My name is Katina Nichols, and I am ecstatic to introduce myself as the newest member of the Journeys team. So, how and why did I join this one-of-a-kind organization?

Relaxing by Lago di Como in Como, Italy


Outfitted for my Malaysian jungle trek

Most recently, I had been working for a customer satisfaction firm. I can’t say enough about the company and the valuable experience I gained from my time there, but my work life was lacking passion (for lack of a better word). I had been there for close to a year when it suddenly hit me that my heart wasn’t in my work at all. Personally, I think that’s one of the most frightening and depressing realizations one can have. What now? Where to? These questions continuously buzzed in my brain. What I needed to do was pinpoint the one thing I cared about more than anything else. It had to be something that consumed me, something I could converse tirelessly about, something I was an advocate of… and fortunately for me, I always kind of knew the answer.

Traveling has consumed my life since I was a little girl. At nine years old, I remember going to my grandma’s house and flipping through old issues of National Geographic. I would cuddle up with a polar bear stuffed animal in her cozy, orange computer room and lose myself in the millions of intriguing aspects of that publication. The photographs mesmerized me, and the adventurers who took them were my heroes and heroines. While I read about distant lands and cultures different from my own, I wondered how I could make others fall in love with the world the way I did. I thought about how I could make a small, but significant difference in the way we view those who speak other languages or worship other gods. I don’t know why it meant so much to me at the time, but it did. It meant everything.

Thirsty in Goa, India

Not much has changed since then. Reading an issue of National Geographic remains one of my favorite past-times, and I continue to believe that my mission in life is to advocate awareness and understanding through travel.

To sum it up, two words brought me to this point in my life: Stay inspired. Every day I walk into our office, and I marvel at all of the pictures, prayer flags, wooden carvings, and tribal masks that JOURNEYS staff has accumulated throughout the last thirty-odd years. They serve as a constant reminder of what we really do here, which is help change your life and the world for the better. Nothing inspires me more.