Katie Cerami describes herself as a full-time traveller, content creator, certified professional performance & personal development coach, and motivational speaker. She began travelling solo back in 2018, covering 17 countries in one year. According to Katie, travels, and books radically changed her outlook on life and helped her grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. This, in turn, inspired Katie to use her skills and experiences to empower and inspire others to explore more and find their purpose in life.
We came across Katie on Instagram, where she shares snippets of her travels. Katie agreed to answer some of our questions that we were very curious about, which allowed us to not only learn more about the person behind the Instagram feed, but also understand the struggles, experiences, and attitudes that Katie went through to achieve the things that she has achieved.
What country made the biggest impact on you in terms of growth? Do you have any specific stories to share that really made a difference in your life?
This is a really hard question for me to answer due to the sole fact that MANY countries have impacted me in such profound ways.
Let me start with Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I spent 5.5 weeks here with work when I was employed as a flight attendant. This city is a city of “Freedom” and this really struck me because I was also in a place where I was still lost within myself, I wasn’t free within myself. I was yet to still show up as my authentic self. This country and the experiences I endured led me to get immersed into my spiritual journey of which I never turned back from and still continue today. I attended a music festival solo which really changed my life in ways I can not even explain in words. I was able to feel free and this country is where I realized what freedom of self is, it’s where I got my first glimpse of what it means and feels like to go beyond yourself.
Aside from the Netherlands. Japan was another country that instilled a lot of growth in me. Not only was it one of the biggest culture shocks of my life but that alone taught me the importance of what it means to be different to the point that you stand out from the rest of the crowd. I was the only white person on the entire train and my co-worker was the only black person and this made me realize how, as a society, we are so caught up in judging rather than looking at the picture as a whole and saying “these are a bunch of souls, a bunch of people on this train at this time having this experience, floating on a spinning sphere in the middle of a bunch of empty space that we call the Universe”. Instead of thinking of it that way, we think things such as “I’m on a train with all these Asians” and this is shocking. This really made me realise the way that the majority of us tend to view things and it led me to start practicing non-judgment in every waking moment of my life that I can be conscious enough to do so.
On top of this experience, the language barrier also reminded me that the universal language is love and that anything is man-made. Love is the language that speaks volumes no matter what. This country also led me to the feelings of what it feels like to feel pure inner peace, and even though, at this point, it was for a brief moment in time, I noticed the feelings and I took them with me so I can practice them and implement them into my daily life.
You said that you’ve become a full-time world traveller with a mission to empower others to explore more and evolve. Really curious to hear more details as to how you are achieving this and how this year affected your ability to do this?
This year has been a rollercoaster, to say the least, as it has been for many. I originally had the luxury of travelling the world full-time and also doing what I love because I was employed as a flight attendant and pursuing my passions and purpose in duality with that. In November of 2020, I realised that I was no longer feeling fulfilled with this. I was wanting to use more of my time to make an impact on the world and travel on my own terms while doing it as I wasn’t able to do that at this airline. So I quit and decided to go all-in on myself, travel, and content creation along with being a mindset and performance coach to help lead people towards their passion and purpose.
In overall, I have been in a really fortunate position and thus far have only run into more opportunities and ideas to scale both myself and my business. At the end of the day, it’s all determined by which lens you’re looking through. Some people see a struggle, some see an opportunity, the choice is yours.
Did you need to sacrifice anything that was important to you in order to travel full-time? If yes, could you tell whether this decision was difficult to make and what went through your head when you were trying to make this decision?
This is a touchy subject for me and one of the hardest decisions I’ve made along my journey. In June of 2019, amongst traveling the world full-time as a flight attendant and creating content of my travels, I got a phone call that my father was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. This was a very difficult call for me to receive. I was in Nashville Tennessee at the time and was about to leave on a trip to Singapore, a place I’ve always dreamed of going.
I was outside the hotel, crying hysterically, screaming, and kicking like a baby. At that moment it felt like my entire world had collapsed, little did I know this was only the beginning of one of the most tragic moments of my entire life. I chose to go back to NJ after this phone call to see my dad and skip going to Singapore. I knew that moving forward the days would be numbered and I really had to put my foot on the gas in terms of working on myself and my goals.
I spent a bit of time with my dad during this trip in June and made the decision that, while I was home in Miami, I was going to do my best to work on myself and perfect my skills and talents that I knew would serve me in life. I also decided to use every moment to intentionally evolve myself and my mindset while I was travelling, so I can handle anything I am faced with. I did this through solo travel and nature.
I made the decision to not keep going back home to watch him suffer and he understood. He always wanted me to do what made me happy. I went back once in September for a short visit. Missed his last ever birthday due to being in training for a new airline… At this moment I realized I never again in my life want my last moments to be contingent upon someone else’s schedule.
I was fortunate in November to have a work trip to Atlantic City and be able to see my dad for one last time in stable condition on Thanksgiving. After that, it was in the hospital, and the next time after that was the week he was suffering, deteriorating, and dying. And the entire time this man was going through this process, I chose to travel, I chose to set myself up for success with the intention to make him proud and live out my truth and purpose.
How do you find things to do, visit, and experience? Do you come up with things yourself or do you read any blogs or magazines to find inspiration?
I always make sure I’m traveling with intention, and having fun is always a part of that. I usually do research before I go to a place I like to personally find the less popular things to do. I will search for things like “Hidden gems in ….” or “Spots only locals know about in ….” At the end of the day, it’s all about the intention you set for the trip because you can have fun anywhere you go, whether that’s solo or with others.
Have you encountered any dangerous or very difficult situations while travelling that you could share with us? What have you learned from these experiences?
I can’t really say I’ve been in any dangerous situations but that also is a result of listening to my intuition and doing research around areas to not go to and always being hyper-aware of my surroundings when traveling. I can say I’ve encountered obstacles like getting stranded in places with no service in the middle of nowhere after dark, and I’ve been lost in a mountain for 9 hours after the sun went down due to getting off the path accidentally. I’ve never really experienced anything that I was like “I’m doomed”, but what these moments have taught me is to always remember that everything works out and you are always being guided. Never panic, surrender, and listen to your heart. If it doesn’t feel right – don’t do it. Of course, accidents happen and sometimes we get into situations we don’t mean to but always remember not to panic, seek help if you can, and always lead with love. Everything is a lesson and traveling will teach you the best lessons if you open your mind and let it.
How did you prepare for this life of full-time travelling? Have you spent days researching and trying to find the best routes or simply decided to do this, packed your bags, and off you went?
I never prepared for it. I just jumped right into it when I became a flight attendant. I continue to move around the USA frequently and I’m always traveling somewhere. I never plan anything because what I’ve found is that you never know what can happen. So I just live in the moment and I research as I go, and I allow myself to just flow with the places and moments as they come or as I am called to them. Just pack your bags and go, all you need to know is the ‘what’. Forget about the ‘how’, it always works itself out.
How do you finance your trips?
For the first 4 years of my full-time travel, I was fortunate to have a job that flew me around the world, so I was only responsible for food, transportation, and whatever I wanted to do in those countries and cities. Now I leverage my skills to make money online while I travel and I use my talents in content creation to book different clients around the world, which involves compensation for my work. Most of my income comes from content creation, I also invest money into Forex and Crypto, so that it can work for me and make me more money.
Work isn’t super consistent at the moment because of the way of the world though. I think it’s important to find opportunities to use your skills in other ways online to make an income. I also have a certification to teach English because the online demand for that is high now and you can also travel easily doing that. Budget yourself, take trips that make financial sense and don’t overextend yourself. Do what you can, the places aren’t going anywhere. I use a lot of reward programmes that cover hotel expenses if the client is not offering that and I choose to work with them.
Can you tell us more about your professional life? It looks like you created a life of freedom, where you can do what you love and travel when you want – is this correct or is everything not exactly how it looks?
I have created a life of freedom for myself, that is correct. I worked as a flight attendant, travelling the world for 4 years and then I quit to travel on my own terms while doing what I love – which is creating travel and swimsuit content and coaching people in the areas of mindset and performance. I leveraged my time as a flight attendant to gain a greater understanding of how travelling the world really impacted me as a person and how it enabled me to grow into my authentic self.
Travelling revealed my passion for creating content… Once I tapped into it, I just ran with it and I never really stopped. There were periods where I didn’t use my camera as much but I always picked it back up again and started shooting. When you find things you love and you’re really passionate about them, you find different and unique ways to tell a story and monetize off of it. Anyone can do it, it’s just finding what your passion is and what’s true to you, and then just following that and never allowing anyone or anything to steer you out of your lane.
Did you have any inner demons you had to fight with to be where you are right now?
Inner demons are something I still struggle with, I think we all do. Life is nothing but a war inside your own head and once I realized that nobody can really mess with me because I’m playing inside my own head, it changed the game for me, especially with inner demons. How can they mess with me if I’m playing inside my own head? I had to overcome a lot of tough demons to get to where I am and I am only getting started.
I struggled a lot with self-doubt, unworthiness, not thinking my work was good enough, or not thinking anyone saw any value in what I brought to the table creatively and intellectually. You get past all that eventually, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t creep back in though.
What I’ve found is that every level comes with new devils and over time you learn how to conquer them quicker. They never really go away, the negative self-talk never goes away, the doubt always creeps back in. The thing is, as time goes by, you don’t really let it affect you as much. You learn how to shorten the time gap of letting it bother you. There’s always going to be demons no matter who you are, what you do, or what level of success you have… The higher you climb on the ladder, the harder you fall.
What advice would you give to a good friend that would love to have the same lifestyle as yours?
The best advice I have to offer at this point is to go all-in on personal growth, go all-in on yourself. Find what it is that you’re passionate about and what sets your soul on fire and follow that. If you don’t know what that is, seek a personal coach to help you find it because the answers are within you. Do what feels good and what’s in alignment with your truth.
Once you do that and you continue to grow within yourself, everything else will be placed in front of you when you least expect it. Always remember that everything that is in front of you at every moment is a moment you created based on the decisions you made. If you don’t like your reality – change your decisions. Once you change your decisions – you will change your life.
What is your definition of success?
For me, success is based around the square of life… The game completed – health, wealth, love, and perfect self-expression. I think that true success is when you feel fulfilled in all those areas. I used to say true happiness, which now for me is perfect self-expression. Once I started practicing unconditional happiness as much as I practiced unconditional love, my definition began to change.
Have you ever thought of giving up? If yes, how did you overcome this?
I thought about giving up many times as most of us do. My dad always told me to never quit when I was a kid and it was something that always stuck with me. To this day, no matter what is thrown my way – obstacles, hardships, challenges – I always know that at the end of the tunnel there’s always light no matter how dark it may get. There’s always something better on the other side. The biggest way I was and still am able to overcome these thoughts is faith. You must have faith and you must have an infinite amount of belief in yourself no matter what gets thrown your way. You must always have faith in God and in yourself that you can do it. If you believe you can do it – you’re right, if you believe you can’t – you’re also right.
Has working for yourself changed you as a person?
Yes, working for myself has definitely changed me as a person. It definitely humbles you and it makes you see life in ways most people are afraid to experience. The rock bottom, the broke days, the homeless days, the days of no eating, no business. There’s an eloquence that comes along with working for yourself. There’s an undeniable amount of beauty in the struggles that also come along with the journey of working for yourself. It made me learn to embrace the chaos, to embrace the hard times, and to really just enjoy them because at the end of the day the journey is the most exciting part. You must enjoy it no matter what!
What skills did you need to master in order to be successful in what you do and how you live?
I think self-mastery is the most important skill. To be successful in anything you must first know yourself. As for work purposes, I became a master of travel and I am still seeking to become a master of photography and videography. The main key for me has been a mastery of self and I still feel I am not fully a master because we are forever evolving and growing, and there is always more to learn. I think mastery is a journey, not a destination.
Knowing what you know about life now, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Never make decisions based on emotion, always take the emotion out of the equation before you make any kind of decision. I would also let my younger self know that no matter what, it always turns out better than you expect it to. And to never be afraid of anyone or anything that tries to get in your way because no matter what happens, you are loved, you are enough, and you matter.
Finally, could you share a piece of wisdom with us (about anything that you have learnt along the way)?
I think my biggest piece of wisdom is… Do what you love and love what you do. No matter what it is, if you love it – do it, and do it with all your heart. Heartfulness is the key to life, not mindfulness. Do everything from the heart and with unconditional love, and you will see how beautifully life unfolds right in front of you because life happens for us, not to us. When you do everything with love, people feel it and they see it and love gives you a different kind of feeling.