Cinthia Kettering has always been enthusiastic about traveling around the world. In fact, Kettering has been to 50 countries on five different continents.
“Nothing beats experiencing a new city, immersing yourself in a different culture and seeing as much of it as you possibly can,” she says.
Kettering grew up in Ecuador. When she moved to the United States from her native country with her husband, Paul, at 22 years old, she took a job at a bank.
After six years in the banking industry, she became an entrepreneur, creating The Bagnall Shaw Company, an insurance brokerage.
“But I’ve always loved to travel and when I shared my experiences with friends and family, they said they would love to travel with me. That got me thinking,” she says.
Kettering, 41, sold her company in December 2018 to become a travel blogger. Her travel blog, ‘Traveling Our World with CK,’ features advice, tips and inspiration for would be travelers.
“I like to learn new things and share about what I learn, so I took a leap of faith and decided to do it,” says Kettering.
A Pequea resident, she doesn’t travel alone. Kettering and her husband enjoyed traveling internationally as a couple before they had children. Now, their four children, ages 2 through 11, join them in their travels to experience life in different countries.
Traveling around the world can be a wild adventure.
“You have the ability to engage with people from different backgrounds but you also have to get out of your own social comfort zone so you can get acculturated,” she says. “Preparation is important. Understanding other customs is important … that is how we all learn in the process.”
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Becoming a travel blogger has changed her life and, so far, she wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
What makes her stand out from the rest, says Kettering, are the photos and the content of her blog, which Kettering offers in Spanish and English.
Is it a glamorous lifestyle? Not exactly.
“It isn’t always about the sunny, picture-perfect beaches, amazing hotels and wild adventures,” says Kettering.
What most people don’t see, she says, is the work that goes behind every place she visits. Travel blogging requires unlimited amounts of planning, dedication and hard work.
“Yes, I get to discover and enjoy new places but I also spent a lot of time in front of the computer, writing, responding to emails, searching for potential advertisers and clients, pitching my stories to magazines,” she says.
Experience as a traveler is important, but with nobody mentoring her or telling her what to do next, Kettering is always looking for opportunities to improve her business to take it to the next level.
“Sometimes you just have to go figure it out for yourself. Get familiar with the travel industry, be creative and network. You also have to invest in the tools and resources you are definitely going to need to make it a success,” says Kettering.
Downtime is a rare commodity for Kettering.
“Most of my days are filled with marketing the business, traveling, blogging, catching up on social media, sorting, editing and publishing photographs or trip planning,” she says.
At this time, Kettering is funding all her travels.
“I travel affordably and I travel in luxury. I do it all because I need to experience those things so I can share them, but I have plans to monetize it in the future,” she says.
While taking that initial leap of faith wasn't easy, Kettering hasn’t regretted her decision for a second.
Every destination, Kettering is quick to note, has something unique to offer. Her favorite thus far is the city of Cappadocia, Turkey, known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys” - tall, cone-shaped rock formations.
“You have to do a hot air balloon ride. The views are astonishing,” says Kettering.
Cappadocia is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is famous for its hot air balloon trips, underground cities and boutique “cave” hotels carved into rocks, among other things.
A balloon ride normally runs about 200 euros per person on average. A total of 537,500 tourists took the hot air balloon rides in 2018, boosting tourism revenue of the country by almost 70 million euros ($80 million).
What has her travel taught her?
“When you step out to see the world, go ahead and get acquainted and appreciate the different cultures, taste new cuisines make new friends and be grateful for the opportunity and what you have,” says Kettering. “Immerse yourself in a completely different world. It’s the best learning experience.”
As for the future, Kettering isn’t certain what it holds, but she surely has a plan.
“I’ll keep traveling the world,” she says.
Cinthia Kettering siempre ha estado entusiasmada con los viajes a países alrededor del mundo. De hecho, Kettering ha estado en 50 países en ci…