Traveling Dreams

This week’s inspiration for my “Weekly Post” comes from a question from my dear friend Nick on my Ask Me page (you can feel free to ask me one as well)…

If you could spend a week traveling Europe, which cities would you like to hit up and why?

This is an interesting question to ask for a couple reasons.  First, I do not have a passport as I have never traveled out of the country.  Second, I am actually traveling out of the country for the first time  next month, for business, to Europe.  Thus, traveling and Europe  have been on my mind quite a bit.  And thus, I am excited to answer this question.

Frankly, a week is not a long time to travel all over a continent, but lets for the sake of this question pretend that I can teleport from place to place and not lose any time traveling.  With that in mind let us begin our journey.

London, UK

Yes, how cliche of me right?  You know what?  I don’t care.  Ever since I was little London has been on my list of places to visit.  I want to see where the queen lives.  I want to look at Big Ben.  I want to stand on the London Bridge and sing “London Bridge is falling down, falling down..”.  I want to go and try and get the royal guards to smile.  I want to visit where Shakespeare lived and wrote.  I want to drink a pint in a seedy pub with sketchy British men with yummy accents.  I want to do everything cliche that Americans think of when they think London.  

Dublin, Ireland

I am 50% Irish.  I love all things green.  I grew up on a sheep farm.  I need to visit Ireland.  One half of my family’s history began in this country and thus I feel a draw to this great green yonder.  However, beyond that, Dublin is filled with so much history, so much architecture and amazing parks, that I know I would love visiting.  From the glorious castles to the beautiful churches, every step would hold a new piece of architecture and history for me to marvel.

Paris, France

Ah, the city of love.  Let me start by saying that I love love.  However, that is not why I would love to visit Paris.  Paris comes on the recommendation of many friends who have visited there.  The Eiffel Tower, tiny outdoor cafes, the Louvre, the parks, the cuisine, the history, the architecture.  What is there in Paris that you would NOT want to see?  Absolutely nothing.  I will make it to Paris someday, I promise you that.

Venice & Rome, Italy

Food.  Beautiful Architecture.  History.  Religion.  Italy is my top destination, has been for years, will be until I get to visit.  I took two years of Italian in college simply so that I would be able to visit Italy.  Honestly, I would like to visit all of Italy, even Sicilia.  However, if I had to choose just a couple places to visit, Venezia and Roma are at the top of the list.  Venice for the simple fact that it is a city built on water.  Additionally it is home to some beautiful art.  Rome…Well, let’s face it, it’s Rome.  How can you not want to visit the home of the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the Trevi Fountain?  And yes, I could go on and on forever about everything in Rome, and Italy as a whole.  If you have any interest in history, ancient, middle ages, or current, Rome is a must.  Oh did I also mention I absolutely love Italian food?  Yeah, I am definitely going to Italy someday.

Athens, Greece

Home of philosophers Plato and Aristotle.  The Parthenon.  The Olympics.  Temples to Greek Gods.  Are you seeing a theme here?  I love history.  History of any kind.  I can’t get enough of it.  And a chance to visit one of THE places that started Western Civilization.  Yes.  P.S.  I don’t like Greek food, but I could maybe get used to it.

Madrid & Barcelona, Spain

Why?  Because I feel as though if I am going to visit Europe, I must at least stop by Spain.  Madrid is the capital and thus an obvious choice, but I have often been told that the city is almost too large and that it is daunting.  However, I would still like to visit and roam through the streets.  As for Barcelona, well from what I know, it has some absolutely beautiful architecture.  And it is home to Picasso, so you can can bet I would be visiting the museum completely dedicated to him!

Germany

I honestly can’t pick which city I would want to visit when I visited Germany.  The country is so filled to the brim with history that I could spend two weeks traveling just around there.  From Berlin, to Munich, to Hamburg, each city has something I would like to see.  And when you remember that Germany was at the heart of WWII, and that I studied Judaism in college, well Germany simply has so much value for me.

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There are so many places in Europe that I want to see, so many places in the world I want to visit.  Someday I will make that happen.  I am embarrassed to admit this, but I have never left the country (United States).  I do not even have a passport.  But!  Not for long!  I am excited to write, at the beginning of February I will be going to Hamburg on a business trip.

New Year, New Domain

A very long time ago, back when I was an ambitious young college student at Boston University, I used to have my own domain.  I was going to do great things with it.  I was going to establish my online presence and people were going to love me for it.  You can see how this ends now.  I was excited about it for all of 2 weeks.  Then it dropped off the face of the earth.  One year later it came time to renew it.  I did.  Why?  I don’t know.  It sat there for another year.  Every once in a while I thought about how I should find someone to make me a good website, or that I should upload photography to it.  But I never did.

Fast forward four years.

I now work in one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world (social games).  Even more than that, I work as a Community Manager.  It is my job to be connected.  It is both my job to have an online presence for myself, and build an online presence for my company.

As I thought about what I wanted my domain to be, I found myself coming back to blogging.  But the question was, what would I write about?  Did I want to brand myself, and my domain to one specific topic?  Did I want to make it all about my life?  As I talked with my friends, colleagues, even random acquaintances, I kept hearing different things.

“You should find one area you want to write about and stick to that.  It will be easier to market it.”

“You should totally just make it all about you.”

Everyone had an opinion.  And all of those opinions mattered.  And none of those opinions mattered.

I could have thought about it for months.  Gone back and forth.  Reconsidered a thousand times.  But you know what?  Enough was enough.  As Nike says….JUST DO IT.  So here it is.  Introducing, the new, the improved, the kick-butt, kateolmstead.com.

So what do I hope for from this domain and the blog?  What will I write about?

That is a very good question, and honestly, it is something I am still answering myself.  I have some ideas, of course.  I do know that this blog will be my public face.  I also know that I will not limit myself to one topic.  There is so much I am interested in (gaming, geek culture, gender issues, movies) that limiting myself would discourage me.  This blog will be about me, about what I believe in, about what I think is interesting, and about what I find important.  It will cover everything from personal to professional, and everything in between, and even outside what that entails.

Welcome.

Hello 2011

Many people start the new year by making a handful of “resolutions”. But for me, I prefer not to. Resolutions are something that most people do not complete. They are made in a drunken haze as the giant silver ball is dropping, and they are forgotten within a blink of the eye. Resolutions are something you look back on at the end of the year, and go, oh yeah, I was going to do that, and that, and that…and none of it was ever done. So for me, with the arrival of 2011, I am not making any resolutions. I am setting goals.

Last year, 2010, was a tough year for me. While there were many positive moments (I bought my first car, I moved in with my boyfriend), they are not what I will remember about 2010. Instead, I will remember 2010 as the year I had a job where my boss sent me home in tears every day. I will remember 2010 as the year that I was fired from my job, not just once, but twice. I will remember 2010 as the year I had to go on unemployment for 2 1/2 months. I will remember 2010 as the year where I once got the flu so badly that I threw up for 10 hours straight. I will remember 2010 as the year my financial situation had me in tears weekly. I will remember 2010 as a year I would like to forget.

But that can all change in 2011. As 2010 drew to a close and 2011 was a moment away I began to spend a lot of time thinking, reflecting, scheming, hoping. And that is when I decided, 2011 will be the best year yet. I will put last year’s difficult year behind me. I will not dwell on it. I will not wish things had been different. Last year is what it was and that can’t be changed. So, with that said, I will make 2011 amazing. I will do new things. I will meet new people. I will make things happen.

Goals for 2011

  • Live Healthier
  • Travel Internationally
  • Make a New Friend
  • Take a Proper Vacation
  • Save $$ for Future
  • Write & Read Regularly
  • Make 2011 a Great Year

For each goal I have a plan of how I will reach that goal.  For example, for living healthier I would plan to start the South Beach Diet next Monday and go for daily walks.  If I need to change my approach to achieve certain goals, I will.  Things are not set in stone, they are always changing, and I will be ready to adapt.

2011 will be a GREAT year.

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