Kailey Carlson misses the elaborate Christmas markets that she would visit in Stuttgart, Germany. She misses the old architecture and cobblestone streets, as well as riding her bike, alone, to the Saturday Market every week to pick up breads, cheeses and fresh vegetables sourced from the farms in surrounding villages.
Carlson as a Military Brat
Kailey was born in England but is a U.S. citizen. Her father is a member of the U.S. military, and as a result she moved around the U.S. for a while but in middle school moved to Germany.
“This experience exposed me to the variety of ways of life as I compared European culture to the culture I was raised,” Carlson said. “It allowed me to take notice of minute details of another’s pattern of living that I know I’ve never been able to see amidst my own culture.
Kailey went to a school on the U.S. military base in Germany. She would connect with the German community beyond the base. She remembers playing soccer with German boys and having conversations through broken German with her neighbor.
Carlson studied wildlife and conservation biology at a university in the USA. She hopes to get her pilot’s license. Combining these interests, Kailey plans to get a career in the wildlife service in eastern Africa. Now, she remains a global nomad.
Carlson on traveling
“You can definitely tell that she maintains that traveling part of her lifestyle still,” said Allie Ruckman, Carlson’s college roommate and friend. “She’s always looking for a plane ticket like, ‘Guys, there’s a $300 plane ticket to Sweden let’s go.’ She’s not even kidding.”
Some question how she can afford to travel. She doesn’t spend her money on anything else, according to Ruckman.
“She just makes it a priority and it’s really cool,” Ruckman said.
More to traveling
For Kailey, travel is more than visiting the tourist attractions.
“I think there definitely is some beauty to exposure of these different cultures,” Carlson said. “I’ve traveled a far bit and it’s not something you can really come to recognize through remaining a tourist. You see an actual difference in the way of life, in some of the smallest details.”
She travels as a means to express herself and celebrate culture.
“It doesn’t make you any greater as a person,” Kailey said. “I think it just opens you to a humility about your own culture that is difficult to get through any other means.”
Travel ‘just opens you to a humility about your own culture that is difficult to get through any other means.’Kailey Carlson