Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Hickey.
Hi Kate, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
At age 11, my parents moved our family to the border town of Laredo, TX. I fell in love with Spanish, the Latino people, travel, culture, and breakfast burritos. After completing Journalism and Spanish degrees at Michigan State, I wanted to share these passions with others, so I became a high school Spanish teacher.
For ten years, I turned my classroom into a daily cultural experience. I worked to replicate the joy of travel and to encourage Williamson County kids to think outside the state lines through Day of the Dead altars, Frida Kahlo art, and a deeper understanding of what makes different so beautiful.
After a decade as a teacher, I was ready to turn the focus from “student kids” to my own two biological kids – Max and Samantha. I wanted them to have a cultural experience and become bilingual so my husband and I decided to move to Valencia, Spain. Why Spain? It’s affordable, perfectly located for European travels, good schools, safe, and Spanish-speaking.
To prepare for the big move, I quit my teaching job and joined my husband’s web design and digital marketing business. My first project was to learn how to build a website so I started my travel blog business HickeysEverywhere.com where I documented our move, visa process, and all of our travel tips and itineraries.
While I miss the classroom and student relationships, my love for writing and traveling filled a void that had been missing and my newfound focus on our future felt exactly right. A few months later we applied for the HGTV show House Hunters International sold our home and most of our belongings and landed in sunny Espana. We are in our fourth year abroad, my children are bilingual, and we have made memories in more than 10 countries.
But when Covid hit – Spain’s lockdown was not like the US. My kids did not leave our 700 square foot apartment for six weeks. Yeah, you read that right – not even to step into the street. Forget travel and Hickeys Everywhere work, I had to draw upon my teaching experience and keep my family sane and schooled.
Because I could no longer write about travel experiences, I turned to a different writing project – a book. After years of teaching and turning up to graduation parties without the perfect gift, I wrote the book that I always wanted to give my students. A real talk book about how to navigate college life, sweat your advisor, but not sweat the small stuff. “Have Fun, Be Safe, I Love You” draws on personal anecdotes, humor, inspirational quotes, and interviews from college students and will be available on Amazon in early 2022.
Now that travel is back – you will find the Hickeys everywhere. We continue to help families that want to make an international move as well as families that just want to enjoy a trip with unique local experiences and accommodations. One bucket list experience at a time.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Sometimes people can see my Instagram pictures and think “must be nice.” It’s easy to forget that moving to Spain was difficult. My kids started school and didn’t speak Spanish, the visa process was, and is, extremely intense, and rebuilding a support system/community has taken time and energy. Just figuring out how to order coffee or to buy bed sheets in centimeters is taxing. Coffee and bed sizes aren’t the same because nothing is the same here. We live life in a constant state of slight confusion and constant learning. It makes the days exhilarating, stimulating, but completely exhausting.
Another misconception about our journey is that we are rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The cost of living in Spain is drastically lower than Nashville. (Pretty sure anywhere is cheaper than Nashville now!) But for a fun example, a glass of wine at a nice restaurant is $3. We don’t own cars or home so we are able to afford travel because we prioritize it.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Hickeys Everywhere specializes in finding unique experiences for families. Whether it’s truffle hunting in Tuscany, catamaran trips through Croatia, helicopter riding over the tulip fields in Holland, walking the Camino de Santiago, or desert camping in Morocco. I want families to know that they can afford travel and they can plan amazing trips themselves.
Don’t wait until your kids are older, for the perfect job, or the perfect anything. Go get your life.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.hickeyseverywhere.com
- Instagram: @hickeys_everywhere
- Facebook: @HickeysEverywhere
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