Kooky Traveller was launched in 2013 as a personal travel blog to document some of my adventures around the globe. Through sharing my experiences I aim to inform, entertain and inspire you to seek out more adventure in your own life, travelling both independently and safely, with a few risks thrown in for good measure.
We all need to step out of our comfort zone now and then, and do something which scares us or challenges us in some way and I try to do that on a regular basis.
This travel blog is for you if;
- You love adventure travel and spending time in nature
- You love wildlife – most people who know me, know I love bears! 🐻❤️
- You prefer to travel responsibly – I support the ‘Leave No Trace 7 Principles’
- You’re looking for advice on travelling solo – my first solo travel experience was in 2002
- You’re interested in group adventure travel – I’ve got you covered, I was the Original Trexpert for Trek America! I started blogging about Trek America in 2010 on older blogs I own, following my first trek in 2009. I’ve been travelling with small group adventure tours a lot longer though, with my first experience in 2002 in Australia. Over the years I’ve shared a lot of tips via social media, email and in person and now I intend to bring all that info together, through this blog.
- You are a Spoonie* but you don’t want that to stop you from enjoying life and adventuring
Noun; a person with a disability and/or chronic illness(es) which usually involves experiencing chronic fatigue on an ongoing basis. The Spoon Theory was developed by Christine Miserandino in 2003 which is used to simplify and illustrate the limited energy (physical and/or emotional) a Spoonie has, compared to a healthy person. A spoon represents a unit of energy.
Who the heck is Kooky?
I’m Kirsten Thompson (KT), Founder of Kooky Traveller – see what I did there? 😉 I have fibromyalgia (which makes me a Spoonie) and although I do not allow that to define me, it is a part of me. I call it my Kryptonite.
I’m also a qualified teacher, learning technologist and digital strategist. My academic credentials include:
- BA (Hons) Politics and Media Studies
- PGCE: Further Education
- MSc Technology Enhanced Learning, Innovation and Change.
I’m also a Microsoft Innovative Educator.
When I’m not adventuring and travelling (or camping out on the sofa!), I’m working at the University of Leeds in people development (since 2007).
We can only really make the world a better place, by increasing access to quality education, for all.
This is why I also support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the Global Goals) and have joined the exciting, global Innovation Lab Schools project, led by Koen Timmers, Dr Jennifer Williams and Mike Soskil. The project is also endorsed by Jane Goodall and her Roots and Shoots education programme. The project aims to:
- Improve education for students in rural areas of Africa
- Train 10K teachers and offer free quality education to 1 million students by 2020.
By educating the public about health research opportunities, I can help open up access to health research, which can improve outcomes for patients.
Living with chronic illness has also led to me participating in health research and following that, I decided to become a NIHR (National Institute of Health Research) Patient Research Ambassador (PRA). I blog about health research on Medium.
Find out more about my work experience and connect with me on LinkedIn.
Travel experience (the reason you’ve arrived at this blog 😉)
I’ve been travelling the world solo since 2002, when I did a 6 week round-the-world backpacking trip before starting my first teaching post. My love of travel began as a young child when I would regularly travel with my parents and then later also with my brothers. One of my earliest overseas travel memories is of a three-week massive road trip in the summer holidays when I was seven, from the family home in York, England across Europe, through France and Switzerland, down to Spain – it was epic!
We would also regularly road trip to Scotland and Austria, to visit family as well as enjoying the Yorkshire coast for weekend mini breaks. Despite my love of road trips, growing up, they weren’t always a pleasurable experience because I suffered badly from travel sickness; I’m sure my parents were relieved I grew out of that quickly!
I was nine when I boarded my first flight; a family holiday to Tunisia, North Africa. I remember my dear Austrian gran explaining to me how exciting it would be for me to fly amongst the cotton-candy clouds – she was right, I loved it and I’ve been hooked on travelling through the skies ever since.
When you have a chronic illness which shows up everyday, it makes travel a lot more difficult but, difficult does not mean impossible.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’! – Audrey Hepburn
I want to share my own travel experiences to show others with a similar chronic illness to my own, that it is absolutely possible for you to still achieve way more than some would have you believe.
Read more about my illness in this post: Travelling with Fibromyalgia IS possible!
The top 10 most popular posts
As of January 2019, these are my top 10 most popular posts on KOOKY TRAVELLER – check them out;
- Living like a local: Airbnb Lisbon
- Booking Airbnb: tips for solo travellers
- My Highland Fairytale
- A New York First Date
- On the road with Wild Rover Tours to Northern Ireland
- Photo Diary: Denali National Park
- Trying Airbnb: Brussels
- Cooking up a storm in Kingston!
- Travelling with fibromyalgia IS possible!
- A Fairytale Christmas with Haggis Adventures!