Kate MacDougall


Kate MacDougall

My name is Kate, I'm 26 years old, and I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in fall of 2012. I have my teaching license through Colorado, and I spent 2 years in Hungary teaching grades 1-4. I spent all of my time off traveling around Europe.

I traveled for a year after high school as well, which is what all of my really old are from. Feel free to read and catch up! This blog is my primary way of staying in touch with people while I am away, but anyone is free (and encouraged) to read it.

I spent the summer of 2015 working at home to fund a trip around Southeast Asia, which I embarked on at the beginning of November. In March of 2016 I moved to New Zealand to learn how to make wine. Now I'm happily living in Queenstown and going on as many adventures around New Zealand as I can!


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch September 6th 2016

After finishing my job with NZSki, I had 5 days before my new job started at Matakauri Lodge. My friend Jayne from Northern Ireland also had some time between jobs. We packed our bags, threw our snowboards in the back of the car, made sure we had our ski passes, and headed to Christchurch. The drive to Christchurch was unbelievable. Our first stop was in Omarama, the only "major" town between Queenstown and Lake Tekapo, about 2 hours from both. We wandered around and found some really bad food to eat (New Zealand roadside food is not the best). We drove through hills and plains, constantly commenting on how we could easily see dinosaurs living in these exact places. If you watch Lord of the Rings, we drove through Pelennor Fields. If you don't watch LOTR, ... read more
Jailhouse Accommodation
Memorial Arch
Restart Mall

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown August 13th 2016

I went back to the States for a week in June. While I was there, Coronet Peak closed. We had been open for 10 days with barely a cover of snow on two runs, and then a bad spout of warm weather and rain wiped us out and shut us down. The Remarkables across the way had opened for the season, so they got all the school holiday traffic while we struggled for hours. No one's fault except for everyone who has contributed to global warming ever. When I came back to Queenstown, I spent most of my time working at the office in town doing my Guest Services job and spent some hours up on Coronet where we had opened up for sightseeing and tubing. Days were long and slow, but I managed to get ... read more
The Remarkables
Sunrise at Coronet Peak
Easiest Way to Hitchhike

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown June 6th 2016

I can't really use words to describe how beautiful it is here and how amazingly everything has turned out. The first week, it rained almost every day. We glimpsed peeks of the mountains through clouds, but the clouds were low and it was a cold rain that fell. On my first day in Queenstown, my mission was to find a job. I knew that jobs and houses were next to impossible, and I was determined to stay here because my gut told me to, and it's never been wrong. I went to my hostel and checked into my room. When I walked into my room, there was a girl sitting on her bed who sat up with a start. She thought I was her reflection. We were wearing the exact same outfit. This is how I ... read more
Clouds on Ben Lomond
Lake Wakatipu
Adventure Team in Glenorchy

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island May 11th 2016

This is going to freak all of you out. Probably every one of you. But MAN, did I have fun. Because this car situation wasn't happening until May 18th, and I wanted to get to Queenstown beforehand, I decided to save some money and have an adventure at the same time. Hitchhiking! It's totally normal in New Zealand, especially on the South Island. I had planned to leave on Sunday at 9am and had a hostel booked in Queenstown for Monday night. I had a big last night, though, and my sleep schedule was still on night shift, so I woke up at 11:30 on Sunday and was on the road by noon. I had all my stuff and a cardboard sign saying “West Coast” because I heard it was the more scenic route. I planned ... read more
West Coast
Pancake Rocks
West Coast

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Blenheim April 27th 2016

The ferry ride from Wellington to Picton was rough, but as soon as we entered Marlborough Sounds, the views were nothing short of amazing. Hills rose directly out of the water and rolled across and into each other. I spent my time on top of the boat taking pictures and on the bow of the boat sitting at a table with two nice old ladies who invited me to stay with them if I'm ever on their part of the North Island. When we landed in Picton, a very bus driver allowed me onto his bus, despite my not having a reservation, and we drove about 30 minutes down to Blenheim where he dropped me off at the train station and Becky picked me up to take me home. Home. Home is a place where I ... read more
My Boy Cole!!
Withers Hill
Geographical Center of New Zealand Overlooking Nelson

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington March 25th 2016

Turns out I didn't need any of the paperwork I printed out to get into New Zealand. In the Melbourne airport, I had to wait in line to get my ticket rather than have an easy time at the machine because my last name is MacDougall and sometimes people (the US government and CU Boulder) decide that my last name has a space in it and won't let me do things (check in for flights, register for classes) unless I spell my last name with a space. It's infuriating. When I booked my flight to New Zealand I had to enter my information exactly as it is on my passport. Usually I spell my name correctly and it works. This time I was not so lucky, so I had to wait in line and get it ... read more
Container Market

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne March 24th 2016

If I can refer you back to a previous entry in which Darcy and I almost and sort of got fined on a train from Debrecen to Budapest, you'll know that I'm really good at not getting fined. This is a story very similar to that, and I feel like very few people have two of these stories. I have two of these stories. I took the bus from the airport in Melbourne to Southern Cross train station. I got myself a coffee because sleeping on planes is impossible, and I had a long train ride ahead. I got on the train to Frankston which is pretty far south of Melbourne, set my bag across from me on the seat, took out my kindle, and read my book. About halfway through the journey, three (3!) very ... read more
Jumping off The Pillars
The Pillars
The Pillars

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney March 20th 2016

APPARENTLY YOU NEED A VISA TO VISIT AUSTRALIA, I learned at the airport check-in desk. "Do I have my what now?" I replied to the woman's query as she took my passport to look up my flight. So, TURNS OUT, you need to apply for a visa a few days ahead of time to even just visit Australia. No visas on arrival. I realize this is entirely my fault, and I am still kicking myself for not looking it up ahead of time. But people in the travel community talk. Everyone knows you need a visa ahead of time for Vietnam. If someone says, "yeah, I'm going to Vietnam," the correct response is, "make sure you get it ahead of time and it'll cost $45." The thing about Australia is that most people are going to ... read more
Sydney Harbor Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud March 20th 2016

I split a taxi with a couple from my van and headed to my hostel, a place called In Da Lodge. Right when we arrived it started pouring rain. We ran to reception. I checked in and was shown to my 6-bed dorm. I spent the first night hanging out in the common area. Everyone was German. All of the people. Germans. Three German girls and I went out to dinner at a place called The Yoga Place. I had some kind of tofu and lemongrass thing wrapped in a banana leaf, and it was one of the best food decisions I've ever made. When we got back, I met two guys, Rik (Dutch) and Matthew (Belgian) who were renting motorbikes the next day. I decided to join them. I got up around 8, had breakfast, ... read more
Temple Cave
Rice Terraces

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gilli Trawangan March 10th 2016

I have a really bad story and a really good story. I'm going to start with the really bad one. I have had an easy go of things on this trip. I've gotten lucky with the weather and with people and, although I've had cranky days, nothing horrible has happened to me. It still hasn't, but Kuta was pretty close. So my flight was delayed an hour, which pushed it from an 8:40pm flight to a 9:40pm flight. I got on the plane and was seated in a middle seat (which I knew) in the row IN FRONT OF THE EXIT ROW (so the seats don't recline. UGH) and in between two guys with really bad breath. The flight was spent attempting to sleep even though the lights were on in the plane the whole time ... read more
Gili T Sunset
View to Gili Meno

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