As you know, there is not just one, but ten Travelettes sharing their stories, pictures and advice on this blog on a regular basis. Each and every one of them comes with her own set of skills and interests, and of course, an interesting story. We want you to get to know us better, so we thought why not introduce you to a new team member each month – and what would fit better, than our ‘Travelette of the Month’ series?

Let’s start with Kathi, who is to Travelettes, what the Publish button is to WordPress – she gets things done around here, especially since I had Atlas. She has been a part of this blog since early 2013, but it all started well over a year before that…

kathi kamleitner, neusiedler see - by thomas kamleitnerSailing in Austria, 2014

Kathi, how did you actually get involved with Travelettes?

I think it was sometime in spring 2012, when I researched hiking trips to Iceland because I wanted to do something cool after my uni graduation later that year. I stumbled upon Klara Harding’s story on Travelettes – a fellow Austrian who hiked Iceland solo for three weeks. I loved the article, her video and of course the blog it was on. I began following and found out about the Travelettes’ book of short stories and its presentation in Vienna. On that day, I was in a particularly boring lecture, took my friend by the hand and went to the reading. There I spoke to Katja about a guest post about my upcoming trip (to Canada) and she seemed very open to the idea. After submitting my guest post and maybe sending a reminder or two, it was finally online. Katja and I were Facebook friends, so when she was looking for a new permanent team member based in Berlin, and I thought, ‘Hey, I live in Berlin’ (which I did at that time), I got in touch with her and joined the team in January 2013.

kathi canada 840Hiking in Jasper National Park, Canada, 2012

Wow, so Vienna, Canada, Berlin – where else have you lived?

In Canada I unfortunately only spent two months – enough to fall in love though. I’ve also spent a year in Denmark and 5 months in Iceland, right now I’m in Glasgow. All in the past seven years… I don’t like staying in one place too much.

How come?

I just love exploring new places and get bored by routine very quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I really need having a home and love those lazy days on the couch every now and then, but I also can’t stand the idea of missing out on all those places out there. I guess, that’s what it all comes down to – FOMO (fear of missing out). There are so many cities I’d like to live in, languages to learn, trains to ride and people to meet. I wonder how anybody can not be afraid of missing out. It’s what drives me forwards, and once I feel like there might be a better opportunity somewhere else I can move on.

IMG_3979Following the Beatles’ tracks in Liverpool, 2014

And when will you move on again?

Not so soon actually… I have just received an amazing opportunity to go back to uni and decided to stay in Glasgow for another three years. After that who knows – I have dreamt of going nomadic ever since I learnt about Frankie’s amazing story. Maybe you’ll soon meet me eating donuts in Portland, sipping espressos in Rome or getting my surf skills sorted in Costa Rica. Ideally I’d become such an expert on my favorite destinations, that I can start bringing people with me or make itineraries for them. I love planning trips and have made at least twice as many itineraries than the trips I actually went on. Maybe I’ll start with more itineraries for Scotland on the blog!

kathi kamleitner, schottlandSea kayaking in Scotland, 2014

Will writing still be in your future then?

Oh yes, definitely. Writing is my favorite way to relax and get things off my chest; everybody who has ever received a long email from me knows that… When you travel as much as I do, time to process your experiences is very rare, but when I then write about the journey, it is like recapitulating on everything I did. I love giving advice (maybe that’s my mom’s personality shining through there) and can hardly hold back when friends ask me for recommendations. It’s like an energy boost.

The best thing about writing though, is not what it does to me, but what in ignites in others. I could frame every single personal email and comment I get from readers – they make me realise that I can inspire people with my texts and photos. That is the biggest gift of having a platform to reach so many women around the world. So yes, whether I will teach at university later on, run a travel business or start a film festival (another dream of mine), I will most definitely always be writing to spark ideas.

kathi kamleitner, costa rica - by brian shawHorse-back riding in Costa Rica, 2013

Do you think women need this encouragement in particular?

In a way, yes. Although women in the Western world are more emancipated and independent today, there are still many who say, they couldn’t travel solo or long-term, or not to certain destinations – when in fact that is all not true. We can all do it, we just need to dare taking that first step. That’s very different though in countries where women have to face even bigger struggles in terms of inequality, but I’d like to believe that we’re on the right way all over the world when it comes to women’s rights (even if it is still a very long one). Travelettes receives so many questions about how to convince parents to let them go travel, how to save up money and how much you’d need, how to stay save on the road etc. – the dreams are all out there in women’s heads and I really hope that I can contribute to this process of emancipation. Because if traveling isn’t emancipating – what is?

the travelettes guide to tel aviv - kathi kamleitner-9Cycling in Tel Aviv, 2015

If you would like to find out more about Kathi, feel free to shoot her an – she’d be happy to connect. She’s also looking for people to join her on her next (hopefully successful) attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2016, so let her know, if you’d also like to head up to the roof of Africa!

From now on, every month we will introduce you to one of our team members! So stay tuned!