Kate Kerrick

25 Sep 2013

“I try to take new experiences as opportunity to broaden my knowledge and understanding, of both the world and myself.”

Hello, my name is Kate! I’m 28 years old from New Hampshire (USA) and I am currently living in Kenya!  If you would like to get in contact with me, submit a message here and Erica will relay it to me.  I hope you enjoy reading what I’ve learned while on my journey!

What countries have you traveled to so far?

Canada, Mexico, Ireland, UK, France, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, India

What country are you currently in or where are you planning to go?

Currently living in Kenya

What stage of life are you in?

Professional in Your Field

Why embark on your journey?

to experience a new culture, to check out new scenery, to challenge yourself, to serve others (missions, Peace Corps, volunteer program)

What are some of your goals while traveling?

Anytime I travel it is an invitation to step outside of my comfort zone. I try to take new experiences as opportunity to broaden my knowledge and understanding, of both the world and myself. Not being an extremely outgoing person, it is a constant lesson on how to connect with fellow people and find friends and family where ever I am.

What were some of your fears about traveling before you left?

Having a hard time meeting people, language barrier

How do you feel you have faced those fears during your trip?

Living in a foreign city with a busy work schedule it is always difficult to meet people. Most of the people I consider as friends here are people that I work and live with, but I am very lucky that I work with a diverse range of people, and that the nature of my work is such that it draws really incredible people, so I have a great community of really inspiring and interesting people around me.

With language, I’ve found that mostly people are really happy when you at least give a sincere effort to at least greet or say basic things in their language. That, along with acting-out things, and a good sense of humor have served me pretty well.

Have your dreams of what you might do with your live changed as a result of traveling?

I have been very lucky that I have had options to travel for most of my life, and so my experiences of traveling have evolved along with my dreams and goals. I think it’s a self-perpetuating cycle – the more I travel, the more I want to travel. The more places I visit, the more I become interested in new spots. I think it is because the more I learn about the world, the more I realize how much is out there that I don’t yet understand, and it makes me what to see and understand as much as I can.

Also, in getting to see different cultures and different ways of life has made me appreciate more fully how connected we all are, and how important it is to see ourselves as citizens of the world, not just of one town or country. Realizing this has made me want to live my life in a way that honors this connection and manifests my belief that we are each accountable to more than just ourselves.

What are 3 significant things you have learned while being on your adventure?

Lesson 1: wealth does not equal happiness. This is something that we all know, but through my work and travels I have seen the truth of it firsthand, and it has made me conscious of trying to seek lasting meaning and connection in my life, instead of just temporary thrills and delights.

Lesson 2: People are people – that no matter where you are in the world, no matter the customs or traditions or beliefs you adhere to, as Maya Angelou said “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” In particular, I am always struck by the commonality of the sense of family.

Lesson 3: No one has it right. There is no culture that is ideal, no society that is the best. There are always things that we call all learn from seeing the way other people live and what they value.

What advice could you give others who are considering taking some time off to explore themselves and the world?

Take the Leap!

Were there any quotes that motivated you along the way?

In regards to service work: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time.

But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” – Lila Watson

“Unfold your own myth” – part of a Rumi poem

“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver, from The Summer Day poem

What are the top three countries you would like to travel to next?

Scotland, Ethiopia, Morocco, Thailand, Peru… the list goes on!