Flash back to 2007—a year when Hannah Montana reigned supreme and the iPhone made its debut. It was also the year Katie’s lifelong love of travel began. A teacher at her high school had led many tours with EF, but it wasn’t until a trip to Germany was announced that Katie was eager to join. The European country was somewhere Katie had always been interested in visiting. So, Katie said goodbye to the U.S. and guten tag to Germany, and set off on an unforgettable adventure with her classmates.
“I had the best experience with people in Germany,” says Katie. She was able to immerse herself in their culture and, in return, teach them about her own. With some much more to do, see, eat, and experience, Katie left Germany knowing she wanted to return someday.
Armed with the knowledge that travel and education go together like milk and cookies (drool), Katie bought a one-way ticket to the Bahamas and embarked on a semester-long excursion at sea. When Katie wasn’t eating paella in Spain or wandering ancient ruins in Greece, she was attending classes aboard the ship.
“I love the feeling of being in the new place and seeing it for the first time and everything being new.”
When asked what her favorite thing is about visiting a place for the first time, Katie replied, “trying all the new foods.” Yup. Same.
Though Katie’s passion for travel has taken her to an impressive 27 countries, Germany remains one of her favorites. While attending UMass Dartmouth for college, she was able to return to the country where it all began. “Every year one of my professors would bring students to Germany to work on marketing projects. It kind of just fell into place.” Katie spent her month in Germany reliving the highlights of her first trip, and making new memories.
With over two dozen countries under her belt, Katie is well on her way to achieving her goal of traveling to 30 countries by the time she is 30 years old. In fact, she already has plans for a trip to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, which will get her to her globe-trekking goal.
When asked about the impact of her first trip with EF, Katie said, “I think that opportunity made it easier to travel as much as I could in college. It took away that scary factor of leaving the country for the first time, because I did it early in life traveling with EF. It paved the way.”