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Hello, My Name is Kay

In the beginning, Jetfarer wasn’t supposed to be about anyone. In August of 2017, I built it so that traveling young professionals around the globe would have a trustworthy source of information so they could travel more and build a more location-independent lifestyle. One of the greatest frustrations of fellow travelers, it seems, was that people had trouble finding reliable information about destinations online. Upon its inception, I wanted Jetfarer to be a no-BS travel resource that provided exactly that.

Because of this, I debated for a long time about whether I was ever going to formally introduce myself to you all, or if I’d just let you all dig around on the site and on our About page until you figured it out. I made the sudden change because I realized, quite quickly, that people don’t trust robots. People trust people. So, if I want to build your trust, dear jetfarers, I have to prove to you that there’s a person behind this site. Good news – there is! An imperfect, often lazy, usually inspired, always authentic human being.

Soooo…hello! I’m Kay.

You might recognize me from here or here – I’ve actually been in the travel blogging world for about 5 years. It has never been my full time job, just a ‘side hustle’ that I really enjoy and am passionate about. I love helping other people travel and see places they’ve never been before.

Otherwise, I’m a pretty average person. I don’t claim to know all of the answers about travel or life or any of that jazz. I’m still figuring out this “adulting” thing myself. Yes, that means I sometimes forget to do laundry in a timely manner, or lose my car keys, or oversleep my alarms in the morning. It also means I have to work full-time week (in a *normal* job) to make ends meet. So, I’m not just making everything on this site up – I’m learning as I go and documenting it.

In case you’re actually curious about the human behind this site, here are 7 things that you might find interesting:

1. I kind of live a double life

Sort of like Peter Parker and Spiderman, I, too live kind of a double life (but not quite as cool). By day, I work as a business development manager for a well-known media company, mostly crunching Excel numbers and making powerpoint slides for our senior executives. In my free time, when I’m not traveling, I’m at home or in a coffee shop, writing, editing photos, researching destinations, and planning posts for Jetfarer. Running this site in my free time isn’t easy, but it sure is rewarding.

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From my Instagram feed, it might look like I prance around the world on nights and weekends without a care in the world, but that’s probably actually only about 10-20% of my time. (Note to self: add more boring photos of daily life to Instagram feed…)

2. I’m based in Washington, DC

I moved here in mid-2017 for my job from Houston, TX. And, while I miss Texas a lot, I’m actually really impressed with Washington DC. There are so many young professionals here, and super interesting neighborhoods to explore. It does, however, come with a pretty hefty cost of living (which makes saving money a little bit more difficult).

3. I wanted to be a photojournalist when I grew up

Ever since I was young, I wanted to get into the media and publishing world. I love photography, especially visual storytelling through editorial. While video is growing like crazy, I think photography will always have its place in the world. There’s just something so special about capturing a specific moment in time in a limited frame. There’s an art to it that’s just so raw and magical.

4. My guilty pleasure? Entering travel contests online

You know those “win a trip to…” sweepstakes? Yeah, you can actually win those! Whenever I have free time, I try and enter as many of these contests as I can. They range from simply inputting your email in a drawing to writing an essay or submitting photos explaining why I’d like to go somewhere. Free travel is the best travel, amirite?!

Aaaaand just to prove that these contests are real, I’ve actually won two of them… one to Central/Eastern Europe from Nomadic Matt (2012) and one to Iceland Airwaves Music Festival (2016).

5. My greatest fear (aside from spiders) is checking in a bag

I absolutely hate checking in my bags on flights – I am so scared that the airlines will lose them. It’s not that I am ever carrying super valuable stuff (mostly just clothes and toiletries), it’s just that I really don’t want to go through the hassle of losing all of my things. Especially those with sentimental value. So, instead, I typically aim to cram everything I have into the tiniest bag possible in lieu of checking a bag (especially if I have a short layover).

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If I ever find myself in a baggage claim full of spiders where I realize the airline has lost my bag…game over for me.

6. I almost died in Thailand while traveling solo

While we’re here I might as well recap my favorite travel story of all time – the time I almost died in Thailand. Basically, long story short, my appendix ruptured in Pai, which is 4 hours by terrible gravel road from Chiang Mai, the nearest city. I was alone. By the time I arrived at the hospital, my appendix was so far gone they couldn’t even find it on the scanning machines. Four hours in a terrible ambulance, one emergency surgery, and one anesthesia-filled evening later, and I woke up in a hospital bed in Chiang Mai, still alive (thank goodness). Travel insurance came in clutch during this time, and I’ll never travel without it.

7. My goal is to be completely location independent one day

While I love the corporate world, I don’t think it’s my ideal end-state. I don’t really enjoy going into the office every day, and I strongly dislike corporate politics and inefficiency. However, I do love being in motion, seeing new places, and working on my own schedule. Although I don’t have immediate plans to leave the corporate world right now, I’d love to one day be completely location independent so I can work on my own time and choose where in the world I want to live and explore.

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Oh you brave soul. Congratulations for making it through all my rambling! Since you’ve read this far, I guess I haven’t scared you away yet. If you have other questions or want to chat more, come join our Facebook group and ask away (I promise I’ll respond!), or just shoot me an email at kay@jetfarer.com.

Kay is a full-time media professional located in Washington DC who takes every spare day of time to travel the world. In the last year alone, she's visited over 10 different countries and taken a dozen short trips in between. You can typically find her wandering the streets of a city, taking ridiculous self portraits, or hiking a mountain somewhere. Connect with Kay: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

3 Comments

  1. Hannah Stein Reply

    I’m totally the same way with checking bags! I HATE to check bags and the only times I do it is when I’m moving from one country to another or it’s Christmas lol. I can’t believe that story in Thailand! I am so glad you had travel insurance. Come June when I’m off my parents’ health insurance plan, which includes international travel, I’ll need to start thinking of what to do next.

  2. So crazy to hear about your ruptured appendix! How were you able to figure out in Pai that it was rupturing? Which hospital did you go to in Chiang Mai and how did you choose your hospital (I ask because I lived next to a hospital for five months in Chiang Mai haha). And yes, having travelled around while sick in Thailand, I can only imagine how rough that bus journey may have gone for you!

    • Hey Nancy, thanks for stopping by! 🙂 I knew my stomach/appendix was not well because I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk! It was awful, haha. I went to Chiang Mai Ram for the surgery – what a nice hospital!

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