Yes, I’m as surprised as you that this old blog still has readers! I still get emails regarding A Travel Broad, so I thought that it would only be fair to let you all know that I will no longer be updating this website. Instead, my work and my travels will be continued elsewhere on the web — mostly on USA TODAY Networks.
Even though I am ending the chapter to this project, I won’t ever delete this body of work. I could tell you that I’m keeping it active because it displays some of the truest storytelling of my entire career. I could tell you that I want to preserve the stories that were meaningful to me, stories written in my true voice, but that would only be part of the truth.
Here’s the true reason why I’ve kept A Travel Broad active for so long.
When I started this blog seven years ago Obama was in his first term, Social Media wasn’t a job, the world was realizing that we can create “an app for that”, and Vuvuzelas became the most obnoxious instrument on the planet.
This blog was originally called WhereintheWorldisKaeLaniKennedy.blogspot.com and its intentional purpose was to keep my friends and family posted on what I was up to during my semester abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. I shared the stories that I found interesting. The history of the Heidelberg castle the spooky ghost stories of the Roman ruins behind my apartment, and sometimes one sentence posts about cultural quirks like how “Hummer” means lobster in German.
When I came back to the United States I figured my traveling days were over and I would begin my ascent up the corporate ladder. But within a few months, that would change.
My friends and family visited my blog frequently, but it was my grandmother, Jacki Suggs (aka Fifi), who commented on almost every single post in this blog’s early days. While I documented my travels, Fifi reported back to me what was happening at home. Sometimes she’d update me on the weather, give me all the hot family gossip, or talk about Anderson Cooper 360, but she always expressed how much she loved my storytelling.
Fifi could sense authenticity, and loved to see people being their true selves. To her, if others allowed themselves to be wild and free, then so could she. And when I started this blog she recognized a spark within me and encouraged me to explore this new found passion. I never considered becoming a writer, but Fifi was the first one to suggest that I could be. She planted the seed, nurtured it, and allowed it to grow, patiently guiding and supporting me when I needed. She was a horticulturalists so she knew a thing or two about growth.
I continued this blog which opened up all types of opportunities. Within a few years I was going on press trips, getting published in magazines, and speaking at travel conferences. As my career grew, the frequency of A Travel Broad blog posts decreased, but that’s okay because my life got busy in a very good way. This blog served as the catalyst to my career, leading me to opportunities that I never thought possible — being the keynote speaker for a conference in Panama, being a live correspondent during the Women’s March in DC, opportunities to fly drones — and for that, I am truly grateful.
But aside from being the first step toward becoming a writer, A Travel Broad would serve as another purpose. Though my grandmother died from cancer on December 21, 2014, her comments remain on this blog and are a digital archive of her love and support. She may be gone but her words, her silly comments, her dreams and aspirations, her weather reports and her family gossip live on in the comments section.
Here are some of my favorite comments:
Although I am officially ending A Travel Broad, I will never take it down. It will stay not just as a reminder of my humble beginnings, but as a reminder of the unconditional love and support from a person who truly believed in me.
Without her I wouldn’t be published in Billboard, Fodor’s Travel, Yahoo Travel, Budget Travel, etc. I wouldn’t be the Social Media Director of Matador Network. I wouldn’t have become a host on live broadcasts for Matador Network or Foodful Thinking, and I sure as hell wouldn’t have appeared on Cheddar Life twice! I wouldn’t have become a drone pilot and I wouldn’t be creating travel videos.
I mean seriously — I got to talk about global politics the day after the Election on Cheddar Life.
I also got to film and do Facebook Live interviews during the Women’s March on D.C.
I seriously can’t imagine doing anything else with my time on this planet.
So where in the world is Kae Lani Kennedy these days? You can continue to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and read more of my random musings on Medium (like what caused the Beanie Baby market to crash). You can catch me on live broadcasts for Matador Network as well as Foodful Thinking, and you can see my most recent work over on my portfolio www.kaelanisays.com. If you’re interested in working on some social video or digital storytelling, check out my reel and contact me here.
My Video Reel
Thank you to my readers over the years. And of course, thank you Jacki “Fifi” Suggs for believing that I was capable of all of this.
I’ll see you elsewhere on the Internet.