Some people dream of traveling the world, and for travel blogger Kate McCulley she's turned it into her career all while empowering women one trip at a time.
McCulley is probably more recognized as "Adventurous Kate" online, and her blog of the same name highlights her different adventures around the world.
She started blogging in 2002 while in college, and she realized that she wanted to combine her passions for writing and travel full time. Years later, she decided to quit her full-time job and move to Southeast Asia for 6 months.
"I was living in Boston ...and as much as I love Boston, I feel like I almost wasn't spreading my wings enough," she said. "I knew I had to grow somehow, and one of my dreams was always to travel the world. It seemed like a natural fit to just go for it."
Her trip to Southeast Asia changed her life. Over her time there, the blog took off completely. She has been traveling ever since.
But "Adventurous Kate" doesn't just showcase McCulley's many travel destinations. It also encourages women to go on their own adventures around the world without fear.
"I know there's a lot of fearmongering about women traveling alone, and that's something I work hard to combat," she said. "The truth is that, with appropriate research and preparation, almost anywhere on the planet can be traveled safely by a woman alone."
McCulley believes that traveling can empower women. She writes content that aims to help women plan their own trips around the world-how to make travel easy, safe, and fun for them.
She believes the accuracy and honesty of her content is what really propelled her blog into the mainstream.
"The number one comment I get from my readers is 'You're so honest,' and that makes me really happy because I don't shy away from writing about the bad parts," she said. "I don't want my readers to get into a position where they are uncomfortable because I neglected to write the full picture."
Years of experience and 74 countries later, McCulley now takes some of her readers on trips with them. Her favorite experience was a few years ago, when she took a group of readers on 2 tours of El Salvador and Guatemala.
"Seeing how happy they were to paraglide off of Lake Atitlán or learning how to surf at El Tunco, it just made me so proud of them," she said. "And especially seeing some of them who have never travelled beyond resorts before who are now doing adventurous travels with their families."
McCulley wants to encourage women to travel without fear. She believes that every woman can travel successfully, whether they recognize it or not.
Bonus: 7 Rounds with @adventurouskate:
Bonus round with @adventurouskate
But her most terrifying experience? Getting shipwrecked in Southeast Asia on her way to Komodo Island in Indonesia.
"The boat went down. The lifeboats could not be used. We had to jump off and swim to shore. It was harrowing, it was raining..." she said. "What I know now is that there could have been sharks in those waters. There could have been Komodo dragons on that shore. But we lucked out. We climbed the rocky shore for a half hour and were rescued by a nearby dive boat."
But this experience never deterred her from travel. Rather, it encouraged her to continue her adventures. She sees each new trip as a learning experience.
"You're put in a position that makes you feel unfamiliar. You have to work hard to be understood and that's very interesting and fulfilling to me," she said.
Now, every week McCulley releases 1-2 posts to her readers covering anything and everything from her trips to help her readers. She still has the travel bug, desperately trying to visit Brazil, New Zealand and even Antarctica next.
And, while McCulley created a successful travel blog all by herself, she does not view her career as unique at all.
"I don't consider myself a groundbreaker at all. There have been so many intrepid woman who have been far more adventurous than me, who have done far more adventurous travels all over the world," she said. "I look up to them. And I never forget that I stand on the shoulders of giants. It's because of their efforts that I am able to travel the world the way I am today."
You can find her at "Adventurous Kate."
This story is part of our ongoing digital series: Social Superstars.