My top 12 travel destination bucket list

One of my favorite things to do is travel. Last year, I was able to go to Europe and travel to Denmark and Croatia. It was the experience of a lifetime and I caught the traveling bug pretty bad after that. I even made a whole list of every place I want to see and categorized it by continent. Kind of like a bucket list. I wanted to share my top 12 from this list and tell you why I want to visit it. I will even break it up into each continent for you. I also am keeping all United States things excluded and only doing international. These are in NO particular order.

Europe

1. Italy

More specifically Rome, Venice, Milan, and Naples. Each city has something different to offer but the main reason includes food. I love to try new food and food that was created there. Plus all the tourist attractions are a must. The main things I would want to see is Vatican City and The Colosseum.

2. Iceland

Why go someplace that is really cold? Because it is a BEAUTIFUL country. Plus, this is home to the Blue Lagoon. There are photo ops at every turn. The landscape of Iceland is the most amazing thing you could ever see (at least based off the internet pictures I would say).

3. The United Kingdom & Ireland

So the UK is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. (Kind of like the United States is with multiple states). I added Ireland in with this because if I go to the UK, I am going to go to Ireland while I am there. I would love to go to London and Dublin. There is so much history and food that is there. I also found out through a Ancestory DNA test that I am mainly from Great Britain and the Ireland/Scotland/Wales area. So, I really want to see this and learn more about my heritage. I would also love to see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge and the London Eye.

South America

4. Brazil

I have always wanted to see the modern 7 wonders of the world and Rio de Janeiro holds one of them. “Christ the Redeemer” is on top of this hill and from my friends experiences (who covered the Olympics) say that it is amazing. Plus, I would LOVE to try the food there.

5. Peru

Machu Picchu also is one of the 7 wonders of the world being an Incan city. Peru is home to many of these places throughout the country and I would love to see the history behind this. And of course, well, food.

Asia

6. Jordan

The main reason is for Petra (another wonder of the world). Since it is so close to Israel too I would love to visit there as well. Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv is also on my list as well as the Dead Sea. I want to be able to float without trying. There is just so much history in these places and it would be very cool to see it all in person.

7. India

As an avid foodie, I would say that I would LOVE to try this food. Spice, spice, and more spice. Not very far from the Taj Mahal (another wonder) is New Delhi and it has many monuments and lots of culture.

8. China

THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. THE FORBIDDEN CITY. Need I say more?! Well I will. When I first saw the Great Wall I really wanted to walk the whole thing. Problem is that it is over 13,000 miles. So that is a no go. But I would love to go see it and maybe walk a few miles on it. The Forbidden City is near there as well and that has been on my list ever since I can remember. I also really love Asian food so this will be the best thing for my stomach.

Africa

9. Egypt

Home of the pyramids. It’s one of the things I have always remembered as being great. Plus, it’s one of the more northern countries in Africa and I want to do both north and south.

10. South Africa

Now, there are LOTS of places I want to go here. There is Cape Town, I have heard many people say it’s just amazing to go there and visit. Port Elizabeth has an elephant national park. Close to Swaziland is a park that protects Africa’s big five animals including: lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. I would love to go on a safari here. And last but not least, there is a country inside of South Africa which is called Lesotho. This is where my uncle worked in the Peace Corps. I just think it would be really cool to see the places he saw as well.

North America

11. Mexico

So Mexico has one of the last 7 wonders of the world I want to see and that is Chichen Itza. There are so many Mayan ruins there and I would love to see all that. Plus, my absolute favorite food is Mexican food and nothing would make me happier than to eat authentic Mexican food.

Australia

12. Australia

This is a good and easy one because the country is the continent. However, the three territories I feel I would enjoy the most would be Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. I want to dive in the Great Barrier Reef, go to Sydney, sit on Whitehaven Beach, and go on the Great Ocean Road. I want to see all the animals and try some awesome food (hold the Vegemite).

I will keep you updated with more places and if I am on my way to any of these places. You can keep more up to date by signing up for my newsletter where I open up more about my travels.

10 things you don't know about me

It’s the beginning of the year and it’s been a while since I have really introduced myself to anyone new following along. So I thought I would start by sharing 10 things you probably didn’t know about me.

1. I have a new found love of being healthy. I had gone my whole life being skinny and little and could eat WHATEVER I wanted and did not have to work out. It wasn’t until I couldn’t fit into my clothes anymore that I realized that my reality had changed. The beginning of 2018, I decided I was just about over it. I was so fed up with my clothes not fitting, feeling extremely uncomfortable in anything and feeling awful. I wanted to take control of my health. I have started working out at least 4x a week, and meal prepping every week. I still have some work to do, but I reached my first goal just before the year end of losing 25 pounds. Now onto the next goal, my dream body. It’s more muscle and toned. I am SURE I can make it this year.

IMG_1867.JPG

2. I am very good at getting things for a deal. Growing up, my dad did the grocery shopping and the cooking. He taught me how to make the lists, look for coupons and look through the ads to find the best deals. We lived in a city that had 3-4 grocery stores within a mile. He would go through each ad to see which store had the best deals. He even taught me about what is something you want to constantly have on hand and what is really dumb to have in your house. I took this with me up to now. I online coupon, look for promos, base my meal prep off of what is on sale for the week, and even wait for something to go on sale and have a coupon before I buy it. I like to use it as a game when shopping for groceries. It’s like what can I make that is healthy, but I can get a good deal on?

3. I am slightly obsessed with my dog. I don’t have any children, and so I have a fur child instead. She is super cute and is a firecracker of sass. I had never had a dog before her because my family is a cat family. I am the only one who has ever had a dog. She is my little model and she LOVES it. She knows she is cute and all she has to do is flash a smile and she can get away with things. She is totally worth it.

IMG_1553 (1).JPG

4. I love to dance. I used to be REALLY bad at it. Until the day, my high school best friend, Danielle, showed me how to dance. I always envied her dance moves and it was so cool of her to help me out. I always had it in me, I just didn’t know how to really move it right. I still love to dance now. I have even taken hip-hop classes before. However, I prefer the dance like a fool moves now instead.

5. If Game of Thrones or Law & Order: SVU is on, I can EASILY binge watch that all day (& night). Those are my absolute favorite shows and I could not stop if they were on. I always want to know what happens next. Even if I have seen this episode 1,000,000 times, I still want to see the next thing.

6. Get my immediate family together and you will have no idea what just happened. What I mean is that we are talkers, and loud ones. It sounds like a constant run on sentence with different voices for an hour or two straight. Even if there is someone new around. They may get 5 minutes of being able to talk and then that’s it. So pressure is on to try to impress us in 5 minutes. We can’t help it. It’s just how we always have been.

IMG_0404.JPG

7. I used to be the pickiest eater and now I can’t put food down. Ask my parents, I would pretty much refuse to eat anything to a point where the doctor’s started having concerns. I preferred to eat bread over candy and hated anything that I wasn’t familiar with. Until my dad one day was fed up with it when we were on vacation and we were at the only restaurant for over an hour distance and he said, “Don’t say you don’t like it until you’ve tried it.” That sentence changed my life. I tried jambalaya that day. It was AMAZING. Ever since then, I love to try new foods. I love to eat all of the foods! Except celery. I really don’t like that.

8. I am really good at math, but I hate doing it. My dad is also very good at math and all the numbers. He made a career out of it. Me though? The part I hate the most about my business is the numbers part. It’s so exhausting. I know how to do it, and I am pretty good at it, but I just hate it.

IMG_0099.jpg

9. Traveling gives me the biggest adrenaline rush. I love to travel. This past summer, I went on a trip to Denmark and Croatia by myself. I met one of my online friends for the first time without being 100% sure that he was real. Was it terrifying? Yes. Would I do it again? Also yes. It was amazing to know that I did that. I traveled internationally by myself. It feels the same even if I am just going somewhere for a vacation. I could be traveling to Texas and still get that rush. I hope to make it my normalcy some day.

10. I am going to be very vulnerable in this next one. I am scared. I am scared of doing wrong. I am scared that doing this could be for nothing. I am scared that I am trying to do this crazy thing and failing at it miserably. I try really hard to just be optimistic, but the realist in me says otherwise. Being an entrepreneur is hard freaking work. Did anyone say it was easy? No. But I thought I would be different. It’s one of the hardest things I am going through. It’s not for everyone and I refuse to be the everyone.

So there you have it, 10 things you didn’t know about me. Thank you for allowing me to open up and tell you more about me. I encourage you to do the same and write things down about you that you typically don’t share with the world. Maybe share one. If you do, post it below in the comments.

If you want to get to know me more, sign up for my newsletter here!

I can do this - why I took my recent travels

Recently, I was able to go on the most wonderful journey to visit Denmark and Croatia. The best part? I got to do this all on my own. Granted, I did have someone I met over there, but I did not bring anyone with me nor did I really know the person I was meeting. Therefore, I am using the term "on my own." 

So why did I take this trip? Honestly, to prove something to myself. If you know anything about me, you know that I am really shy when it comes to anything and everyone. I can always get myself to the party, but I haven't been able to talk to anyone at this party. It's been a constant struggle my entire life. I used to not go anywhere unless someone was coming with me. I was THAT shy. I missed out on even some concerts I really wanted to go to because no one would accompany me. 

After college, I did gain some confidence. I would actually go to events by myself. A lot of it was the fact that I had just started my photography business and I knew that since I knew absolutely no one besides my boyfriend and roommate in Bloomington that I was going to have to do something about that. I ended up joining the Chamber of Commerce and I went to a lot of their events, alone. I didn't realize that just showing up was half the battle. 

If it weren't for some of the Chamber ambassadors, I would probably know no one. They helped me get introduced to lots of people. They were being a helping hand and then ended up starting to be my security blankets. It was still hard for me to talk to anyone unless someone I knew was there and I would end up sticking to their side. A lot of it stems from anxiety and just wanting to fit in. 

Growing up, I was introverted, I wore glasses and I was a definite nerd. I loved to learn, I liked going outside, I even wanted to be a forensic scientist when I grew up and work on crime scenes. I was not one of the cool kids and I was made fun of for some things I would say wrong or that I would hang around too much. It really started to affect me in middle school and into high school. I did not like feeling this way and it always made me question what I said or how I said it or how I looked. It even followed me into my adult life. 

This trip was much more than just going to see these places. It was to prove to myself that anything was possible. If I could do this alone, why should I be afraid to talk to someone? It was the most liberating thing I have done in my life so far. 

It's always been a dream of mine to travel the world. I started with Copenhagen because of someone I met over Facebook 10 years ago. Lasse and I met on some sort of game and he immediately recognized my last name as it is Danish (however, I did find out we have been saying our last name wrong). We stayed in touch over the years and I decided that I wanted to go see the world and this was a perfect way to introduce myself. 

The first week I was in Europe I was able to go throughout Copenhagen. It was a nice introduction to traveling since Lasse was a great tour guide. This was perfect to start with since I would be pretty much by myself the next week. 

Dubrovnik was amazing and I am totally taking another trip there one day. I was all by myself here and so I had to learn a lot and quickly. I had to learn that stairs are everywhere and that if I needed to go anywhere, I would be climbing them. I learned that most people speak English and can help you. I learned about really good food for great prices. I learned it's not that scary.

I did end up coming back to Copenhagen for a few days before my flight to the states. I had to do those by myself as well as Lasse had to work. I was confident enough to find my own way around and to just be myself. Ask questions, explore and get lost a time or two. It's not that bad. 

Overall, after this trip, I feel like a new person. Not only refreshed from a vacation but a new outlook on a lot of things. It also helped me feel more confident to actually talk to people. I don't feel as afraid and thinking that I am being scrutinized with every word I say or move I make.

I am hoping to do this again someday, I just need to find my destination. 

To read more about my recent travels check out my travel blog located on this website or just by clicking here!

What do I do when I am not shooting?

You could honestly take this question two different ways. However, I am going to tell you the things I do when I am not doing photography in general as opposed to what all goes into the photography experience than just the shooting part. (We will save that for later).

So what do I know when I am not behind the camera? I wear many different hats. I work at a child care facility, as well as at a pediatrics office, and own another business. It seems crazy, but I am able to do it. 

Now, when I have free time - is that possible, you ask? - I love to cook. It's probably my favorite part of the day. I live with my boyfriend and it is the one of the times we actually get to hang out. We both love to try new foods, new recipes and new techniques of cooking. He has more experience since he did study culinary arts for some time in college. So he knows more than me, the amateur. 

I am always watching the Food Network and the Cooking Chanel when I have some free time. This is where I learn about different ingredients, new ways to cook and use those ingredients, and just different foods I have never heard of before. I like to think I can mimic what I see, which sometimes it works out and others it doesn't. I would have never understood how to make crepes though if it wasn't for those shows. 

I also love to try new foods, even when I am not the one making it. If I have never tried something before - like, ever - and I see it on a menu, I am almost immediately deciding to order it. I had never tried goat cheese until my most recent birthday - July 29. I saw an appetizer on the menu at No Coast Reserve in Bloomington, Indiana for beets. They had three different types of beets prepared three different ways and one of them had goat cheese on it. The server suggested we try it with each bite, and oh my - it was delicious. I don't know why I never tried it before.  

Another thing I really enjoy to do and will make time for almost every week is going to the Farmer's Market. (See a trend with food?). I love to pick out my food from the Farmer's Market. The one we have in Bloomington is amazing. There are at least four rows of vendors. Then, there is another section of the market for you to purchase coffee, baked goods, and anything of that nature. I try to at least have a general idea of what I need to purchase when I go there just so I know what I absolutely need that week, but I love to see the new items that are out for sale and purchase anything else that looks amazing. 

You would think this next paragraph has to do with food, right? Nope. Well sort of. One other thing I love to do - when I actually have time to, which is rarely - is travel. I love to explore new and even old places. I love to see the world around me and what was put here on this planet for us to see. My next BIG adventure is set for June 2018 when I go see the home of my ancestors - Denmark. I am really excited for this trip as I get to explore this land and try the food. (See, food made it in there). 

Some other things I like to do is go boating, paddle boarding, read, and watch Game of Thrones. 

I don't have a lot of free time, but when I do, you can probably count on me having something to do with food. 

Kaytee Lorentzen
Owner | Kaytee Lorentzen Photography