Welcome to Diaries of a Wandering Lobster!

Happy to ride the $2.50 USD bus from Benque to Belmopan!

Happy to ride the chicken bus in Belize!

My 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’m currently stationed in Maine at the moment slaving away at various jobs (that I equally love!) to save money to take off on my “Great Escape” in 2016 (and to return to graduate school for my PhD).

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. So far most of my travels have been in Central America, a region of the world that I quickly fell in love with! I’m currently learning Spanish so I cannot be ripped off by more taxi drivers (or at least that’s the hope)! I plan to start my “Great Escape” journey in South America when the time comes. However, as much as I love the Latin America culture, I’m excited to return to Europe in the spring of 2015 for a few weeks!

I’m a bit of a contradiction 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, save for my “Great Escape,” attempt to pay off $20,000 of student loan debt in 3 years, and all while investing in my future retirement. Whew… that was a mouth full!

My goal is to help educate millennials about money. 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!

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.

I have a Master’s in Public Health and a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry. I currently work in the healthcare technology industry working on healthcare reform in a nonprofit. Outside of my 9-5 job, I work as a personal trainer, triathlon coach, and spin instructor at Big Sky Multisport Coaching & Personal Training. 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 plan to return to grad school to earn my PhD.

~Katelyn

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