My journey towards fulfillment started way back in 2008. I had all the external indicators of success – a good job with a super cool Fortune 500 company, a bunch of money in my retirement account, great benefits, an adorable home of my own, the best hound dog ever, great friends, a nice new car. I took vacations to the lovely beaches of Venezuela or to visit friends in Amsterdam or London, I spent two months in Korea for work. On paper, my life.was.awesome.
On the inside, I was dying. Completely empty. Unfulfilled. I reached my heaviest weight – nearly 200 lbs on my 5’2″ frame. I was drinking daily. My blood pressure went from low to nearly lethally high. I was exhausted and anxious all the time, spent most of my waking hours at work, and was bitterly angry about everything.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and I didn’t know what to do. I just knew I could not go on the way I had been or I was going to die. I made a decision to change my life.
I knew there had to be a better way of living, and that even if I didn’t know what that was, I could figure it out. And slowly, I did. I failed about as often as I succeeded, but I learned from every mistake and I changed my life. For awhile, life got way harder.
I started a diet, a new relationship and I quit my job without a plan. I put myself through graduate school and moved to Silicon Valley for my new “dream job.” I hated every minute of it. My relationship fell apart in the most spectacular way. Netflix binging and drinking became my main source of happiness. I moved back to Portland and struggled to get out of bed in the morning.
I finally hit my bottom and decided to stop drinking. Through that process, I also worked through life-long anxiety related to bullying and childhood abuse. I ended my addiction to busy-ness, perfection and Netflix. I began to see passion & joy return to my life. My creativity started to rebound and I started my consulting business. Life got increasingly better.
The economy and job market tanked and I could barely pay my bills, but I was happier than I ever was before. I short-sold my home, moved into a friends basement and took a job with a startup that I loved. I believed strongly in our mission, was making more money than I had before, and negotiated for 5-weeks of paid vacation, but within six-months I found myself burning out again… work was becoming my life. I needed to review my priorities, to have an adventure, finally take those vacation days.
I booked a solo trip to Bali and Cambodia. People told me I was crazy, that I was most likely going to get mugged or murdered or eaten by dinosaurs or at least get malaria. None of that happened. I had an amazing trip and learned about Buddhism, Hinduism and Communism. I lounged on the beach and by the pool, went to sacred places and was blessed by a holy man. I had a spiritual experience at the top of Angkor Wat that is indescribable.
I felt rejuvenated, courageous and grateful. I was connected to the world in a way I’d never felt. I knew with every fiber of my being that I MUST prioritize travel in my life, and that I needed to share my experiences. I decided to change my life, again.
On the flight back, I read the 4-Hour Workweek and began visualizing a different way of life. I started figuring out what was most important to me & what I wanted from my life. I realized I valued time more than money, experiences over “stuff” and started to spend less and learn more about travel hacking. Later that year, I got permission from my boss to begin working remotely part-time. I spent my 36th birthday in Quebec City, Canada and I took my first Cruise.
In 2015, I started a blog to share my photography and travel stories, as I began traveling the US as a digital nomad. I travelled to more than 10 cities that year, but I fell in love with Savannah. Something about this city felt like home and again, I made a decision to change my life. I got permission to work 100% remote and I began to plot my move to Savannah.
I purchased a home on an island and moved across country. I departed Portland for Savannah on my 37th birthday and did the drive solo, again racking up the travel destinations. I got to experience the majesty of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. I soaked in the World’s Largest Hot Springs, learned that Wyoming is the longest damn state ever and that I’d be okay if I never have to stop for gas in central Missouri again. I arrived in Savannah a day early and walked barefoot in the Ocean in October. I cried in gratitude and relief for finally getting home.
Within a couple of months it became clear that my job was no longer working for me, so I put in notice and started my own business. I spent a couple of weeks designing my new website, getting super clear on my audience and what I wanted to do. I read tons of books and blogs and watched just about every webinar I could get my hands on, and I grew that design business to 6-figures in 10 months while working part-time on some really cool projects. I was finally content in my life and couldn’t stop smiling.
Then I felt the call to adventure again.
A friend of mine suggested I apply for Remote Year, so I did and was accepted. Soon I’ll be living my dream of traveling the world, spending each month in a new city for 2017. About the same time I began prepping for Remote Year, I started taking a class with Mastin Kipp, thinking I might increase my fulfillment in my current business, or maybe start selling my photography.
Instead, I actually found my purpose.
Design, photography, travel, entrepreneurship… these are all integral pieces of my life and things I’m passionate about. But helping other grow? That’s what really lights me up.
It’s why mentoring entrepreneurs at our local tech accelerator has been a highlight of my week for the last year, why I’ve loved sponsoring women and why I’ve had so many hurdles to overcome in my life – because I’ve needed to learn what’s possible in order to teach it. I’m a coach, and I’ve never been happier with my business.
Wether you you know exactly what you want to do next or you ONLY know you can’t keep living the way you have been, I cannot wait to help you design your extraordinary life.
More About Kate
I’m Kate, and I’m a little obsessed with travel.
When I was about six years old, I visited Oregon with my dad and stepmom and my dad tells a great story of how excited I was to see water under the bridges. Only people that grew up in the desert will understand this joke, but it was just one of the things I loved about Oregon and part of how I came to be a Portlandian. Anyway, Dad moved to Coos Bay when I was 10, and I got to spend summers with him & fly solo for the first time. I remember being fascinated with everything about flying – from the little-winged pin given to me by the pilot to the packets of peanuts. I’m pretty sure those wings were a sign of the travel obsession to come.
During college, where I studied graphic design, I had the opportunity to travel to London with my Mom. I’ve been more or less obsessed with travel since but only committed to making it a larger part of my life a few years ago. Since then I’ve traveled to several countries and about 20 states, and have set a personal goal to see as many UNESCO world heritage sites as possible in my lifetime.
I Travel Solo And You Can Too
As a single woman, people are often surprised that I love to travel solo, but it is one of my greatest joys. Traveling broadens your horizons, awakens your senses and makes you feel alive… and I’m going to share a secret to share with you:
Solo travel doesn’t have to be scary and there is no shame in being single.
Seriously. You can do it. If you want to travel, stop making excuses or waiting for someone to go with you. Pack a bag, book a flight and go.
Lived: Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff, Arizona, Chicago, Illinois; Athens, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia
Visited: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, Victoria & a bunch of cities on the Al-Can
Ensenada, Puerto Penasco, Tijuana
Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bath & London, England; Paris, France
Caracas & Los Roquese, Venezuela
Beijing, Guilin, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Yangshuo and Xian, China; Siem Reap (& Angkor Wat Archeological Park), Tonle Sap Village, Cambodia; Bali, Indonesia; Seoul, South Korea; Singapore
- January: New York City + Kerala, India
- February: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- March: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam + Savu Savu, Fiji
- May: Bangkok, Thailand +Gold Coast, Australia
- June: Belgrade, Serbia + Amsterdam, Netherlands
- July: Lisbon, Portugal
- August: Prague, Czech Republic
- September: Sofia, Bulgaria
- October: Buenos Aires, Argentina
- November: Córdoba, Argentina
- December: Santiago, Chile
- January: Lima, Peru
She earned her BFA in design and entered the working world at Nike, then went back for an MBA in marketing and moved to Silicon Valley where she caught the startup bug. She played a key role in several early stage startups before starting her own consulting business.
Now focused on helping creatives and inspiring entrepreneurs excel in their lives and careers, Kate applies the same strategies she’s used in 15 years of successful business to propel people forward into their dream lives.
Learn more about what Kate does: