Woman Wednesday: Kate B., Travel

Q and A with Kate Bittle from Myersville, Maryland

“There are always affordable places to move to in each country.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: After over five years of living abroad, I’m finally coming home! A lot of people ask how I made a life of traveling; well, I’m finally here to provide you with some answers. I’ve been lucky enough to live three years in Vietnam and two years in Portugal as well as travel to twelve different countries along the way. But the real question is: how? Especially for me as a recent graduate with the inevitable loan crisis that hangs over many of us. I know I’m not alone here. My goal is to help people travel around the world by presenting traveling opportunities and ideas for young solo travelers.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I never would have guessed that I would spend five years abroad after arriving for my first solo trip in Vietnam. As a child, I grew up taking summer family vacations in the states, which consisted of long car rides while being picked on by my older siblings (Yes, I am the youngest child). During my junior/senior year of university, I tried to study abroad, but that’s when they told me that I would have to be taking general education or what we call “freshman year classes.” WHY DIDN’T THEY TEACH ME THIS THE FIRST DAY? This pretty much meant that I would be traveling abroad for school and paying this extra semester to not excel in my education at all. NONE, so I decided against that idea. After graduation, I was ready for an adventure, but I couldn’t figure out where to start. That’s until I decided to send a message to my friend who was living abroad in Korea. She asked if I wanted to join them living in Vietnam. It seemed crazy to head to a new place without a job and very little savings, but of course, I said yes. This was the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t grow up knowing I wanted to travel, but traveling made me realize my dreams.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Today, I will be your travel guide and try to sum up everything I’ve learned in the last five years. To even start traveling, you must envision where you’d like to be and the lifestyle that you want to achieve. There are opportunities all around the world, so stop and do research about all your ideal travel destinations. Next, there are different opportunities presented in each destination. From my experience, teaching English in Vietnam is an amazing opportunity but not as much in Portugal. Look at the job market in each area or secure a remote job before you leave. Travel research will become your new best friend.

The third thing I would like to share is that there are always affordable places to move to in each country. Don’t overpay to travel; if you want a nice and expensive resort, then hell yeah, go for it. But if you’re a solo traveler like me, then book the hostels, find the shared apartments, and make new friends. I once lived in a five-bedroom shared house in Vietnam which had its own private pool and a six-bedroom shared apartment in Portugal right near the city center. My flatmates at one point were from Poland, Brazil, France, Canada, Portugal, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Italy, and the USA. Make new friends and learn about each culture! That’s a part of traveling! My last tip for today is if you put yourself out there, doors will keep opening for you. Okay, let’s pause for a minute, do you know anyone who is traveling? Have you asked them what they’re doing? New people recommend new ideas and before you know it, your life is filled with new traveling opportunities.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means the freedom to do whatever you want as a woman and to be an equal. This topic is brought up a lot when traveling. Here’s just some food for thought: Do women of different race get the same opportunity to travel and work in each county? Of course not, but as we push for equality in the workplace, we hope the world will change its views. Also, do women have the same safety as men while traveling? Of course not, but as we push for the non-objectification of women, we hope the world can be a safer place.


Thank you for reading!

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