I am a big believer that the label traveler can apply to anyone. It doesn’t take big budgets and loads of vacation days to get out there and explore what is around you. That is why I love Katie Gard of Domestiphopia so much. One she is freaking hilarious, but besides that, she epitomizes the spirit of what a traveler is (at least in my book). She is out there discovering amazing things not in her own backyard, but around the country as well.
Her blog Domestiphobia is about her life which includes being a military wife, a work-from-home gal, dog momma, foodie, and explorer – all with humor that always has me coming back for more. If I just lived within a 3-hour radius of her, as I would do exactly what she did to meet my pal Andi Perullo – drive to see her! I would love to have brunch with Katie, I am sure it would end at midnight! At the moment she is actually living in Italy – DROOL!
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 When and how did you become a traveler?
I first felt “the itch” – and we’re not talkin’ crabs – when I was 20. I’d just quit college in a frenzy of quarter-life angst due to the looming shadow of my parents’ impending divorce, and I just felt I needed to go somewhere. Anywhere. So I worked a couple of waitressing jobs and saved up enough cash to embark on my first “big” trip – a 5,500 mile, one-month drive through the western United States.
 What is travel to you in 10 words or less?
The thrill of discomfort.
 What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?
The Tracker. She’s been my reliable beast of an automobile since 2001, and we’ve been on many phenomenal adventures together. She’s been my security blanket, my getaway car, my hauler of personal possessions, and my dog hair collector. I know that inevitably one day we’ll have to part ways, and that will be rough. I try not to think about it.
 What do you typically do while traveling by plane?
Read. Real books. Not that electronic crap. Also, if circumstances are ripe, I’m a plane talker. I love it when I sit next to someone really interesting. I’ll never forget one woman who taught me about “Reason, Season, Lifetime” on the way to Las Vegas. We can learn so much from these fleeting moments of travel – it’s a great way to start a trip before you’ve even arrived at the destination.
 What is your favorite travel memory involving food?
Wow. That’s really hard to choose. These Mexican tacos I ate in Liberia, Costa Rica were out-of-this-world. And one time in Asheville, North Carolina, a random couple paid for our entire (expensive) meal. But I think my favorite travel food memory is the orgasmic paella we had on Ibiza. The friends, the food, the place… it was all incredible.
Can I say “orgasmic” on your blog? [Andi, yes!]
 What is one blogging tip or lesson that you have learned along the way that you can share with my readers?
After nearly four years of blogging, Domestiphobia isn’t exactly what pros would deem “successful,” so take my advice with a grain of rice. (Because salt is cliche.) Write for YOU. Followers will come, and followers will go. If I have nothing else by the time I stop, if I ever stop, I’ll at least have one helluva personal journal. Oh, yeah. And back it up. Losing it would be devastating.
 Where to next?
I have lots of tentative plans for 2014! There will likely be a trip to Chicago, and possibly a road trip up the east coast. It’s time for another passport stamp, so there’s talk of taking my little sister, who hasn’t yet left the United States, to Italy or Greece. Maybe Croatia. I recently moved to Virginia, so I also plan on doing lots of local exploring. It should be an exciting year!
Thanks Katie, I hope we get to meet each other the next time you come to San Francisco!