Each month, we like to showcase someone from the Wild Bum community. This month, as our Guide Architect of the Month feature, we are introducing you to Kirsten Drew! She is the voice behind With Kirsten, where she shares her travel experiences. She’s a fabulous part of the Wild Bum community and we are thrilled to have her as May’s Guide Architect of the Month. Get to know her more in the questions below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m from Northeastern Ohio. I am currently in the middle of figuring out what I want to do. What I do know is that I cannot start my day until I have had a cup (or three) of coffee, gardening and being outdoors will always bring me back to center, I try to have a good book within reach, I loiter around museums, and relish getting lost in cities.
What type of traveler are you and what would you say is your travel style?
I definitely started as a planner. I created a carefully crafted schedule for each day of a trip. I have evolved to be more genuinely curious. If I’m in a city, I’ll have a general district or neighborhood in mind with a few restaurants, museums or spots, but mostly I just love to soak up the atmosphere and explore to my heart’s content. (Typically off the beaten path I might add!)
Where have you been? Where has been your favorite place?
My family and I took trips as I was growing up in Ohio, mostly along the Eastern Seaboard (and one trip to Germany), which teased my travel bug. I really began traveling during undergrad with study and work abroad opportunities in Europe, the Philippines and Costa Rica. I lived in DC and Florida for a little bit. Then I moved to England for my Master’s degree. I had many day and weekend trips. As a graduation celebration, I went on a road trip around Scotland with a friend. It quickly stole my heart and became one of my favorite places on Earth. I’d love to move there.
Why did you decide to become a Guide Architect for Wild Bum?
When I go abroad, I write blog posts and city guides to share with my travels with friends and family. Being a Guide Architect for Wild Bum has allowed me to share my guides with a wider audience and (hopefully!) helped those that have purchased my guides to fall in love with the places I’ve written about just as much as I have (if not more!).
What guides have you created? Do you have any upcoming guides we can look forward to?
I created a few guides while I was living in the UK, including A Day Trip to Bath, Road Trip Around Scotland, Weekend in Edinburgh Old Town, and Manchester, England. I also created a guide to one of my favorite spots in the USA, Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor.
I have a couple of guides in the works! For domestic travel, I’d love to write guides for Manhattan, Washington DC, and Columbus. A little further afield, I’ll be writing a guide to road tripping around Ireland, a weekend trip to Oxford, England, and the different arrondissements I’ve been to in Paris, France.
Check out all of Kirsten’s Wild Bum travel guides right here.
How have you stayed inspired during this time where travel has not been as accessible?
To be honest, it’s been incredibly difficult. Traveling is so much a part of me, it feels as if it is built into my DNA. Not being able to see my friends abroad in-person or explore new cultures and places has left me with a bit of a hole in my heart. The nostalgia for those experiences creates a yearning that I’ve been trying to fill in different ways, whether it’s reading a book set in a far away city, pretending I’m in the driver’s seat with Drive & Listen, or listening to music that transports me to a particular memory. It’s almost too painful at times, but I just keep reminding myself that I will be able to safely travel again, even if I cannot right now.
What is one thing you can’t travel without?
I always have some form of camera with me, whether that’s my DSLR or iPhone. I have changed the way that I take pictures though. I try not to go crazy and snap a photo of everything in sight, but pretend that I have a roll of film with only a set amount of shots so I can be more in the moment.
What is something you enjoy about being part of the Wild Bum community?
Traveling is such an incredible experience. No matter how far you go or how long you are away, it will always change you. To find a community as passionate about travel as I am is always a joy.
We are all about inspiring people to get out there and travel, use time-off to explore, and find their wild.
Tell us, when do you feel the most “wild”?
I am always at my happiest traveling when I get to experience how a local would feel. Finding those off the beaten path moments where I do not have a set agenda or place to be, but can just wander and feel the intimateness of a city brings me pure joy.