The travel world is made up of hundreds of different types of people from everywhere. People travel. More than you probably think. And in more ways than you might have realized. Over the years I certainly have learned of creative ways people travel that I never even thought about!
This feature is a place for travelers of all types to share their story. How do you travel? What type of upbringing did you have? What led you to decide you’d like to have travel in your life? Do you come from a family of travelers or are you the first one to really break the mold? What drives you to get up and go to work so you can fund your travels?
Hearing people’s travel stories is one of my favorite things to do when I am on the road. No two people have the same background or the same travel style. And there are so many different ways people work and save for travel! If you would like to be featured and share YOUR STORY please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. And with that, let’s meet this week featured traveler –
Hi, my name is: Cathy Ries. I TRAVEL. This is my story.
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I’m from the United States and grew up in Los Angeles, California. I’ve been pretty much a California girl for all of my life and love it here! The weather cannot be beat.
Do you come from a family of travelers? Summer vacations? No vacations?
Indeed I am! I started traveling internationally since I was 4 years old with my family in the summers. Summer usually meant I’d be out of town for some period of time. It’s a little ironic that as a child I hated traveling and as an adult I’m totally obsessed with it.
When did you start traveling?
I’ve been traveling since I was 4 years old.
What is your travel style? Do you maximize all your vacation time from a job? Do you just quit jobs to travel? Are you able to work remotely? Are you a weekend warrior who maximizes their time?
For me it’s a little bit of everything. For an American I get a good chunk of vacation and use up all my weeks, usually for international travel. As I do work a demanding, full time, 60+ hour /week job, I try to maximize travel time during the weekends and during vacation time to make sure I am able to still see everything I want to see while growing in a career I want to pursue.
What motivates your travels? Do you tend to have a focus during your travels?
I just love seeing different parts of the world and experiencing different cultures. I’m fascinated by cuisines from around the world and how it bears a resemblance to other dishes I have tried in the past. I typically focus on local cuisine and major attractions if I am visiting for the first time to get an overall feel of the city/country. Once I’ve seen all of that, I move onto smaller, off the beaten path type of things but those always take time to figure out and are much harder to find.
How do you fund your travels?
My job funds my travels and I use travel hacking to stretch my travels further. I’m lucky that I get to travel for my job on a weekly basis so I rack up miles and hotel points that I use to fund my international jaunts for free when I am on vacation. I’ve also opened up credit cards to score points for free international flights. It’s really a variety of things I’ve done to get creative and fund it. That way I don’t feel pressured to quit my job to travel and rely on sponsorships to see the world. Feel free to check out my blog for some of these travel hacking tips!
What has been one of your most memorable travel experiences?
I’ve been on The Yacht Week in the British Virgin Islands and it was one of my most memorable experiences. I spent a week yachting from island to island and going to parties everyday and night. It was a tiring, but very fun week! I also realized while on the trip that it can be incredibly difficult to get around the Caribbean islands without a yacht so I am thankful I was able to travel this way to really see it. I know not everyone can do that.
What is a next destination you are so excited to see?
I have some dream destinations on my list I plan to hit up in the future and am really excited to go soon. My husband and I have a Dubai and Maldives trip planned and I cannot wait to see how it compares to all the amazing things I have heard and images I have seen online.
What words of wisdom do you wish to share with other people who are wanting to include more travel in their lives?
Traveling is always possible and it gets easier if you’re smart about it and make it a priority. Many say it’s really expensive and it’s true that travel can be expensive. However travel can also be cheap if you’re smart about it. I’ve travelled to many luxurious destinations on the budget of a typical budget traveller and people have been shocked to hear how little I have spent sometimes.
Cathy Ries is the founder of The Trekking Cat, a travel blog where she gives her readers a glimpse of her life on the road and proves that it’s possible to travel while working 60+ hours a week at a full time job. Check out her blog at www.thetrekkingcat.com or other social media channels for destination guides, travel hacking tips, and stories of how she’s been able to travel globally while managing a demanding career in consulting.
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