This is me: Brodge. Ok so Brodge isn’t my original name, but it was affectionately (hopefully) given to me and now I hear it so much more than my real first name that sometimes I don’t even respond to Kristen anymore. But if you want to be traditional, I still go by Kristen. Kten works too.
I was raised to travel. My family was never one of those vacation home families, going to the same place every summer. Every year it was an exciting surprise to find out where we would be exploring next. Growing up, it was Vermont one year, Disneyworld the next, Hilton Head another, and San Francisco after that. When I was 11 we took our first international trip – 2 weeks roadtripping around Austria and Germany. Thus began my love for discovering different cultures.
From the ages of 14 to 21, I went to Europe every year to see family in Austria, always including a few days in a new city or country. At 21 I studied abroad in Germany, and over the course of my 5 months there I made it to 30 cities in 12 countries. At this point my fate was sealed, my wanderlust ingrained. Senior year of college a few friends and I dreamed about taking a year off to travel the world, but upon graduating the reality of needing a job and saving money took over and I had to wait. I lived in New York City and San Francisco, doing marketing for an architecture firm I loved. I still had some amazing adventures, but no matter how great those were, they just made me want to pursue my dream of extended travel even more.
In 2014, I made that dream my reality. I boarded a one way flight to Brazil on June 21 and didn’t set foot on US soil for 300 days. I started this blog as my way to keep track of where I went – for myself, for my friends and family, and for anyone else who was curious. I aimed to share as many interesting places and experiences as possible, and hopefully I achieved that goal. My Round the World trip was everything I wanted it to be and more, and because of that I decided to keep going.
So this blog is continuing with a new adventure, what I have started to refer to as my Round the Central America trip. I’ve decided to take another extended journey – 6 months this time – to explore a region that didn’t make the cut for the first round. Again I will aim to share as many interesting anecdotes as possible.
Travel has become more than just a dream for me, it is now my life. Every immigration form asks for “Occupation,” and for 9 months crossing numerous borders I always filled in that blank with “Marketing.” In March I had to fill out the form again as I entered Japan, what would turn out to be the final country of my RTW trip, but this time I declared a different profession: “Traveler.” I hope I can live up to my new profession with my next adventure, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about where it takes me.