Interview by Nancy Todd
More and more women are traveling alone. And, there are many who think about it but aren’t quite there. Kate McCulley, the founder and writer of Adventurous Kate’s Solo Women Travel Blog, encourages women to get on a plane and go. Her site went live in February 2010. Kate’s style is witty, fun, and while an optimist, she tells it like it is.
1. What is the most satisfying part of your work?
I love hearing from women who tell me that they finally decided to try traveling solo — and that my site inspired them to do it! That makes me so happy. I’m always touched to hear from readers who have followed my advice and done the same things I’ve done in different places around the world.
2. Why did you decide to start your site? What is the most popular part of your site?
I’ve been blogging for ten years — since back when we called them online diaries! In late 2009, I started getting into travel writing and I decided to put together a more professional travel blog. My most popular posts are by far my inspirational posts — posts encouraging people to take the actual steps toward living a life filled with more travel. A lot of my readers dream of travel, but don’t know how they can make it a part of their lives. I help them figure it out.
3. Tell us more about you: What percentage of the time do you spend on the road?
I’m originally from Boston. These days, I spend about 50% of my time in the UK, most of that in Chester, England, with my boyfriend; the other half I spend traveling the world.
4. What do you think keeps women from traveling more solo?
I think there are two fears — the first is that every man walking down the street is a rapist. The second fear, the one that people don’t talk about, is the fear of embarrassment. The fear of looking foolish or being uncomfortable, or not knowing what to do. And that fear, more than the rapist fear, is what keeps women from traveling solo.
5. I read your advice from your Mother about slowing down. That is hard for many of us to do. How do you relax when traveling?
I haven’t yet figured out how to slow down! I’ve been fortunate to have had many interesting opportunities in the past year, and it’s hard to say no to the chance to go to some wonderful places. That said, I’ve been burning out lately. Slowing down will definitely be a priority of mine in the coming year.
6. You have a frankness, a self deprecating style which is very funny. Thousands of people see your vulnerable side. Are you ever self-conscious about being so open to your readers?
I know that the frankness and self-deprecation are one thing that keep people coming to my site! It’s a tip I figured out from my waitressing days. If you drop a hint about something going not-quite-ideally to a customer, they feel special that you let them in on a secret, so to speak. Blogging is like that. I do have my limits when it comes to getting personal. One thing that I don’t write about much is my relationship.
7. How do you see the future of the internet affecting your business?
When you run an internet-based business, it’s essential to evolve and change. Much of that is happening right now. I see myself working in some form of internet publishing for the long-term, but the particular form of publishing is going to vary incredibly.
I absolutely love Spain! I’m most likely coming to Costa Brava for TBEX Europe this September. I’d love to visit the Balearic Islands this summer, and I’ve been dreaming of walking the Camino de Santiago for years now. Hopefully the Camino will happen within a year or two.