“Travel is not reward for working. It’s education for living.”  ~ Unknown

I believe that life is a learning process.

One of the great ironies of life is that you don’t fully enjoy the schooling system until you’re older.  I didn’t like school until college.  Now, I love learning, and wouldn’t mind going back.  My Environmental Design degree from MICA allowed me a lot of room to build my own curriculum, and I only took classes that I was interested in.  My courses throughout college incorporated cultural, arts, and design based classes, which would prepare me for my future in ways I never could’ve expected at the time.  Since then I’ve spent a lot of my journeys exploring places and cultures, buildings and artwork that I’d learned about in school, gaining hands-on experience that no book could ever give me.  Travel quenches my thirst to learn by bringing experiences to the table that enhance personal growth…and I can’t get enough.

I believe that food is meant to be explored.

I’ve always been a fairly unusual eater.  As a child I hated pizza and hot dogs, but carried octopus in my lunchbox.  The first time I had lobster I was five years old, in Maine…I requested it for breakfast the next morning.  I still love lobster – if I had to choose one food to eat every day for the rest of my life that would probably be it.  When I first harvested and ate snails in Sicily I was 10 years old.  In Sweden, at 23, I tried reindeer; and missed out on trying bear in Finland because the restaurant was closing when I arrived.  In recent years I’ve tried sea urchin in New York, pane con milza (spleen sandwich) in Sicily, and cuy and anticucho (guinea pig and beef heart) in Peru.  I’ve really wanted to try porcupine for some time because, c’mon, think about it, it’s gotta be good…it couldn’t have evolved to have that much protection for no reason.  I like to say I’d try anything once, but I’m pretty sure I draw the line at duck fetus.

I believe that smiles should be shared.

I like meeting new people…I’m curious about life in other places…and a smile is the best introduction one could make.  When you smile an amazing thing happens, others reflect it back, and a channel for conversation is opened (even with a language barrier).

I believe that travel is conductive to open-mindedness and change.

I’ve never been one to go somewhere new and proclaim myself too good to accept their standard of living or their traditions.  Travel is often about learning new systems, beliefs and ways of life.  The more you travel, the more accustomed you get to these variations in lifestyle, and it becomes easier to see that people are really not all that different across the globe.  Being open to societies in spite of their differences, and showing respect for their ways by taking part yourself, facilitates change in your own life and perspective.  In my experience, smiling at, interacting with, and being open to learning something new from people I’ve met along the way has opened up new doors in my own world.

I believe that Kats should be curious.

If cats have 9 lives, I’m probably still working with seven of them.  And, I certainly intend to use each one exploring every nook and cranny of the globe that I can – fulfilling my curiosity for the faces, places, and flavors of this extraordinary world.  I’m comfortable with many styles of travel, from luxury hotels, to hostels, to trekking mountains.  Really, the place is inconsequential, because as the quote goes;

“One’s destination is never a new place, but rather a new way of looking at things.”

            ~Henry Miller




{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Prem Promono Handoko March 11, 2011 at 5:20 am

I really envy you, for being able to travel to many places.
Please, let me know when you’re planning to visit Indonesia.
Want to meet and hear from you about your journeys.



katrinamauro March 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Hey Prem! I do hope to spend some time in SE Asia within the next few years. Really I am trying to plan a 6+ month trip to the area like 3 years from now.


Ayoung March 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm


I’d like to invite you to participate in my research: “What Do Bloggers Want to Preserve? Defining the ‘Essence’ of User-Generated Content for Preservation.” This study will gain an understanding of how bloggers value their blogs and what elements bloggers think are important for preservation.

You are being asked to participate because your blog posts are tagged as being related to the theme of travel in one of the blog-hosting services and because your blog is not hosted by any commercial agency. Your participation is completely voluntary.

The survey is NOW OPEN and will remain open until midnight (EDT) 20 April 2011. If you are interested and would like to part in take the survey, please visit this URL: http://bloggersurvey.web.unc.edu/

Thank you in advance for considering participation in my study, and please
feel free to pass along this survey to others who might be interested!
Ayoung Yoon
Doctoral Student
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Information and Library Science


neonomadresearch August 11, 2011 at 8:13 am

Dear Katrina,

Sorry for such a long post, I couldn’t find a contact email address for you!

I am a current postgraduate student at Swansea University in the UK undertaking research for my thesis which is about the experiences of long-term travellers.

I have really enjoyed reading excerpts of your very insightful blog (if only I had time to read it all!) and I am really keen to use it in my research. I am particularly interested in individual’s motivations for travel, new experiences and ideas of ‘home’. If you agree to let me use your blog as part of this research your identity is guaranteed to be kept strictly confidential and anonymous. I am purely interested in undertaking a content analysis of the textual narrative that you have presented in the blog in order to draw out meaning and deeper understandings, and of course you are more than welcome to view the research findings.

I would really appreciate your informed consent and assistance to go ahead to use your blog. (There is debate as to whether blogs are private/public so I have chosen to take the ethical approach and ask!)

I may also be conducting interviews in the near future with long term travellers; if you would be interested in contributing your views to this research please let me know, any input is most valuable.

Thank you very much for your time,
I look forward to hearing from you. (Any questions please do not hesitate to contact me)

Kind regards and happy travelling!
Natalia 480521@swansea.ac.uk (MA Human Geography postgraduate student at Swansea University)


Jessica Celona Simao March 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I absolutely love your site <3 and you! good work homie – jess


Katrina March 27, 2012 at 3:36 am

Aww thanks lady! Love you too! We have to get together soon – it’s been far too long!


Michel August 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for sharing your smile.


Mike's Road Trip October 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Hey Kat! Love your site…beautiful design and layout. I too was like you…did not care for school at all until college. Today I thoroughly love learning…from art, history, software, photography, videography, cooking, politics, building things, and so much in between. 🙂

Will you be at TBEX Toronto next summer? Maybe our paths will cross.



Katrina October 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Thanks Mike! I have Tova Raykin to thank for making my design ideas a reality! She’s AWESOME.

I am definitely considering TBEX, as I haven’t made it to one yet…I hope that our paths do cross. It’s a small world, so I have no doubts they will. 😉


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