Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi! I’m Cathy and I am a native-born Californian. I’ve lived in California for most of my life and today it is still my home base while I travel the world. I’m a little different from other full-time bloggers in that I work full-time as a management consultant and travel the world on the side.
It’s a challenge to juggle both work and blog but there are also benefits that come with it. Let’s just say it’s how I’ve funded my luxury travels all over!
What inspired you to travel?
I’ve always been inspired by different cultures, ways of life, and food. Travel allows me to explore all of these and I always find that I am learning something new about myself when on the road. Some things I like and others I don’t but it’s really all part of the learning experience and getting out of your comfort zone. Travel has also pushed me to do things I’d never dare do some years back like solo travel.
Tell us about your blog
My blog, The Trekking Cat, is focused on gluten-free, luxury, and points travel. Once I started working, I accidentally got into travel hacking because who doesn’t love a good deal? This opened up many doors for me and from that my husband and I were able to travel to some of the most luxurious vacations I could never have imagined possible.
We’ve been travel hacking our way and essentially paying $0 for over-the-water bungalows in the Maldives to 5 star beach resorts in Mauritius with no plans to stop anytime soon! My blog focuses on tactics on earning miles and redeeming them to get the most value for your points. Aside from the points, I also have a gluten-free focus because I was diagnosed with a wheat sensitivity a few years back. I haven’t wanted it to hinder my travels and with the growing instances of celiac and wheat or gluten intolerances, I felt that I could help this niche by showing them how having food allergies should not hinder you from travel.
How do you afford to travel? Do you blog full-time?
For me it boils down to a few things. One, I have a full-time professional job (yes, a desk job, gasp!) that enables me to pursue my passion on the side and take risks while paying the bills.
Two, my traveling hacking escapades have made travel possible for me and my husband. These two things combined is how we have been able to fly first class and stay at $1000+/night resorts for free. Due to working full-time, my blog will sometimes sit idle for some time if things get busy.
How do you like to travel?
I am big on adventure and luxury travel! My travel lengths will vary a lot since I have flexibility with work to still explore on weekends and still take off for weeks to explore the world.
What has been your favourite destination, and why?
The Maldives and Mauritius have been both my favourite destinations. I love warm beach weather and clear water. I also have been gravitating towards areas like these since becoming PADI certified to get more diving in. It’s a whole different experience and a must-try!
What are the top 3 destinations on your bucket list?
Santorini, Bora Bora, and Bali!
Tell us about your best travel experience!
Best experience was going to the Maldives. I checked into my hotel only to find out we were upgraded (for free) to an over the water bungalow. When we looked up the face value of the price (because we actually paid on points), the market price was somewhere between $1100-1200/night and we were staying there for 5 nights! It has been our best surprise during our travel hacking adventures and I hope it won’t be the last!