About Mary Kate


I am a nerd who lives for travel adventures.

How It All Began...

When I was 17 I was asked if I wanted to go to Hawaii with my best friend and her family for Spring Break. Of course I said YES and the rest is history. We went, and I fell in love with the world. I had never seen anything more beautiful or magical in all my life. Hawaii completely blew my mind and I was hooked. I quickly realized that the world had endless possibilities for adventures and I needed to see as much of it as I possibly could. Travel became a priority in my life and I have been lucky enough to see some pretty incredible places and to experience some amazing, once-in-a-lifetime kind of adventures. 

Budget has always been a major factor in my travel plans. Travel is not always cheap - especially when you're a poor college student working part-time as a waitress - but I have always been able to find ways to really stretch every dollar of my travel budget. If you're a fellow travel nerd that wants to explore the world but doesn't want to spend a small fortune, then look no further. Mary Kate Navigates is here to help.

I hope this blog can provide some insight, knowledge, or inspiration to someone else out there hoping to see the world one adventure at a time.

Here is a story about how weird I was as a child

Are We Fishing Or Having A Party??

When I was a child we lived at my Grandma's house on the Fox River in a small town Northwest of Chicago. We had family that all lived relatively close to each other, so on the weekends the house became the setting of impromptu family reunions quite often. On one particular evening when I was about 7 years old, there were a lot of people over - some were socializing on the back patio, some were inside, and some were on the deck fishing. Being the strange little planner that I was, this was inconceivable to me. I could simply not understand what was going on because there was no schedule or plan - it was so confusing to me. Feeling very flustered, I went to my Aunt Anne and asked her, "Are we fishing OR having a party?" because obviously, it was not possible that we could be doing BOTH. Needless to say, my entire family thought this was hilarious.

To this day when we don't know what's going on with any kind of situation, we say "Are we fishing or having a party?" It has become somewhat of a family motto for spontaneous (or sometimes confusing) gatherings.

Now that I am a "grown up" (I use that term very loosely), I've lightened up a little. I can occasionally go with the flow. But this story always reminds me of the kind of person I was just born to be - I'm a planner to my very core and I knew it when I was 7. When I see a baby or a kid that gets crabby when their schedule is thrown off, I just say "I hear ya kid - I don't like it either."

Adventure Always.


Mary Kate