Photo Source: Kesi and Instagram
Meet Kesi! She's an Ivy League grad who quit her finance job in NYC to travel the world. She's been globetrotting for over 5 years and has visited over 60 countries, Her favorite part of the world to travel is East Africa.
Read about some of her craziest adventures below (but beware, you may experience some wanderlust).
What was your experience like the first time you traveled solo?
I traveled solo for the first time at 22, after I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. I went to Europe for 3 weeks, and I was obsessed with the freedom of solo travel. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I could hook-up with a hot foreign guy and not feel judged. I could join a group of people on a tour, but leave once they start doing something I'm not interested in.
Traveling solo also forced me to become more social. I found myself talking to more strangers and meeting lots of people. When you are solo, you have the option to enjoy eating at a restaurant alone, or maybe you start engaging with the bartender or the person who sits next to you, so you don't feel as alone.
Solo travel made me comfortable in my skin, independent, and a social butterfly.
What advice do you have for sustaining longterm travel?
Long term traveling does not have to be super expensive. My monthly budget for traveling is less than what my rent was in NYC. It's essential to understand your travel budget and how much you can spend per month. If you travel to cheaper areas like Central America or SE Asia, it is possible to spend $800 or less per month.
My travel style is to immerse myself in the local culture, so I'll often use apps like Couchsurfing, which is a website that facilitates cultural exchanges, while also providing free accommodation. (Note: do not treat it like a free hotel, you are a guest in someone's home).
Also, if you find a seasonal job that helps sustain long term travel. I work as a host on yachting charters over the summer in the Mediterranean, and that allows me to travel for the rest of the year.
What has been something that has surprised you when traveling the world?
How giving strangers are. Turning on the news makes the world look like a bad place, and even though horrible things are happening globally, when I travel, I am reminded how good humankind is. I've had strangers from all walks of life go out of their way to help me during my travels. It can be something as simple as a stranger giving me money while on the bus since I had the wrong currency, or it could be a Couchsurfing host who canoes 4 hours to pick me up and then take me to his home. I want to have a positive effect on each person I interact with since almost every person has been kind to me.
What would you say is one of the most under-rated places to visit? What do you love most about it?
Uganda. When I went backpacking across East and Southern Africa, Uganda was the country I was least excited to visit, but I decided to go since it was a part of the East Africa visa. Uganda completely blew my expectations because of how beautiful and green it was. Driving around, I loved the contrast between the orange dirt and the bright green grass. I also loved Uganda because I met some of the friendliest locals. People from Uganda are superb hosts and were open to sharing their homes with me. I didn't even participate in the most prominent tourist attraction in Uganda, which is gorilla trekking, and the country still exceeded my expectations.
Where to Find Kesi
Check out Kesi's Instagram, her food account, and blog.
Here are some more of our favorite travelers and their gorgeous shots.
Ellee is in the building - and this week she's showing us what it means to be a globe trotting Travel Crush. This native New Yorker has climbed the pyramids of Egypt, took her whole life in her hands on the swings in Bali, and she's still pumped for more challenging, new adventures. Read on for her tips on having magical experiences without breaking the bank, her favorite hack for buying cheap flights, and how she stays in villas without the hefty price tag.
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