Meet The Traveler is a series where each week we interview one lifestyle traveler from around the world. These travelers range from being digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, or simply so passionate about seeing the world that they’ve fully integrated travel into their lifestyle. Our travelers will bring us into their world, sharing their transition story, what they do to support their lifestyle, and giving us insight into their life as a traveler.
If you’re looking for inspiration to transition to this lifestyle, want to meet other people in the community, or are simply curious to know how others live and split their time, then you don’t want to miss this series!
Credit: Kaleena Stroud
Meet The Traveler: Copywriter Kaleena Stroud
We like to start things off by knowing the behind-the-person story. We love getting intimate and learning about what drives a person to be who they are. Let’s skip the small talk, and head right into some more passionate questions.
Could you tell us a bit about your journey – who were you in a past life, and who are you now?
I like to say I was a proud grandmother in a past life. My preference is staying in, baking and filling a room with the aroma of fresh-baked cookies. I tend to connect with children more than anyone my own age—and I have an unexplained love for mismatched mugs and knitted blankets.
Where are you from originally?
What are the things you’re most passionate about currently?
I’m obsessed with growth—professional and spiritual. I’m always working two steps ahead in my mind. This helps me visualize the future and work towards a goal. I’m a goal-oriented person in general. Without one, I feel unmotivated and lost.
Sometimes I stay a bit too long in that “two steps ahead” place and forget where I’m at right now. That is also pretty awesome, and that my past self would be amazed to see where I am today. However, without this ambition and self discipline I wouldn’t have gotten pretty far. So it’s a delicate balance between planning & hard work and satisfaction & enjoyment. I’m still working on it!
“Do it for the right reasons. Do it because you want to explore and understand new cultures and try new things while you have the time. But don’t be afraid to just do it. You can always go back home.”
Being a reflective person has allowed me to enter better relationships than I ever thought I deserved. Personal growth is so important as an entrepreneur because you are nothing without the belief that you are worthy of your dreams and without people who support your vision.
When did you first get interested in traveling?
I always had big plans for myself. I knew I’d have crazy adventures, although at the time I didn’t know how or where. My mom got me my first passport when I was 17 and took me to her home country, England. Being from a small(ish) town, I fell in love with the big city lifestyle of London and knew I had to see more.
When did you realize that you wanted to make travel a lifestyle? Was there a trigger point?
I didn’t decide to make travel a lifestyle, it kinda happened. I met an Argentinian man at what now feels like a lifetime ago, but I think I was 22. After about a year of a long-distance relationship he invited me to live in Buenos Aires with him. The relationship didn’t last, but the desire to explore and live abroad did. Once you’ve lived and loved and had (somewhat) roots in another country, you begin to belong everywhere and nowhere at the sametime. It’s a bittersweet feeling but I wouldn’t change my decision to leave the US for the world.
How did you go about making the transition to a lifestyle traveler? Was it a seamless transition or a bit difficult?
There are two parts to this question. The first being the moment I moved to Buenos Aires AKA my first time living outside of California. And it was terrifying. I hate travel blogs making it seem like it’s the easiest thing you’ll ever do because it’s inauthentic.
Homesickness is real, losing a sense of where you belong is real, culture shock is real AF. Is it rewarding? Yes. But I don’t know anyone who hasn’t struggled from time to time.
Granted I’m talking about becoming an expatriate, relocating, traveling indefinitely, etc. Study abroad opportunities and 6-month trips can still have rough patches, but knowing you have an end date makes everything simpler.
The second transition is when I moved back home to California and realized I just couldn’t remain in the same place anymore. As I mentioned, your soul begins to wander after life abroad. I had reverse culture shock and didn’t connect with the city like I used to. So I decided to build an online business as a copywriter and move to Spain. I spoke the language and was an older, wiser woman by then, so the transition was seamless this time around. I fell in love with the country within a week and haven’t looked back!
Karen was born in Lima, Peru, but grew up in Palm Springs, California. She started her travel journey in 2016 with an around-the-world trip that took her through Europe, SE Asia, and Australia. Since then she has created a lifestyle of travel, and splits her time between NYC (her current home base), LA, Barcelona, and Lima. She loves all things wellness, travel, and entrepreneurial, and is always working on new projects while exploring the world.
Meet The Traveler is a series where we interview one lifestyle traveler from around the world. These travelers range from being digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, or simply so passionate…