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About me and this blog

If I told you that my first travel experience began at the age of four with my first atlas I’d be leaning towards being a cliché — and a big lie. It did begin when I was four, but with a chocolate, a sweet, sickly flavoured strawberry one which I merclessly chomped down in a space of seconds. Needless to say this delicious chocolate with its short life was my introduction to travel. My mother led me to believe that the chocolate came from England, and from that day forward I grew up thinking that all food from there tasted heavenly. Unknowing at the time that this chocolate was to set the course for my travel experiences beginning with England fourteen years later — in search of another chocolate.

As a teenager I was exposed to travel adventures through my mother’s love for extraordinary explorers. With her books and stories she took me on a shakey raft journey down the Orinoco in search of wild Amazonian Indians, with Percy Fawcett at our side. I even imaged having my nose and ears speared with bone just for effect.  On another literary occasion, we tried to join a missionary in the heartland of Papua New Guinea, blinding us both by romance and tales of the wildly unknown. This time I attempted the bone piercing thing but fainted with the first needle prick.

I wish I could say that my photographic experiences were just as pleasurable, but I’d be lying. Forced into posing for every mountain, lake, picnic and snow themed photo by overzealous aunties and uncles (not to forget nagging parents) I soon learnt that photos meant grief. It’s an aversion I’ve brought into my adult life and will likely continue to have until some therapy is undertaken. My parents tried to get me into photography at an early age — five — and bought me a plastic Happy Snapper camera for Christmas. I dropped it within minutes of opening the package. It didn’t bounce very well, being plastic. I envied my sister’s Box Brownie. It had a hard case around it, and did bounce. Nicely in fact.  Since then I’ve managed to break one Nikkor lens, and have my only Nikon film camera plus delicious wide angle lens stolen from in front of my eyes. Not bad. It has taken me some time to learn the value of photographic equipment and I now realise the pain my parents felt when they saw my small cute buttery fingers (literally) fumble and drop the new plastic Happy Snapper, all those years back.

Coffee didn’t come onto the scene until late in my childhood, at the age of eight (really twelve). I knew it was time to become the woman I’d always wanted to be, and confidently made myself a cup of instant coffee as I saw how mum made it. The end result wasn’t the same — lukewarm, foul tasting and instant. Nobody told me I had to boil the water. And exactly how many spoonfuls of coffee is too much?

Filled with ignorance for all things pure — and blessed — I endured this type of coffee until espresso was introduced to New Zealand in the late 1980’s. A turning point in my life. Now I adore quality coffee and also like to relax over a fresh cup of tea, but truth be told, even though I blog and rant on about it, I actually only drink one cup of coffee a day. Dependent on mood.

My mind has always been filled with nosiness, an insatiable appetite that questions everything and wild imaginings. The latter was supressed for ten years during my twenties, as part of my university education, and continued to be bridled as a government policy analyst. Enough said.

My home country is New Zealand, the coffee is good down there now and up to May 2009 I had spent the last six years living and working in Asia. Ironically, Asia was in fact a continent I never considered being visitable. Got it totally wrong on this one. Living in Asia gave me the time and opportunity to travel to those out of the way places like North Korea, because I could and visit on several occassions China, because I should, plus spending a short time in Cambodia because it would open my eyes. It’s true I love to travel, who doesn’t, but I also enjoy writing.

Join me and my new life as an expat in the US, the trips I’ll make around this vast country and my observations as an outsider. And if that doesn’t grab you then keep an eye out for the upcoming expected trials and tribulations with immigration a.k.a. The Green-Card Files. For that added extra there will still be international flavours to this blog with travel, books,caffeine, writing, photography and change makers.

Caffeinated Traveller posts are written insights into the world of travel. A set of stories and experiences to enjoy and think about, even disagree — of course. This blog is not about travel tips and there will be no top ten beach lists and only a few of the “how to” posts. But there will always be loads of colourful images as well as experiences to scroll through over a good coffee.

Thanks for taking some time out to read my blog

Cate Caffeinated Traveller

Have a question? — contact me at: caffeinatedtraveller [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Advertisers – all queries regarding text link ads will not be considered. All sponsored posts must be accompanied with a realistic offer, otherwise these will also be trashed. I blog with integrity.

Copyright note: All images fall under copyright protection and require the permission of the Blogger. You may copy excerpts of posts but you must also obtain the blogger’s permission to use the complete post/writings /or other forms of copy in this blog and on other sites.

  1. Alex Pafik permalink
    September 16, 2008 12:01 pm

    Awesome travel blogs you should put it on!!!!

    Best Wishes, Alex!!! =)

  2. September 16, 2008 11:54 pm

    Wow thanks Alex you have made my very early morning!! And thanks for the tip. I hope you tune in from time to time.

  3. September 22, 2008 1:33 pm

    Nice website you got here Cate. Caffeine and traveling is a heavenly combination. I am a coffee addict myself. But recently, I’ve been drinking green tea also. But still my first love is still coffee, specifically Capuccino. ^_^

  4. September 23, 2008 5:29 am

    Hey thanks Gigi! As a blogger yourself its always nice to get feedback, shame we couldn’t do it over a coffee. And you’re right coffee and travel
    are a perfect match! Should be a Feng Shui combination but I guess it can’t be.

  5. September 29, 2008 1:39 am

    Howdy Cate – miss working with you and having you close by in Wellywood. Not sure I should be on this site, not being a bona fide ‘caffeine’ drinker (makes me dizzy). I’m one of those filthy decaffinated drinkers with a liking for soy, no froth and brown sugar. Yes, I am that irritant that stands at the front of the que that takes 20 mins to list, very precisley, what I do and don’t want in my expensive $4 cuppa. But Wellington coffee drinkers will be relieved to know that I only indulge about once or twice a month. Tea is my real drink of choice. So travel – well I’m using every excuse in the book to keep myself stuck here working as the typical Wgtn public servant, moaning an that, but pretty darn keen to hear more about your travels. My top tip for today is – if you’re going to the Wairarapa (over the hill from Wgtn city, heading north) don’t do the shops in Greytown, head towards the the coast and the pinnacles – after you’ve had the shit kicked out of by the wild surf and the blustery winter/spring coastal gusts, head towards the vineyards in Martinborough and a feed of fish n’ chips (fancy restaurant ones or takeaway – depends on your budget and whether you’re worried about being labelled a wanker) – it’s a good way to shake off the public servant blues and get away from our uncivilised so called civilisation. Cheers Diane

  6. September 30, 2008 12:45 pm

    Hughes aka Diane have you ever thought about blogging? Perhaps we should discuss this off online via email.
    Cate aka Catherine

  7. October 12, 2008 12:55 am

    Hi, Cate. Thanks for the welcome. BTW, the tea was AWFUL.

  8. November 12, 2008 6:05 pm

    Great that you’re getting use out of that new camera of yours!
    I am so glad to see you blogging Miss Cate!

    I wish you all the best!!!


  9. November 18, 2008 6:11 pm

    Shrek was the sheep who went bush and as wool continues to grow and grow and not fall out, you can guess after 5 years in the bush his woollen coat was huge

  10. November 19, 2008 3:22 am

    I googled it and found Shrek – the merino sheep. Very woolly. The idea of shearing Shrek on an offshore iceburg really puts Kiwi humour into a whole new category. Loved the article I read about Shrek. Thanks for the heads up on that one. I’m beginning to think I need to go back home and do a photoessay (or book) on these topics. From the hits and reviews I’ve had on my New Zealand posts, people seem to enjoy learning about New Zealanders more than looking at the pretty postcard shots.

  11. November 26, 2008 1:53 pm

    Hi Cate!
    It’s been great reading your blog, I’m very jealous indeed! I just wanted to let you know about a travel review site trivago. My name is Sian and I am the community manager and was wondering if you would like to add some of your great travel experiences to trivago. You can even earn some money for all of the reviews that you write! Let me know if you would like any more information! Thanks, Sian

  12. Bear permalink
    December 5, 2008 12:29 am

    This is a great blog with wonderful writing and wonderful ideas. Having nice coffees (I favor espressos) in quaint cafes or while at scenic vistas or museums with unique offerings is a rewarding as well as pleasurable travel experience.

  13. December 8, 2008 2:51 pm

    Hi Cate,

    Nice site. I came here in response to you reviewing my site in LinkReferral. I, too, have done some travelling, and I have such very fond memories of sitting in outdoor cafes in some remote uncommercialized place in a far-off land. You site is fun and of course, I love the way you link coffee with travelling. — Speaking of links — any chance of exchanging links? You’d go well on my site – Thanks. All the best. Jeannie

  14. December 22, 2008 7:36 pm

    Great site, Cate! Looking forward to reading more caffeine-fueled posts as you continue to wander around the world. And thanks again for your kind words about my blog. Always appreciated 🙂

  15. Jules permalink
    December 29, 2008 9:03 pm

    nice blog 🙂 happy new year!

    • December 30, 2008 2:23 am

      Hey Jules thanks for you comment! Have a great New Year as well.

  16. January 18, 2009 10:46 pm

    I love your site Cate! And caffeine-fueled posts are easier to read than wine-fueled don’t you I think 🙂

    I hope to head to Thailand and beyond this spring, so will be checking back here often on your upcoming trip.


    • January 19, 2009 12:49 am

      Thanks Sharon, and welcome! Thailand is another great place to travel, if you have time you can take a train from Bangkok all the way to Singapore. And its cheap. Keep coming back to my blog, I’m sure I can entice you to visit Malaysia 🙂
      Safe travels

  17. February 6, 2009 2:15 am

    Hi Cate
    I’ve just discovered your blog – it’s great! I live in Asia too (and love it – and caffeinated beverages!). Look forward to reading more of your adventures!

    • February 6, 2009 12:02 pm

      Hi Liz, welcome to a highly caffeinated blog. With some non caffeine stuff on the side. I’m very happy to read your comment and find out that you are also in Asia. One day we may meet up. Keep tuning in.

  18. February 13, 2009 5:00 pm

    Hi Cate,

    Its really an awesome site for your travel blogs. I also wrote on linkreferral. me too love coffee and traveling. You are doing well on this website. You should visit Turkey as well. Where do you stay on another country? at a hotel or a hostel or you make camp? I read you say you do not visit populated regions or places with big buildings or resorts.

    Good luck with your blog..

  19. February 25, 2009 10:25 am

    Hi Cate,

    I just wanted to say I enjoy your blog. As someone hoping to teach in South Korea after graduation and travel around South East Asia, I found it inspiring that there was someone out there who has done that and has documented it so well. Cheers,


    • February 25, 2009 12:44 pm

      Hey! thanks for the neat comment and the tweet. It sounds like you will end up being an adventurer and discoverer – you’re already dreaming about it.
      I hope you keep following and let me know if you have any questions about travels, Asia, expat life.
      Safe Travels

  20. micheleinplaya permalink
    March 4, 2009 2:56 pm

    Hi Cate,

    I am thrilled to have found your blog via link referral. I am an expat wife, mom and blogger living in (admittedly very touristy) Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I am enjoying your blog and adding it to my list of favorites. Your photography is wonderful! Looking forward to pouring through it in my free time (ha).


    • March 5, 2009 5:57 am

      Hi Michele, thanks for following and your link. I have added it to my new expat category for people to look through. I look forward to reading your stories as well.

  21. April 19, 2009 2:24 pm

    Loved your site. I also found it through Link Referral. Being a coffee fanatic it caught my eye. I always scope out the local coffee places when I travel. Best of luck to you with your site!! Lucy

    • April 21, 2009 1:17 pm

      Thanks Lucy, hope you will return to read some of my caffeine posts.

  22. April 25, 2009 8:23 pm

    Hey Cate . just discovered you and already I’m a convert 🙂

    however it was meant to be as i too am a coffee addict a long black is my shot .. no room for error, and I’m known for sending it back if the barista is not up to the job.

    have signed up for your tweets too

    kia ora,

  23. Jokin permalink
    April 30, 2009 8:53 am

    Hi Cate, I’m not a caffeine addict, but your writing and stories have caught me 🙂

    I am developing a project and I it would be great to contact you, because the opinion of people passionate about travelling is very important.

    A friend of mine is travelling to New Zealand soon and I’ll recommend him your blog for sure.


  24. maricar_f permalink
    July 30, 2009 4:28 am

    i’m maricar i’m a newbies here in blogger nice to know another travel bug,
    cool site you have here, travelling is also my husband’s passion and mine 😉

    • July 30, 2009 3:44 pm

      Thanks Maricar, welcome it’s always good to meet another traveller.

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