Around 10 years ago, I started Grade 9 in a new city. I didn’t know a lot of people in my high school but on the very first day of school, I heard the loudest and most contagious laugh. I turned around to find a little cutie and learned that her name was Katerina. I had just found my soul sister.
Kat is the closest thing I have to a sister. She’s held me through heartbreaks, made me laugh until I cried (and peed a little), and my parents and family adore her (especially because she’s also fluent in Spanish).
Fun fact: my family once threw her a surprise birthday party with pizza and cake!
I am so lucky to have adventurous friends and Kat is one of them! She’s traveled extensively, and spent her 3rd year living in Spain! I am naturally attracted to people who are curious about the world, respect other cultures, and have the drive to try new things. Here’s a glimpse of her story!
Name: Katerina Kodopulos
What city do you call home? Burlington, ON
What was a defining moment/situation that made you decide to travel/be adventurous?
I’ve had a lot of different situations in my life that have made me want to travel around the world and to be adventurous. I think one of the earliest moments that I remember that made me want to travel was when I went to the Dominican Republic on a family trip. It was one of the first vacations that I fully remember because I had so much fun! I loved the happiness that all the employees at our resort had and I remember thinking “wow, people in this country must all be super happy”. On top of that it was probably one of the first times I heard Spanish being spoken around me all the time and I loved it! I’ve been really blessed to have a family that loves to travel so during my younger years they really helped me get the ‘travel bug’ and it has never gone away!
Where have you been/lived?
I’ve lived in Canada all my life minus the year I lived in Alicante Spain. I’ve traveled all over! Here’s a list of my travels: HONDURAS – COSTA RICA – CUBA – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – MEXICO – ST. MARTIN – ST. THOMAS – ST. LUCIA – SPAIN: Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Grenada, Valencia ANDORA – FRANCE: Paris – ITALY: Rome – GREECE: Athens, Volos, the village (lol where my family is from) – ENGLAND: London – MOROCCO – USA: Hawaii, Florida, South Carolina, California, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Washington,
Can you share a memorable/funny travel story?
I often, and by often I mean I always refuse to run for a bus or any mode of transportation. When I was in Rome with my friends, we were running late to catch our train to catch our flight to Paris. In order to make it, we legit had to sprint to catch our train. I refused to run because I don’t run (I’ve changed my view on this fyi) and I was making us all late to catch the train. Finally, after my friend was yelling at me and making me cry I started running and the train started pulling away so I had to throw my luggage onto the train and try and jump onto the platform as it was pulling away. At one point I stopped trying and said “just let it go” LMAO. My friends were yelling at me to jump on the train and finally I ran and jumped and made the train on the way to get to Paris. That’s for sure one of my favourite moments from my year abroad!
Can you share a story when something did not work out as planned while traveling? When I went to live in Spain I had planned and budgeted to stay in a hotel for the first week while I looked for apartments to live in. Unfortunately, it took way longer than a week to find a place to live and it was a really tough situation. The hotel I was staying at wanted almost triple the original rate I was paying for the same room for no reason, other hotels wanted a big price (it was during high season when I arrived) and on top of that looking for an apartment in a foreign country that doesn’t have Kijiji or something similar was so hard! Thankfully I was able to find a local Spaniard who told me how the locals look for places to live and I found a really great apartment to live in.
What has traveling taught you about the world or your life/ or changed your perspective on something? Travelling has taught me that there are always new things to see, learn, hear, and taste. I love meeting new people and trying new things so naturally traveling helps me experience those things. I always try and learn something new from a local from any place that I travel to because they are always so willing to talk and let their culture be known. I love feeling comfortable in a new place because I put myself out there to be part of the local culture.
What advice/tips do you have to encourage people who want to travel?
Pick a place and fall in love with it so much that you have to visit it. I fell in love with the idea of going to Andorra when I was in gr. 11 and when I was in my 3rd year of university I finally got to go and it was worth the wait.
Fall in love with a place and GO!
Where can people learn more about your adventures?
Talk to me!