KMichaudPicMy name is Katelyn and I hail from this lovely little state called Maine. Often times when I’m out exploring the world, no one has heard of Maine, which makes me cry inside. I feel very fortunate to have been born and raised in a state where people love to vacation. There is a reason we call Maine “Vacationland” or by the newer motto… “The way life should be.”

As much as I love Maine, I also love taking off for adventures to far off places. I often travel solo so I can wander off to explore the unbeaten path and dive into the local culture. I just started my Great Escape in January 2016! I’ve been working hard (aka I’m a workaholic) for the past three years to save enough money to turn my dream into a reality. I’ll be traveling through Central America, Europe, and Middle East before settling down in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa.

Every time I leave for a new adventure, I always consider not returning home. There is so much to see and do on this planet! I just hope that I have enough time to enjoy all that I can. Everyone has asked if I’ll return back to the good ole’ U.S. of A. after my adventure Down Under, but as of now, my Great Escape has no expiration date. I’m traveling to experience new cultures, foods, histories, and to find epic off-the-beaten path adventures. Who knows where the world will take me!

I’m a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to my life priorities. Maybe because I want everything at once? As much as I love stashing away money for traveling the world, I love saving money in my emergency fund and paying off my student loans just as equally. You’ll see a lot about personal finance on this blog as I navigate my way through my finances as I grow my emergency fund and attempt to pay off $20,000 of student loan debt in 3 years all while traveling the world full-time. Whew… that was a mouth full!

My goal is to help educate millennials about money and travel. When I graduated high school and entered college I had no clue about what student loan debt really means. When I graduated college I had no idea that the $44,000 student loan debt weight would crush me. I quickly learned how to continue to live as a “poor college student” in my 20s. Now that I am older and wiser I hope to help my peers maneuver through the muddy waters of life post-college in the 2000’s where the average college student graduates with about $30,000 of debt! I also want you to know that you should travel! Travel more and often.

Along my journeys and stories you’ll probably see my two trusty side kicks: Wally the Wandering Lobster and Reagan. Wally the Wandering Lobster is my stuffed lobster that joins me on most of my travels. He serves as a small piece of Maine and reminds me of where I was born and raised. He also loves getting his photo taken in random places along the way. Make sure you follow my Instagram account to see more photos of Wally the Wandering Lobster. My main side kick is Reagan, my Australian Shepherd mix dog that I rescued from a high kill shelter down in the Carolinas. Just like her momma she loves the outdoors and is my primary hiking buddy as I explore the woods of northern New England. You can often see us having swimming races in the lake during the summer months.

Reagan dog

I have a Master’s in Public Health and a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry. Prior to leaving my career in Maine, I worked in the healthcare technology industry on healthcare reform for a nonprofit. Outside of my 9-5 job, I worked as a personal trainer, triathlon coach, and spin instructor at Big Sky Multisport Coaching & Personal Training.

Today I work mainly as a freelance writer and social media manager. Check out my Work With Me page for more information on my writing services. My dream career is to work in international public health so I can travel the world and play a small role in changing the healthcare delivery system in developing counties, hence why I hope to return to grad school to earn my PhD someday.

~Katelyn

Want to know more about me? Check out my 20 Random Facts About Me post!

Comments

  1. Keating

    I’m so excited to have found your blog!! 🙂 My husband and I are from Maine as well. We grew up in the small town of Naples, about an hour outside of Portland. He’s now in the military and we’re in the process of moving from North Carolina to Okinawa, Japan. Where in Maine are you from? I’m so excited to start reading your blog!
    Keating recently posted…MILITARY SPOUSE APPRECIATION + A LINK UPMy Profile

    1. Author
      Katelyn

      Hi Keating. Thanks for the kind words! I grew up in Gorham so not far from Naples. I actually used to work at Shawnee Peak during the winters while I was in high school and college so I know the Lakes Region well. And a huge thank you for your husband’s service! Enjoy Japan! 🙂

  2. Taylor

    Found your blog because I’m researching budgets for a potential Belize trip in Jan… but wow, I think you’re me but way more put together (at least you have a couple years on me, so maybe I can get there, ha)… I’m from Bar Harbor, went on a year-long round-the-world trip with the fiancé last year, now back in BH working as a research assistant and saving up for the future. Your thoughts about juggling finances and personal fulfillment hit a massive chord with me; I’m desperately trying right now to figure out how I can balance making enough money to not only survive but save, plus being able to travel regularly and not be crushed by the 40-hour work week, plus having my job be something that I find worthwhile and enjoy. Being a millennial is hard? You’ve written some great stuff here and it gives me hope that I can figure it all out. Fellow-Mainer high five!

    1. Author
      Katelyn

      Welcome Taylor! Thanks for stopping by. It’s always lovely to connect with other Mainers! Are you at Jax or MDBL? I did the summer program at Jax in 2007. It is one of my favorite summer memories. The savings mindset is tough, especially living in place likes Maine where the cost of living is high compared to a living wage. I have no doubt that you will reach your goals and travel again! 🙂

      1. Taylor

        I’m at Jax! It really is a great place- and when I get antsy about wanting to travel again sooner, I just look out the window and remind myself that I live in a national park! 🙂

  3. Deanna B

    Go you Katelyn!!!!! I envision your Mom with a huge smile as she would be SO PROUD of you!!!! You are an amazing young woman!

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