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Me, at the top of Mt Fuji, with the torii in the background

Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!
- Mame Dennis, Auntie Mame

Me, after a seven-hour hike to the top of Mt. Fuji.

About Latitude 35 Travel

My Inspiration

I grew up hearing tantalizing tales about my family's travels to Japan. At 17, my first international trip followed in their footsteps. It was love at first sight. I decided that I had to live there someday, and I did — in Kyoto (which is at latitude 35°), Kamakura, and Tokyo, for a total of four years. And I still visit often!

I've now traveled to 40+ countries (and counting!) and six continents, about half solo. Although I love seeing the world's most famous sights (though I must say, Mona Lisa was a letdown), I really enjoy exploring lesser-known countries and cities; there are fewer tourists and I've had so many memorable experiences with locals.

So, let's plan your adventure to the 35th parallel and beyond. There's a whole world to discover! Live! Live! Live!

— Karen/Kiki

Me at Bahrain Fort

At Bahrain Fort a few years ago.

My Travel Philosophy

Forget history books. Well, not really... but travel does make the world's past come alive vividly and tangibly, and helps us understand the present. Empathy evolves when learning first-hand about others' languages, cultures, customs, and struggles. Travel illuminates the connections between history, literature, science and art. There is no better teacher than living life with an inquisitive, open mind. Travel should broaden your perspective.

To this day, I think of Japan as my second home. The country itself and the experience of living abroad has influenced my life deeply. It made me more world-aware, adaptable and flexible, and taught me even greater independence, self-reliance and problem-solving skills. Travel should be about personal growth and cultural understanding as well as appreciation of local beaches.

Me, taking a mosaic class in Marrakech

Positive Impact Travel


Overtourism concerns me. Be willing to explore alternatives to the most famous cities and sights; you might have even more amazing experiences. Travel in the off season. Volunteer responsibly. Give back to the locals. Pack sustainably. Support the local economy. Respect the local culture — learn from them, dress appropriately, and respect all local laws and customs. Be a good guest! 

Taking a mosaic tile class in Marrakech.

Affiliations & Qualifications

I'm an independent travel advisor/adventure designer and an affiliate of TravelStore (host agency), a member of Signature Travel Network (travel consortium). With these alliances, I have access to thousands of resources plus unique perks, great deals and extraordinary experiences you won't find on your own. 

Member, ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors)

Certification in progress, VTA (Verified Travel Advisor), ASTA

Certificate, Signature Travel Expert

Certificate in progress, TAP (Travel Agency Proficiency), Travel Institute

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