World traveler, blogger, and entrepreneur, Kate McCulley, is cool.
And she is not just so because she was named by Forbes this year as one of the world’s top ten travel influencers (although that is uber cool), has traveled to over 70 countries (another cool-qualifying accolade) or has been ship wrecked in Indonesia (frankly that is just bad *ss). She’s cool because she has been writing about and advocating for independent women travel long before it was the trend that it is today.
Her blog, Adventurous Kate, was started in 2010 when, at 26, she quit her job and jetsetted to Southeast Asia for six months. During that time, she developed her current blog. When she found her efforts could be lucrative enough to feed more than just her passion, she ramped it up. Today, this inspired solo adventurer not only gets paid to travel, but her trusted and smart travel tips help other women experience the magic of solo travel safely and easily.
For me, the best part about Kate and her writing is that, in a world with a myriad of travel blogs, hers stands out. Her storytelling is compelling, her voice is authoritative, and her genuine care and concern for her audience is sincerely conveyed. Clearly, I dig her. So it was a particular thrill when she agreed to do a mini-interview with me.
The trick was to find questions she isn’t incessantly asked or perhaps one she may have not been asked before. Thankfully, she has even written a blog on this: The Conversation We Would be Having (super fun read, btw). Therefore, if you want her tips for solo women travelers, how to become a travel blogger, or where to eat bugs in Bangkok, head over to her blog. For inquiries from another solo woman adventurer who also incorporates travel into her profession, keep on reading!
Since my shop focuses on cool discoveries during travel, do you have a favorite souvenir from one of your travels?
Last year I was in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, a small town famous for their collection of used bookstores. In between the bookstores, I discovered an antique map shop. I fell in love with so many of the maps, many of them far too expensive for me, but I settled on a beautiful 150-year-old map of northern Italy. I had it professionally framed in champagne silver and it hangs in my bedroom today.
For years, I traveled without a home, but now that I’ve had an apartment for a year and a half, I like to pick up new things for my apartment when on my travels. Since my place was bare for so long, I love adding little touches from my trips — like some printed placemats from South Africa, a print and a candle from Asheville, North Carolina, and a little straw porcupine from Bavaria. This is the first time I’ve ever lived alone, so I love decorating a place that is 100% my own.
I’ve received such wonderful hospitality around the world, but one thing I like to say is, “There’s no hospitality like Middle Eastern hospitality.” It’s just on another level. I once visited a family in Ajloun, Jordan, and they prepared a meal to welcome me. It was one of the biggest meals of my life and I’ll admit that part of me was horrified when they kept bringing out MORE and MORE food after I swore that they were done. But the nicest thing was that because I was both their guest and a woman, I got to exist in two worlds. I got to dine with the men in the living room and I also got to go into the kitchen and spend time with the women, who did not eat with us.
When you travel is there something you ever miss from back home? Or how has travel made you appreciate your own home country more (or maybe it hasn’t)?
I found it super intriguing that you don’t want to visit every country in the world, and some countries given the current political state, you wouldn’t even consider visiting in good conscious (North Korea being an example). What are some other countries you don’t have a desire to visit? Why?
What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant in NYC?
Do you prefer Airbnb or Booking.com?
What is your current favorite travel app?
And the most important question of all, what is your “go to” Happy Hour drink?
To read more about Kate and find her tips for independent women travel, explore here blog AdventurousKate.com. One of my favorite recent blogs by her, On Influence, and Using It Wisely, she wrote right after being named one of the top travel influencers by Forbes.
Be sure to follow Kate on all of these social places: