looking forward.

I'm a traveler at heart. It's what I do best: that rush of excitement when you exit the airport in a new country, the confusion and newness of everything around you. I love it all.

I typically travel during the summer. Sure, tickets cost more, but I can't exactly take off school during the middle of the year. These past two summers, I've hit up 6 countries total, two for the first time. This year, I've spent my entire Christmas break trying to figure out how to stretch the small amount of money I have saved to cover everywhere I want to go.

I have lists, budgets, and impossible plans laid out. That's the best part of January, the planning and dreaming.

How does California sound? Athens? Amsterdam? Phoenix? At the moment, those are all legitimate (although slightly unlikely) destinations for my summer- if I can work things out, I'll go to all of them.

My grandparents are moving to Phoenix sometime this spring. I was born in a suburb of Phoenix, and I've been back various times since leaving, but not recently. Phoenix is hell in the summer (hellooo, 100 degrees) so thank God for air conditioning. From Phoenix, it's only a short drive to San Diego. Again, it's been years. Grandma and I are already planning our trip: Disney Land, of course. Likely the San Diego Zoo, maybe Sea World. Honestly, it doesn't matter what I do while I'm there, it'll be enough to spend the time with my grandparents and make those memories with them.

Dad is heading to Europe this summer for a two week training session for his job. He'll be in Amsterdam (always home) and Athens. This plan might require a little bit of persuasiveness in the parental department, as I doubt I have enough money to pay for plane tickets west and to Europe.

Amsterdam is nothing new. I hate saying it; it sounds so stuck up, but I feel comfortable and at home in Holland. Athens, however, is a completely different story. The culture, the language, and the atmosphere would all be new. That, friends, is an incredibly exciting possibility.

While there's certainly magic to be found wherever, it's more special and more new and more different the first time you step foot in a country. Even then, it doesn't have to be restricted to a new country. There are so many places within the US, within Holland, within England that I've never been too, and these are all countries that I know fairly well.

This year: I want to find magic in whatever place I go, whether it's the desert in America or the canals in Amsterdam.

Do you have any travel plans or exciting places coming up in the new year?
xo, katie


  1. I'm not sure.... I've never even been outside of my own country. Travel is just a dream right now, but I know that someday, I'll be gazing upon the Eifell Tower, or walking the streets of London, or traveling across the USA. (It'll have to be someday soon!)

    abbie - xoxoxox

  2. I'm heading to Tennessee in May, and Kenya in March! I love traveling.

  3. I have never done that much traveling, but it has been my heart's long desire to travel around the world. Especially anywhere in Europe and Israel. Yes, I have fernweh.

  4. you are oh so lucky, Katie. you have no idea.

    actually, 2012 does hold some exciting travel opportunities for me. Florida in March, (hopefully) NYC in April, and if all goes well, I should be in France in the summer. words cannot explain my excitement--I was bit by the travel bug, bad.

  5. 2012 should hold the adventure of going to romania, then back home to New Zealand, and perhaps Israel...!
    travelling is oober fun, but tiring. it can be so exhausting!
    I hope that you get to go to some of those places that you want to go to:-)

  6. Your so lucky to be able to travel around Europe! That's crazy. 6 countries?! I live overseas (Korea) and go to school in the Philippines, and our sports teams and choir takes trips all around, so I'm hoping to go to Guam or Thailand, maybe, for track... ;) but that doesn't hold a candle to what your plans are! good luck, girl! Hope you have peaceful, inspiring travels.

  7. i remember one time, i think my best friend and i were in 7th grade, and she pulled out the big map of america told me that we were going on a trip around the US. we pick out new york, virginia, california, and all the northern and north western states that i hadn't been to yet. we're both in 10th grade now, and she's forgotten about those plans i think. one time i heard her speaking of doing the same thing only with her other best friend, of whom i barely know. and yet, if she doesn't go with me, i still have my mom, and we'll extended our plans to europe and such.

    this was a beautiful post, katie. i had a slight feeling you were going to write something about travel :))
    -jocee <3

  8. Katie, I just love hearing about your travels.
    I've been to Mexico twice on cruises, but I've never flown. All of our family vacations have been spent driving the hours to our destination.
    This year, Las Vegas for spring break will be our vacation. (dad has a convention , otherwise it wouldn't be a thought). So, I'm with you on the American desert part (;
    p.s. this post stirs up wanderlust like crazy.

  9. Lucky lucky girl :)

    I went to China for a few weeks when i was about 6, and this summer i'm either going Turkey/Israel/Athens or China- so excited! I have a good feeling though that i'll end up living abroad someday, most likely in China. it's kind of stolen my heart :)

  10. I'm also a traveler at heart. I'm a missionary's daughter, so I've been to Jordan, Israel, Sudan, Egypt. Not just to visit -- I've lived there. Right now we're settling in Kentucky, but as soon as the Lord allows me too, I'm going somewhere else. :)

  11. Oh, Katie, I'm so jealous!
    Through school, I was supposed to get to go to Germany & France/Germany/Belgium but because of my parents and a random draw--I'm not going. We'll hopefully be going to Norfolk this summer--it's still England, but it's pretty. And December 2012, we're thinking about New York City. I hope!

  12. That is BEYOND exciting! (: I've been to the San Diego zoo plenty of times (my grandparents used to live out there) and it's lovely! I'm definitely jealous of your overseas travel, though. Being in college doesn't leave me with great gobs of money, so I daydream about adventures after I graduate!

  13. You're so lucky you get to travel a lot! I've unfortunately only been out of the country once and haven't been on a vacation in three years. Your plans sound wonderful though!! I'll just sneak in your suitcase.

  14. Fun! I know what you mean with feeling "comfortable" I've traveled a lot(great now I sound stuck up...), especially in the Middle East, so I feel very comfortable there(Plus I'm learning to speak arabic.). At home almost. :) Well I hope all your endeavors come true!

    -Victoria Horea

  15. well, as you may know, cause i'm always complaining about it, i've never really been anywhere. but i have been to arizona, it's different out west, but nice. this year i finally get to go to washington dc. i am so excited, being the giant history dork i am. i want to just say that i am so psyched for this whole blog. it's wonderful. you guys are so creative and such hard workers.

  16. Russia has been on my heart for about a month now. I'd love to see St. Petersburg and the rural Ural mountains. Dreaming up a summer trip, although I'm not sure it's very likely.

    I really adore this blog concept & content.

  17. Oh, I am such a gypsy when it comes to travel. I love visiting new places. :) So far, I've only been to Amsterdam, England, and Japan, and the former two when I was about 3 1/2 years old . . . which means I am sadly lacking in photos and memories. :/ But Japan I visited only a few years ago -- 'twas a business trip of my father's, and he took one of my sisters and I -- and I have many memories (and pictures! :)).

    Elizabeth Rose

  18. My mom, two best friends, and I are planning on touring Europe in a few years and I'm so excited. It's awesome that you get the chance to travel all the time!

  19. Since you have traveled, I'd love a post on what all goes into planning a trip overseas! I'm dreaming of the UK over winter break, but as I "plan," I'm finding it really hard to narrow down what is important for me to see and what area of the country I'd want to visit.

  20. I ♥ to dream about travelling to places like paris, rome, london (though i've already been there), maybe spain and a bits of america...who knows, maybe one day i'll go to all those places! at least i hope so : )
    wherever you go this year, remember that all things are possible with a little hard work and determination, so you'll get there katie! i know you will : D

  21. I just started reading your blog because of Fernweh (which I found because of Carlotta), and WOW, you are at home in Holland? That is so cool! I'm a missionary girl from Canada who has lived in the Netherlands for eight years. I'm quite at home in Amsterdam as well, although Almere is where we live.
    Just a cool coincedence!
    And Athens sounds lovely, my dear, I hope you get parental permission to go! :)


  22. I'm definitely jealous of all your travel adventures. I want to travel so bad! Italy, france, new york - the list is endless. Hopefully when I'm in college I'll be able to study aboard for a semester and do some traveling while studying.
    I like what you said at the end about finding magic where ever you go. Which is SO true. Traveling anywhere should be magical, but we have to make it so. :)

  23. Beautiful photo.
    I don't have any travel plans, but I would love to go somewhere this Summer- I have never traveled outside the country... and have only visited a few states...

  24. That's so cool. :D

    I love traveling, too! I think that's especially because I grew up as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea and traveled often. Now I'm in college and I've been dying to do more traveling. Over Christmas my family went to California to see my grandparents and other relatives. It was the first time traveling in a plane since I started college a year and a half ago and I really enjoyed it. Next January I'm hoping to do a semester abroad in Spain (my major's Spanish), so hopefully that will happen. I'm also hoping to participate in a mission trip sometime in the near future. :)