Thursday Traveler: Adventurous Kate McCulley

Every Thursday, A Dangerous Business will be shining the spotlight on a world nomad, travel blogger, armchair adventurer, or just someone really cool in the travel world. This week, the traveler is Kate McCulley of Adventurous Kate. Based in Boston, Kate has traveled the world already, but doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

1. How do you define the word “traveler,” and why would you consider yourself one?

To me, a traveler is an individual with inherent curiosity. A traveler draws his or her strength from new experiences. I love to take the unconventional route whenever possible.

2. What has been your favorite travel experience thus far?

It’s so difficult to choose just one! I’ve had so many good times in Europe, in Vegas, on my own, with others…

My best travel experience, however, was my semester in Florence, Italy. Studying abroad in Europe gave me the best of both worlds: I had the expat experience, getting to know Florence intimately, learning Italian, assimilating into the local culture. And then I got to mix in weekend trips to the French Riviera; the gorgeous island of Capri; Interlaken, Switzerland; and more! I miss Italy every day.

3. How about your proudest travel moment?

I scored the travel deal of a lifetime — flights from Milan to Budapest, then, a few days later, from Budapest to Paris, for a grand total of ONE CENT. No joke. The total came out to about 45 Euros with taxes. Thank you, WizzAir!

4. Have you had any travel mishaps or bad experiences? If so, have these influenced how you view the place where they happened? Would you go back?

I was robbed on my first day in Buenos Aires — my first day on my first completely solo trip and my first day ever in South America! Thankfully, it was a nonviolent pickpocketing. Ironically, I had told myself that I was so travel-savvy that I couldn’t get robbed, so there was no need to take precautions like hiding my money in different places. I learned the hard way quickly.

That being said, I adored Buenos Aires, made so many friends, and would jump at the chance to return. I got robbed because of my own stupidity. I don’t hold anything against the city!

5. Name one thing you can’t travel without.

iPhone, iPhone, iPhone! When I’m in the States, there’s 3G. When I’m abroad, I can always find Wi-Fi. Having the Internet with me is a great comfort.

6. Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.

I wish there were no need for Cipro, a broad antibiotic that kills just about anything bad that makes it into your system. Sadly, you always end up getting sick and needing it at some point!

7. What do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned while traveling (about yourself, a destination, a culture, travel itself)?

Traveling solo has taught me how much I love my solitude. I’m no misanthrope by any stretch, but I really do enjoy my own company, and I love the freedom that comes with solo travel. I was surprised at how difficult it was to readjust to traveling with others!

8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Realistically, there’s a good chance I’ll end up living in Buenos Aires or Sydney for an amount of time. In the U.S., I’ve seriously considered moving to New York or Las Vegas. But if we’re talking pure fantasy, it would be Paris. I adore that city. Every time I visit Paris, I feel like I’ve returned home. The streets, the culture, the people — it takes no effort for me to adjust to Paris. Being in Paris is the most natural thing in the world.

9. Name one place you’d like to see or one experience you’d like to have before you die.

Lots of festivals are on my bucket list. I would love to celebrate Mardi Gras or Carnivale in all the major locales — Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, Salvador, Nice, Sydney, Venice and more!

10. If there was one thing you wish somebody would have told you before you started traveling, what would it be?

Long-term travel isn’t a permanent holiday. As fun as travel is, there will be times when you feel lonely, unsafe, desperate, even ostracized. But that’s life. We all experience those feelings, and we all recover from them. If I have to experience them, I’d rather experience them while traveling!

Visit Kate’s site: Adventurous Kate
Follow Kate on Twitter: @adventurouskate

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Are you a travel blogger who has something to say on these topics? Do you know of somebody really interesting in the travel universe that you’d like to see interviewed? Speak up! The Thursday Traveler needs some interview subjects.

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