What’s my story?

I was born in 1986 in St. Louis, Missouri. From an early age I was exposed to the world of travel through my family vacations to places like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Disney World, Florida. When I was 12, my family and I moved to England where we lived for nearly four years- all the while exploring Europe together and living life to the fullest.

After our time overseas visiting such sights as Stonehenge, The Eiffel Tower and the Sistine Chapel in Rome, we returned home to Missouri. But after seeing so many beautiful things in Europe, a severe case of wanderlust would forever be engrained in my mind- I wanted to see the world!

I finished high school and attended a 4 year University where I studied Geography and World Languages. The summer after my junior year, I flew to Estonia to study abroad and was able to sightsee Finland, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania too. (I didn’t want to come home but I went broke trying to see it all. Not the last time that would happen either.)

After I graduated college in 2009, I unknowingly started down a path of struggle, triumph and spiritual growth. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So I guess in a way, I subconsciously decided to try it all. HEY, this is just occurring to me as I write this!

First time seeing the Hollywood sign, Hollywood, California, 2013

First time seeing the Hollywood sign, Hollywood, California, 2013

(I have worked everywhere- from the oil fields of North Dakota to tour guiding in California, and from volunteering in Africa to driving buses in Alaska too. I’ve operated heavy equipment, cleaned pools, worked fast food, fueled airplanes and been a microbiologist. I’ve visited over 40 U.S. states and 35 countries throughout North America, Europe and Africa. My life since college has been, what’s the word I’m looking for, CRAZY!)

Why This Blog?

For years I lived the same cycle, over and over again. I would leave home for some great adventure, be gone for months at a time, return to Missouri having experienced a thousand life-changing events, and struggle to explain it all to my friends and family. In the summer of 2014, just before I left on a trip to Alaska, I started Amble Unbound to better encapsulate my story so others could follow along. To my surprise, blogging quickly turned into one of my favorite activities. (I hate computers. There, I said it!) I taught myself web design, social media management and improved my writing skills. I loved blogging about my adventures and staying connected with my readers. Suddenly, a whole new world had opened up to me and I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a travel blogger!

Petting a cheetah in Namibia, 2011. Yes I'm barefoot!

Petting a cheetah in Namibia, 2011. Yes I’m barefoot!

So what’s the focus here?

Amble Unbound is first and foremost a travel blog. Traveling is what I know best and it’s what I’m good at. I have a degree in Geography, I’ve worked as a tour guide and I have a wealth of travel experience. But, there are 2 aspects of travel that I feel the most passionately about- one of which is our planet’s natural landscape.

I’ve traveled for years feeling lost, not knowing my purpose in life and always feeling that something was missing- something so vague and mysterious it was too difficult to put into words. One day though, I finally reached a point where I became deeply interested in inner/ spiritual work. Through meditation and developing my intuition, I discovered many fascinating things about myself, including what had been missing all those early years- what I was searching for. I was traveling in search of meaning.

“Meaning” can be different things to different people, and what that means for me, is to live in search of moments where I feel inspired. In following my heart and pursuing that which makes me truly happy, I find myself being drawn towards the natural beauty of this world. (Oceans, deserts, mountains, jungles…) When I land in a new place, I am always eager to go beyond the cities, into nature, where I feel the most alive. That’s where my soul really flourishes- in peace and quiet, listening to sounds of the wild. (Though of course, I love trying the local cuisine and learning the language, customs and tradition too!)

Monument Valley, Navajo Nation, Utah, 2013

Monument Valley, Navajo Nation, Utah, 2013

The second aspect of travel I care deeply about is health and wellness on the road. I have had my fair share of travel misadventures along the way. From dealing with depression and anxiety, to being hospitalized due to dehydration, vertigo, bacterial stomach infections and a herniated disc. Traveling can be tough! I’ve always said, it’s not a vacation, it’s an adventure. Health on the road doesn’t just deal with drinking clean water and wearing sunscreen. Mental health and stress can impact the lives of backpackers and corporate go-getters alike and when traveling, I fear many people neglect that part of themselves. I work very hard to be happy, healthy and live a better life, especially when out on the road and I want to share my insight and experience with all those who care to listen.

Thank you for visiting my website, Amble Unbound. I hope in some way you find this blog helpful, inspiring and entertaining. My deepest wish is that everyone finds something they’re passionate about, and pursues it with great intent. Mine is travel, what’s yours?

Aaron K

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson