Every month, we bring to you an interview with one of the Travelettes team where you get a bit of a background check on the women behind the tales you read. From intrepid travel journalists to those who love doing handstands around the globe, we have a beautiful variety of ladies who all do things differently, but share the same passion: travel.

This month, we’re talking to Katja Hentschel – the woman who created this website 8 years ago and has been continuously working on developing it into something more than just another travel blog…

Katja is 34 and after 8 years of living, studying and backpacking around the world she has ultimately settled down in her current home town of Berlin, Germany. She travels about 5-6 months out of the year.

  Every month, we bring to you an interview with one of the Travelettes team - this month we're talking to our founder and chief travelette: Katja Hentschel.

1. Katja, you’re the founder of travelettes – what made you decide to launch a travel blog?

My history with blogging dates back 10 years, that’s when I first launched a streetstyle blog called glamcanyon.com. It grew quickly and I was able to make a living off photography because of it, which had previously only been a hobby. I realized then that a blog could help me turn something I love doing into something I can do for work which was one of many motivators behind launching travelettes.net.

2. From the start you knew you wanted Travelettes to be a platform by women, for women. Why?

It was always close to my heart to create a platform that would encourage young women to travel more, because it does make such an incredible impact on one’s personal development. It is one thing to preach what you know to friends and acquaintances but I knew that a blog could reach a much wider audience. I think women, possibly more than men, need role models to feel they can do something. They need to see that someone who is just like them, with maybe the same language issues, money troubles and lack of travel-eager friends can muster the courage to go on that journey. The only trips we ever regret tend to be the ones we don’t take.

  Every month, we bring to you an interview with one of the Travelettes team - this month we're talking to our founder and chief travelette: Katja Hentschel.

3. What’s your own story with travel?

I come from a small town in former East Germany. Even though the wall came down when I was only 7, I did grow up around people who haven’t had the freedom I now enjoy, when it comes to traveling the world. I never felt I fit into that small-town mentality and spent years abroad, usually in the world’s major capitals as if to compensate for 18 years in that small town. I did some fun trips to Turkey, Morocco or Spain with my parents growing up, but once I had my high school diploma I went abroad, lived in San Francisco, Barcelona, New York, studied in Paris and London and traveled the world for over a year. I learned a lot about life and my place in it during that time, an experience I wish more people could make.

4. What’s your stance on solo travel?

There are pros and cons to solo travel. I think it probably isn’t for everyone but it is something everyone should try at least once. Solo travel holds more potential for unique experiences as no other form of travel is so free and flexible. No one else to make decisions with you, no one you need to agree with about where you’re going, what you’re eating or the stuff you spend money on. It also holds a lot more potential to challenge yourself. Solo travel taught me to talk to strangers, enjoy the moment, be OK with being alone and experiencing the world around me with more wide-open eyes.

5. Why is it so important to travel?

I don’t really think of myself as a citizen of one country or even just one city. I think of myself very much as part of the world and of those inhabiting it as my neighbors. I’m not a fan of borders and I believe in cultural exchange. Understanding others means understanding yourself. Getting to know different people, customs and places all around the world is bound to broaden horizons, enhance feelings of tolerance and empathy and ultimately make the world a better place. I can think of many more reasons why travel is so important but this one might be my favorite.


6. What were your most memorable trips?

I have had many wonderful and exciting trips but one I particularly love thinking back to happened back in 2007. I was traveling South America with my good friend and together we opted to spend 3 days in the Amazon jungle, just outside Manaus in Brazil. We would ride a boat through water-flooded tree tops, fish Piranhas, drink Caipirinhas until the wee hours and dance in the tropical morning rain. Magic times.

7. In 2014 you gave birth to your first son Atlas. How has becoming a mother changed the way you travel?

It’s calmed down a lot. Not so much in the frequency I travel with, but in the destinations I pick, the hotels I stay in and the things I do once I’m there. I’m a firm believer that travel is one of the greatest schools life can offer and Atlas, who at 2 years old, speaks 2 languages and talks to absolutely everyone is confirmation of this. Every kid is different and it is up to the parents to figure out what is essential to their kid but in our case I was always able to marry Atlas’s needs, such as firm bedtime hours, with our travel life. The key is not to plan too much. Just find a place to go you all love and let the rest happen naturally.

Every month, we bring to you an interview with one of the Travelettes team - this month we're talking to our founder and chief travelette: Katja Hentschel.

8. You’ve recently taken up running travelettes as a business full-time – how is this working out?

Once I had finished my year-long maternity leave I decided to quit my job as a photographer and focus full-time on growing travelettes.net into a business. I knew we had the reach and skills to be successful, I just needed to work a bit more to help us grow its full potential. That was about a year ago and our progress has been steady and considerable. We were able to build some great relationships with brands who repeatedly work with us and our readers continue to give us awesome feedback as well. I have just started employing more people to work with us and we are excited to see what the future might bring.

9. Do you have any tips for people who are looking to make money off their (travel) blogs?

My number one tip would be to get a media kit. You can download ours (link) for guidance, if you don’t have one yet. If your blog is somewhat established you are probably already getting emails by PR companies and brands about products. Simply email them back asking if they have a budget to work with you. If they say yes, pitch them an idea for a great blogpost, an instagram photo or a facebook post.

Every month, we bring to you an interview with one of the Travelettes team - this month we're talking to our founder and chief travelette: Katja Hentschel.

10. What would you like to tell young women out there?

I want all women to know that they are able to do amazing things if they just put their mind to it. We all get caught up in comparing ourselves and being negative about the many things we don’t have and what we are not instead of focusing on our talents. I believe that everyone has the ability to create a life for themselves that they love waking up to every single day. The talent is to want it enough to pull all the strings towards making it happen.

If you wish to see where life takes Katja, feel free to follow her on her Instagram and Facebook or drop her a line at Katja@travelettes.net.

This is a post by Kathi Kamleitner.

Kathi Kamleitner was a regular contributor at Travelettes from 2013 to 2019. Originally from Vienna, Austria, she packed her backpack to travel the world and lived in Denmark, Iceland and Berlin, before settling in Glasgow, Scotland. Kathi is always preparing her next trip – documenting her every step with her camera, pen and phone.

In 2016, Kathi founded Scotland travel blog WatchMeSee.com to share her love for her new home, hiking in the Scottish Highlands, island hopping and vegan food. Follow her adventures on Instagram @watchmesee!