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#rtwsoon Interview: Katie – Katie Going Global

Now that we’re on the road, it excites us even more to see more travelers taking the plunge into long-term travel. Katie Aune, of Katie Going Global, has recently announced her plans to travel through all 15 countries of the former Soviet Union. Talk about going off the beaten path! Read our interview with Katie below and be sure to follow her awesome adventures.

Hiking the Colca Canyon in Peru in 2009.Who are you?

I grew up in Minnesota in the USA but have lived in Chicago for the last 10 years. I was a lawyer for 6 years and have worked in alumni relations and development for a law school for the last 4.  My first trip overseas was in September 2001 – a whirlwind Contiki trip around Europe.  Altogether I have been to 19 countries, including most of western Europe, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, Peru, Australia and Egypt, usually in 2 week spurts.

Where are you going on your RTW?

My itinerary is a bit unusual – I’ll be traveling and volunteering through all 15 countries of the former Soviet Union.  I majored in Russia & East European Studies in college and studied Russian language for 3 years, so it’s really my ideal trip.  You can read more about my tentative itinerary in my post, Announcing My Big Adventure.

When are you leaving?

I leave on August 30 – my 35th birthday!

On Court 18 at Wimbledon, where Katie watched the longest tennis match in history in 2010.

On Court 18 at Wimbledon, where Katie watched the longest tennis match in history in 2010.

Why did you decide to go on this trip?

It started a few years ago with a feeling of not being happy with my life in Chicago and thinking about moving back home to Minnesota.  I figured if I was going to move, I might as well take a couple of months off to travel at the same time. Eventually, I started thinking less about moving and more about taking extended time off to travel and discover what I want to do with my life going forward.  I’m calling it a career break, but I hope it will be more of a career transition – into something that really makes me happy.

What will you be doing to pass the time before your travels?

I have taken care of most of the big “to-do” items related to my trip, but I still have a lot of little things to take care of.  I also need to wrap stuff up at work (my last day is August 12) and get my condo ready for my tenants. And of course try to see as many friends as possible and have an awesome going-away party!  The week before I leave, I will be in Minnesota seeing friends and family there and attending a cousin’s wedding.

Riding a camel in Aswan, Egypt in 2008.

Riding a camel in Aswan, Egypt in 2008.

If you could give just one piece of advice to a fellow #rtwsoon traveler, what would it be?

Just bite the bullet and do it.  I spent a lot of time waiting for one thing or the other to happen before I moved ahead with planning my trip.  Finally, I realized I just needed to set a departure date and make everything else work around that goal.

Visit Katie’s Website: Katie Going Global
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If you’re heading around-the-world in the next 12 months and would like to be featured here, please contact us.