Adventurous Kate: Solo Female Traveler
Q: You’re an adventurous, solo traveler with a passion to explore the world and dive into different cultures along the way. How did you become interested in traveling solo?
A: While I spent a lot of time on my own while studying in Florence, Italy, I think my interest truly began with a night of unintentional solo travel!
My sister and I did a two week trip to Europe together, and due to costs, I flew out a day before her. Having that one day to explore London on my own, and making so many friends at the hostel, I fell in love with the freedom and independence of solo travel. Two years later, I did my first totally solo trip, to Buenos Aires.
Q: You survived a shipwreck during an Indonesian tour to Komodo Island, an island filled with the well-known and dangerous Komodo dragon. What thoughts crossed your mind during or after this disaster and how far did you have to swim to shore? We’re assuming you won’t be accepting any more offers for free Indonesian boat tours as a guest blogger.
A: That night was a terrifying blur of fear. After the ship hit the reef, they sped to the nearest shore – the north coast of Komodo Island. We were about sixty meters away when we had to abandon ship, and we swam to shore, which wasn’t a beach, but a series of jagged rocks.
After about thirty minutes of climbing the rocks, we were rescued and taken to a nearby dive boat. Maybe it was the adrenaline, but as soon as I landed on the dive boat, I was smiling, joking, trying to make everyone laugh! Since the accident, I’ve gone through so many emotions – anger, gratitude, incredulity – and I’m so thankful that nobody was killed or seriously injured.
We later found out we had landed on a part of Komodo Island that was dragon-free. It would have been too rainy for them to come out, anyway!
Q: During an adventure to Hanoi, Vietnam, you visited a snake restaurant where you drank snake blood and bile and ate snake meat for dinner. What did each taste like? Did you kill a snake yourself? By the way, you’re brave!
A: I couldn’t bring myself to kill the snake or pull out its beating heart with my teeth (though a few of my friends did the latter).
The snake blood and bile was mixed with rice wine – which tasted like whiskey – and pretty much obscured the natural flavor of the blood and bile.
The meat itself wasn’t that strange – we had snake seven different ways, including wrapped in seaweed and served in spring rolls! It was tough to get used to the crispy snake bones, though.
Q: Speaking of food, what is one of your favorite meals while traveling?
A: In Cambodia, I couldn’t stop eating loc lac! It’s cubed beef stir-fried with tomatoes and onions over rice. But what makes it truly amazing is the lemon, salt and pepper sauce you drizzle on top. Fantastic dish!
Q: Okay so we have to ask about your night in South Padre, TX with rapper, Vanilla Ice, who is most famous for his song “Ice Ice baby.” Tell us a little bit about that wild, spring break experience.
A: Oh, wow. Long story short, I was visiting a friend in South Texas and we decided to go to South Padre Island and have a one-night spring break. As soon as we found out Vanilla Ice was performing, we had to go!
Vanilla was pulling random girls onto the stage, so I didn’t wait – I just hopped over the barricade and climbed on stage myself. I spent the whole night dancing with him and getting pictures of us together!
Q: While we’re on the topic of celebrities: You hit on Jon Stewart before The Daily Show in New York. How hilarious (Again, you’re brave)! What did you say to him and how did he react?
A: Okay, just let it be known that I was 18 at the time and thought I was the most hilarious person on the planet. Before the show, I asked Jon, “How on Earth did you get so sexy?”
His short answer? “I’m on TV. You put anything on TV, it ups the sexy quotient.”
Then the show taping began. His first words: “Welcome to the Daily Show! I’m Jon Stewart. I am sexy! And I was just told that by an elderly woman sitting up there…I don’t know if it was the cataracts or the glaucoma!”
I nearly died.
Q: Where is one of your not yet visited dream destinations and why?
A: There are so many places on the list, but lately …