Each month, we’ll introduce you to a member of our Female Travel Bloggers Facebook community so you can learn about who they are, why they became a blogger and what their favorite travel moments have been so far.
Meet Kym from “33 And Free.”
What inspired you to start blogging?
When we started traveling it was initially a journal and then it turned into showing people what was out there and helping them explore and experience. To help them realize that stepping out of their comfort zones can be such a struggle, but the reward is worth it.
How did you come to name your blog?
Lol. This was the toughest part. Again, we didn’t really know how much we would social media or blog. We thought about the normal things that you would see. Everyone has “wander,” “Nomad,” “travel,” etc., in their names. My husband wanted something different. So we decided that 33andfree rhymed and we were 33 and free to decide what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it and how we wanted to do it. Nothing was holding us back and we were lucky enough to be able to break free.
What makes you unique compared to all other bloggers out there?
I think that we are unique because we really focus on nature and the outdoors, as a full-time RV-er. Rving has boomed the past couple years as a way to live and as a way to travel with areas that are good for RV-ing and being able to get immersed in nature. People seem to focus on international destinations. They are exotic and different, but what they sometimes neglect is to realize that the United States is so incredibly beautiful. I was guilty of not having any interest in exploring the US. Now, I have such a different appreciation for this country and what it has to offer.
What do you love most about being part of the FTB group?
This community loves to tell people of places to see or things to do that might not be in the travel guides. Which I love. I don’t want to go to the touristy place, I want to go to the local place. Most people tell people not to tell others about certain areas. I do get it, they can become overrun, but sometimes I want someone to feel what I felt, to see what I saw or to step where I was lucky enough to go.
What advice do you have for people wanting to start a blog or those who are struggling to continue with it?
I would tell people that first and foremost it should be a blog for yourself. Don’t get tied up in the numbers and viewers and SEO. Figure out what you love and then it will come.
What are your blogging goals?
I would love to just keep writing about places in the United States that blow me away. I keep thinking I have seen it all and then a new place will render me speechless. I love receiving notes and emails about people doing a hike that I did, that they normally never would have done and loving it. I want to help people get outside and enjoy life.
What has been your biggest blogging win?
I don’t think I have had a win in the sense that most think. I just like it when people respond positively to my posts. I haven’t really worked with any companies or tourism companies and I am okay with that.
Where do you live?
Well, currently we live in Bend because that is where are our RV is!
What do you do for your career?
Nothing. Right now we are living life and taking in each day at a time. When the time comes and we have to work again, we will align our work with our life first, and not the other way around.
What is your favorite film?
I usually like watching action films and one of them is usually my favorite. However, currently, it’s Midnight In Paris.
What song is your life anthem?
This is embarrassing but I am not hugely into music. It’s the oddest thing about me. I listen to the radio because my husband wants to. I can tell you that if you want a natural sound that can be just as good. Go sit next to a stream and listen to nature.
But I guess any song that tells you to live life and not look back. Don’t conform, don’t feel pressured, do life how you want to because you only get this thing called life once.
What quote sums up where you are right now?
The most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.
Do you have an embarrassing travel story?
What has been your most memorable travel experience so far and what made it so unforgettable?
I have two.
- Last Thanksgiving (2016) we were in Thailand and had decided to do a trek through northern Thailand. Our first night was actually Thanksgiving and we spent it in a small Thai village with 6 Germans, 2 Tasmanians, 1 Hong Kong and 2 Thai. We told them about some of the traditions that we love about Thanksgiving and then we had a feast prepared by the local community. It was one of the best experiences and nights of my life.
- This past August was the month of the total eclipse. We ended up gathering in remote Idaho with 14 other RVs for a week of shenanigans and the total eclipse. Aside from the total eclipse being a life-changing moment, being surrounded by new friends that we had met throughout the past 18 months was surreal. We have met more people on the road in 18 months than 7 years in Los Angeles.
What is your favorite city and country and why?
This is incredibly hard. Internationally probably Nice, France. Domestically, I can’t answer.
What one destination did not impress you and why?
The biggest let down for me was probably Thailand. I was so excited to be there and then being surrounded by the cruelty to an animal that they considered royal was beyond me. Just for a buck. I couldn’t get past it and how many people seemed to just not care. Locals and tourists. Elephant riding is never okay, taking pictures with tigers is never okay and abusing dogs is never okay. Yes, it happens everywhere in every country. I was blind to how bad it was in Thailand until I got there.
What has been your favorite meal?
This is again hard. I loved my meal in Thailand on Thanksgiving, I loved my first experience at Per Se in New York and I loved the local fish, rice and bean dish in Costa Rica. It’s not always just the food, it’s the experience, but I do love food.
Where are you traveling to next?
We are currently in Bend, OR and we have plans for Nola, Amsterdam, Japan and Costa Rica. Plus exploring Oregon, Washington and potentially Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
What/who inspired you to travel?
As I was working and away from my husband and my animals for 13 hours a day, I kept hearing stories of life ending too soon. A 40-year-old mother of two died of cancer, a wife that passed after 10 years of marriage, a father who worked his entire life and died the year he was supposed to retire and travel with his wife. Countless stories and here I was complaining about my life. But I was alive! Why do I spend every minute working for things that I am never around. While we are physically able, why don’t we travel together now? What would happen if I was away from my husband and something happened to him? I want to have no regrets. Why do I have this thought in the back of my head that I need to follow the traditional life? College and then work for the next 40 years on the chance that I make it to retirement and that my husband does. Life is not a guarantee and not to be taken for granted.
What’s your travel style and why do you like it? (Budget, Luxury, slow, sustainable, family, solo etc)
I like it all. It depends on the situation, where we are at and what the point of the trip was. I have never traveled solo because I always want my husband by my side, but in no way does that make me dependent. I love experiencing everything with him. I love the rawness and eco-friendliness of Costa Rica to the beautiful hotels in Nice, France. I like slow and not planned out. I want to be able to be spontaneous and not on a schedule. As long as it’s an adventure I am happy!
Kym and her husband stumbled into a life that they came to realize wasn’t what they wanted. They decided they wanted to be free and so embarked on an adventure. Currently living in a truck with a 5th wheel RV, and three pets with two years of travel tentatively planned out, but not firmly in place.
Are you a Female Travel Blogger?
Request to join our supportive Female Travel Bloggers Facebook community to ask questions and network with like-minded women! All you need is an active travel focused website to be accepted.