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 of 30Traveler and Rtw Travel Guide. Kate is a vegan travel blogger who currently lives in New Zealand, spends two months a year in New York City, and this year has also been to an island with no electricity in Tonga and to Malaysia.
1. How do you define the word “traveler,” and why would you consider yourself one?
I don't think I'd dare consider myself a traveler. I consider Marco Polo and James Cook travelers, not me! I like budget airlines and staying in apartments, I'm not very intrepid (aside from going to tiny, virtually inhabited island in Tonga, but that's the only intrepid thing I've done).
There is a humor book I like called “Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions.” It's about how people like to think they're more unique than they are. When people put down others who like to do touristy things, I think of that book.
However, I don't do many tourist activities either — I'm highly unlikely to be found at a museum, monument, or temple.
2. What has been your favorite travel experience thus far?
Sitting front row at a Broadway show! My Broadway obsession this summer was Sister Act. I did the rush line three times, meaning I got to sit in the front row three times for $26 a pop.
3. How about your proudest travel moment?
Each year, I sublet an apartment in NYC for a couple of months. My proudest travel moment would be the first time I got keys to a New York apartment. For a non-American, going to America is like jumping inside a TV. Things like trash chutes and doormen are things I only knew previously from movies and TV.
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've never had anything stolen, been assaulted, or been scammed. I have a female partner and I don't enjoy being relentlessly hit on while my partner is present. That happened in Tobago. Since then, I've avoid destinations that have a reputation for sexual hassle or hassle to buy stuff.
5. Name one thing you can’t travel without.
My iphone and a local SIM with data.
6. Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.
Due to being vegan, I often take backup food in case I have difficulty finding vegan protein options. It's the only thing about me that's high maintenance and if I didn't put that restriction on myself I could travel a lot lighter. If I'm going to beach locations I usually take a camping stove and my own vegan protein option.
7. What do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned while traveling (about yourself, a destination, a culture, travel itself)?
The biggest thing I've learned is how much I love NYC. In case mentioning NYC is getting boring, I'll give another example too…
I've learned that I mostly like to travel just for a change of scenery. At home, my partner and I go on one of the same three walks every night. It gets so boring. Being in a new environment makes me feel like my brain is awake.
I've also learned how much better I feel when I avoid winter. It's been five years since I experienced more than a few weeks of winter and it makes me a much happier person.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
New York, without a doubt, but not for the winter. I like the creative energy, the confidence, and the theater.
9. Name one place you’d like to see or one experience you’d like to have before you die.
I'm obsessed with the Seychelles, but my Mom has been wanting to visit New York with me for years, and I'd like to show her around all my favorite places.
10. If there was one thing you wish somebody would have told you before you started traveling, what would it be?
That I could get free travel insurance by getting a credit card that provided it. That would've saved me hundreds of dollars.
A close second would be not to travel to beach destinations outside of their best season. I know some people recommend low season travel, but I like ultra calm water.
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.