Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Current location: Paris, France
Occupation: Full time Household CEO and Blogger
Hi I’m Kacie, aka Kacie Sunshine!
I’m from Los Angeles, CA and currently living in Paris, France.
I’m a TCK (Third Culture Kid, I grew up in Micronesia) and am now raising my own TCKs: my husband’s job has taken us all over the world (we’ve lived in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Paris).
I blog about vintage fashion and travel and am always searching for cool vintage shops and events around the world. In my spare time I’m a pinup model, swing dancer, and amateur photographer.
Psst, are you obsessed with Paris content? Check out these other fabulous women who moved from different corners of the world to live in the City of Light!
Did you participate in study abroad while at school? For how long, and with what program?
In college I studied abroad in Jerusalem for one semester. It was an American based study abroad program, so I didn’t get the full international university experience, but it was a really influential time in my life. I highly recommend studying abroad if you get the chance. I had to make many “adult” decisions for the first time in my life, even more so than going away to college, and it significantly broadened my worldview.
When I arrived in Jerusalem the city had been experiencing a long period of peace, but a time of civil unrest began during my semester. I chose to stay and finish my studies (I was safe and it was the best decision for me) and it helped me understand the political situation in that country and what people in countries facing civil unrest go through on a daily basis.
It helped me understand the privilege of my citizenship as well and gave me perspective on many things I took for granted.
If you studied abroad, would you recommend the experience? (The country, the program, the amount of time, etc)
If you have the opportunity to study abroad anywhere, do it! University is a unique time in your life and it’s a great time to travel. It’s not only a time when you learn a lot academically, you learn a lot about yourself and you make lifelong friends. It’s a safe way to travel and see the world as many study abroad programs have tours and local travel as part of their curriculum, so you get to see a lot of your host country.
In your opinion, what makes travel uniquely “educational”?
Travel is educational because it shows you that the way your country does things is not necessarily the right way to do things. When I studied abroad I gained a lot of insight into the political and social issues of my host country and it gave me a personal connection with people in impoverished circumstances and people dealing with war.
After that, it wasn’t as easy to ignore world events, which I think helped me become a more compassionate and engaged global citizen.
Would you say travel or living abroad have impacted your career path? How?
I have a Masters degree in Social Work, and moving abroad entirely interrupted my career path. I wasn’t able to complete the license process which meant that I’m not able to work abroad in that field.
So, I decided to pursue my creative interests while we move around! Blogging is something I can do from anywhere and allows me to put all my training and creativity together.
A lot of expats find themselves doing something different from what they studied. Have you found this to be true in your experience and if so, what are your thoughts about that disparity?
One challenge of being a “trailing spouse” is that I gave up a career to move because of my husband’s job. After moving and living abroad for so many years I no longer feel that being a social worker is part of my identity.
There’s definitely a sense of loss that comes with letting go of a career path I studied for and worked towards, but there’s also a sense of excitement about the opportunity to create new.
Why do you enjoy traveling?
I do (mostly) enjoy traveling!! Sometimes its challenging, but I even like the challenge and the discomfort it brings when I’m in a new place in some ways! I like seeing how people live in different places, learning about history and culture, and understanding how cultural customs came to be. I dislike crowds and travel delays and things like that most of us try to avoid.
Lots of people think traveling is cool, but not something they can see themselves doing. What are the characteristics of a traveler or person who would enjoy living abroad, in your opinion?
Flexibility is key while traveling! Even if you’re a planner, you need to have a mindset that lets go of control because many things are out of your control while traveling. You need to be able to roll with the punches and not let delays or last minute changes bum you out.
It also helps to have a curious mindset.
Instead of saying “Why do they do things that way? That’s weird. We do things this way,” say “That’s interesting. I wonder how that custom came to be.” The way they do things isn’t wrong, and the way we do things isn’t right. They’re just different.
I believe everyone should try traveling because it helps you see that issues aren’t cut and dry, it gives you compassion for other people, and it gives you more perspective and gratitude for what you have.
Have you ever started a travel blog? Why?
I recently started a travel and fashion blog because I wanted a creative outlet and to be able to write about my experiences abroad. I also want to be able to do something meaningful that I can do from anywhere in the world. I hope it becomes a resource for people who want to travel in vintage style!
Editor’s note: If you love fashion bloggers, you won’t want to miss Latrice’s feature.
Why does the world need travel blogging?
Every single person has a unique experience and unique perspective and how you experience a place isn’t the same way I experience a place.
Travel blogging doesn’t just have to be sharing details of making hotel reservations (etc), but about sharing your experience. Your story and my story may resonate with different people, and that gives us each a unique audience! Combining travel and vintage fashion is definitely a small niche, but I find it to be a fun way to tell my travel stories.
One last question
What advice would you give to someone who knows they want to travel but aren’t sure where that fits in with the rest of their lives?
If you want to travel but aren’t sure where to start, make a list of your dream destinations. Then narrow it down to your top three and make a plan. It could be next month or next year, but if you don’t make a plan, put it on your calendar, and start saving for it, it won’t happen. Make a plan to travel at regular intervals and have a travel savings category in your budget so that it’s a priority.
If you want to live and work abroad, but aren’t sure where to start, start looking at international companies in your field and see if you can find people on LinkedIn or via personal connections that you can talk to about it. You can also start researching your destination of choice and find out what kind of visas are required and if there are agencies that help sponsor your or simply help you with the relocation process. Make a long term plan to go overseas and understand that it doesn’t happen overnight.
There’s no one way to travel or move abroad, but it does take research and planning to make it happen.
Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen in a quick time frame, just keeping taking small steps towards your travel plans.
Editor’s note: This interview has been lightly edited.
If you are connected with Kacie’s feature and are intrigued to see how she marries her passion for travel and vintage fashion with her diverse interests living in the City of Light, she invites you to connect with her on the following platforms.
FB: That Vintage Travel Girl
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