Cathy Ries

Young Professional | World Traveler | Wheat-Free Fanatic

About the Author

My name is Cathy and I'm a California native, born and raised. I reside in the bay area and am a young professional who believes in traveling the world while keeping up with a demanding, yet rewarding career. No sponsorships, no bank of Mom & Dad, and no quitting my job needed. Just a day job in an awesome industry and some time on the side is all I've needed to travel the world.

About the Blog

Everybody has a story, an inspiration of how they started some of their projects. This blog started as a hobby of mine and it continues to grow with love and care. Before the birth of this blog was a story of confusion and struggle with finding my place in the world.

The story started back in 2011 when I was a senior in college at UC Berkeley. I was an ever-so-lost senior with no real idea of what I wanted to do. Sure, I was doing something I thought I liked, but it wasn’t until the end of my senior year that I learned what true passion was. At the time I was a pre-medical student, diligently pouring blood and tears into my studies on weekdays and weekends. It was a very competitive environment that was both emotionally draining and sometimes drove me mad. I wanted to be a doctor so I could help people and make a difference in the world and this notion kept me going. Fast forward to the end of my first semester as a senior and I had finished all my pre-med requirements as well as my Biology major. The only thing left between graduation and me was to finish up my second major in French. I saved this last semester to study abroad in Bordeaux, France as a proper sendoff from college.

Off I went to an unknown land for 7 months where I was exposed to an entirely new world. I had been to Germany once before but to live and go to school in France was nothing I could have imagined. I was exposed to so many aspects of a culture that were different from mine, yet oddly the same. I was challenged in many ways by living in a different country, being forced to speak another language, and trying to understand a different culture. I lived with a host family that spoke no English minus a few words. The locals were no different. My exams had to be written in French or my professors would fail me (the French are very proud). I found myself sometimes trapped and frustrated from the inability to express exactly what I meant, but from this came a new way of understanding culture and languages that I never knew existed.

For the first time in my life, I travelled and truly started to see the world. There were no tour buses or ritzy hotels. I befriended locals and learned to carry on a conversation in French. I froze my butt off in Trondheim, had some great laughs in Milan, and wild nights in Paris. I flew to destinations unknown and road tripped through the quaint towns of Mallorca with my then travel buddy and now husband. It was during my trip to Milan as I was headed to the airport that I was able to sit back and appreciate all of these awesome experiences in Europe. I thought about how different I felt being in Europe than when I was back home.

For the first time, it felt as if something had deeply touched my soul. There was a feeling of fulfillment that I had never experienced in my life, a feeling of undeniable satisfaction and contentment. I thought about how great it would be if I could keep doing this in my 20s until the reality of it hit. I was going to be a future doctor, a profession that was going to require time off to study for entrance exams, 4 years of school, and 3+ more years of residency. I was going to be nearly or in my 30s by the time I finished. The career path and financials would definitely be more paved out, but it would mean losing my entire 20s, time I didn’t think I could ever get back. Next came the best and most irresponsible decision I had ever made. I threw out my entire life path, came back to the states, and told my poor parents that I spent 4 years in college only to realize that I was not going to medical school and had absolutely no backup plans. Being a premed drained the life out of me and it wasn’t until study abroad that I had accidentally discovered how passion for something truly feels like.

Fast forward a year and I had finally been accepted to graduate school for a masters in Biomedical Engineering, knocked the degree out of the water, and thought about how I could keep traveling but still have a challenging, fulfilling career. I started down a new career path in the consulting world with a belief that there is room for both a full time day job and room for travel. No sponsorships are necessary, just pure hard work and motivation. The Trekking Cat was born after a year of work and travel to show the world that when guided by passion, curiosity and the unknown aren’t too bad after all...