.” That sounded great to me, so off I went in search of work through Switzerland and Austria. I found a job as a chambermaid in Verbier, but it wasn’t very appealing to clean hotel rooms, so I kept on searching. In late October, I found a job in Kitzbuhel, Austria as a photographer on the mountain. You know, the ones standing at the top of the ski lift on a beautiful day, asking if you’d like your photo taken. That was me. It was the perfect job because I was able to ski 120 days that season. During that first season, one of the ski schools asked if I would work for them the following year; who wouldn’t jump at that opportunity? I spent the next 3 winters in Kitzbuhel as a Certified Austrian Ski Instructor. What a ride that was! (Those stories are for another day.)
Today, I continue to travel as often as possible, focusing on food and wine and a bit more luxury. I still consider Europe my second home, and I’m building a life where I can live part of the year in Austin, and part of the year on The Mediterranean.
I haven’t slowed down, just softened a bit. I still love hardcore traveling, and I eat up the exotic, 2nd & 3rd world countries. My favorite countries to date are Botswana, Vietnam and Nepal.
To sum it all up, I have visited more than 50 countries on 6 continents. I’ve encountered the most amazing people and cultures, I’ve learned, I’ve grown, I’ve expanded and I’ve experienced things most people only dream about. I’m so grateful and blessed; I’m a go-getter and fierce; I’m constantly curious and a little bit silly. I am The Abundant Traveler.
A note to my followers: I hope to be an inspiration to you; enjoy my stories and just go! Pack your bags and see the world! Buy the plane ticket; book the hotel! Create your own adventures, your own experiences. See new cultures, dance in the streets, trek through unknown territories, lounge in luxurious locations, and experience the exotic. Wishing you wonderful fulfilling travels. – Kim