All About Kay

Kay Kingsman in Iceland

Um, first of all – Hi! I’m Kay! Kay Kingsman, to be exact.

I’m just a goofy goober who decided to jot down silly stories from my travels in the form of a blog and…well, here we are.

First things first. Lower your standards, yeah?

I’m not sure what made you stumble upon my little corner of the internet (if you’re here from my WattPad…no you aren’t), but I hope you settle in and grab a snack. It’s a wild ride at The Awkward Traveller, with admittedly a few unrequested detours and multiple typos, but I promise we’ll get to the destination eventually haha.

If you want to know more about me, my blog, and where I’ve hidden the buried treasure, keep reading!

Quick Facts

Kay Kingsman in China
  • Name: Kay Kingsman (she/her)
  • Nationality: American
  • Hometown: Southern California USA
  • Currently Based in: Portland, Oregon USA
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Languages: English (fluent), French (working proficiency), Spanish (learning), ASL (learning)
  • Countries I’ve Visted: idk man at least like 4
  • Countries I’ve Lived In (more than 3 months): USA & France
  • Favorite Countries: Mexico & Japan
  • Favorite music genre: “ft. Nicki Minaj”
  • Am I a full-time blogger: no

What Will You Find on My Blog?

Kay Kingsman in Seattle, Washington USA

Frankly – a whole lotta stuff. Much of it is nonsense for my own enjoyment, but occasionally I do post things that you may find helpful for your future travels! To make things super simple, my blog can be broken up into a few different categories (or topics) if you will.

  • Destinations: This is where the largest chunk of my blogging effort goes. Separated by region, and then by country, this is where I put all of my itineraries, travel guides, destination reviews, and even culture interviews! There’s some good stuff here.
  • Travel Tips: Ah yes, tips. This section will be blog posts that cover traveling (and all that goes into it) as a general topic. I cover tips about traveling solo, in a group, with a significant other, or with pets. There will be resources on traveling with a chronic condition, or with a wheelchair, or even with food allergies. As someone who works a non-remote full-time job, I also talk about how to wiggle more time PTO out of your job to be able to travel more, especially on the weekends. And on that same leg, how to afford frequent travel. When you’re not actively traveling, I even give tips on how to bring “travel” to your home and hometown. Lots of fun reads in there.
  • Think Pieces: Sometimes, I randomly come across something or a topic that inspires me to dig deeper on the subject. The discussion isn’t always directly related to travel, but usually ties back to it somehow.
  • Give Back: Did you know I started a scholarship for first-time travelers?? It’s called the Global Dreamers Foundation, and I’ll cover the costs of passports and gear for first-time travelers! What’s the point of seeing the world if I can’t tangibly help others do the same?

How Did I Start Traveling?


So…I didn’t grow up traveling. People in my neighborhood didn’t “travel”. I didn’t know ANYONE who “traveled,” let alone left the country. Barely anyone left Southern California.

However, I was an army brat. So I did MOVE AROUND, but that’s not the same thing as traveling. I didn’t have some kind of deep aching wanderlust to see new places and experience *~*new things*~*

Travel was never on my radar. And honestly, it would’ve stayed that way if I wasn’t gifted my first passport.

High School

Get this, there I was, a lil 16-year-old junior in high school. I studied French all four years of high school, and my second year, there was a class trip over spring break to Montreal, Canada (or was it Quebec? One of those). However, I knew my family would never be able to afford it, and we couldn’t, so I didn’t go on that trip. In my third year of French class, there was a class trip over spring break to Paris, France. Monetarily, nothing had changed for our family, so I stuffed the information flyer in my pocket and went home.

However, instead of walking in the door and heading straight to my room to play Left 4 Dead nonstop until 4am the next morning…one of my mom’s friends was visiting. She was a very nosy person (still is tbh) and literally DEMANDED that I tell her how my school day was. And unlike my mom, she didn’t take “fine” as an answer and pulled TEETH to get angsty teenage me into mentioning the France trip.

“Oh, you should go! France is great! That would be such a fun opportunity!”

I stared back at her.

She fished out her wallet, rambling on about how great baguettes and cheap wine was – not that I would be having any – she added when my mom gave her a look.

She quickly wrote a check, shoving it into my hands before my mom or I had a chance to protest. “Here, this will cover the passport. You’re smart though, I’m sure you’ll figure out the rest.”

I don’t know if I was smart, but I WAS resourceful. I applied to over a dozen mini scholarships for highschoolers and ended up winning a total of $2,000, enough to cover the trip (with a little souvenir money) AND buy myself a suitcase. However, that one trip didn’t make me fall in love with traveling.


(study abroad Kay) France

Fast forward to university, which I attended on an academic scholarship. I was pursuing a double major degree in Pharmaceutical Science (minor in chemistry) and International Relations (minor in French). Part of my International Relations degree requirement was to study abroad in a country that spoke the language I wanted to pursue. I initially wanted to learn Korean and study there (thanks MBLAQ for that), but my university did not offer Korean courses and there was no way I would be able to self-teach myself to a level of proficiency to be able to take SCIENCE classes in South Korea, IN KOREAN.

So I went with French.

I studied abroad in Poitiers, France. For those not familiar with American colleges, the tuition costs are different depending if you are an “in-state” student, or “out of state” student (or an international student for that matter). As an out-of-state student, my tuition was $33,000-ish a year instead of like $9,000 for in-state. BUT, it was covered by scholarships. So while studying abroad is usually dramatically more expensive for in-state students, for me, it was still covered by my scholarship.


So I was off to France! I probably did a huge Eurotip and had the time of my life, right? Well, combined with multiple issues (my French bank account not getting set up properly, my passport getting stolen, not having enough money to buy a new passport, etcccc), I didn’t travel much once I was in Europe. Whomp whomppp.

So then what was the turning point?????? Follow me on Instagram to find out!

Why Did I Start Blogging?


Honestly, I started blogging as a procrastination project. I was in the process of writing my first novel and I just wanted to write ANYTHING ELSE except my book. At the time, I had just returned from a trip to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and I wanted to retell my experiences in a more permanent form. Hence, where travel blogging came into the mix.

Since then, I’ve expanded my blog to feature my own stories as well as the stories of others around the world with the intention to not only help others travel, but also understand the context of their travels.

Blogging has been both extremely exciting but also extremely humbling. I am not a travel expert. I’m not an expert in anything, in fact.

I’m just a gal who likes to see new things and tell jokes. Hopefully a few of those jokes land with you.

Keep in Touch!


Don’t be a stranger, now! If you like what you’ve read, consider subscribing to my blog. Whenever I figure out how newsletters work, I’ll be sending out quarterly updates on some of my favorite blog posts that I’ve published over the past months.

As always, feel free to reach out to me via email at [email protected](dot)com! Talk to you soon 🙂

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