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Katie Aune

Fundraiser by day, travel blogger by night
An independent traveler who spent a year traveling around all 15 former Soviet republics, including extended time in Russia, Ukraine and Armenia.


Career break

I took a career break for 13 months in 2011-2012 and managed to return home and find a good full-time job again! I have written and spoken about saving and budgeting, packing, dealing with logistics like insurance and easing back into "regular" life after you return, including finding a job again.

Solo travel

Nearly all of my travel has been solo and I highly recommend it!


I've volunteered in Russia, Tajikistan and Armenia, with 3 different organizations. A recent speaker about volunteering at the Women in Travel Summit, I can advise on everything from finding the right volunteer opportunity for you to how to make the most of it once you arrive.


I have spent nearly a month in Georgia, visiting most regions, from the capital of Tbilisi, to the port city of Batumi to the small town of Mestia up in the mountainous Svaneti region.

Eastern Europe

I have spent time in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia – my most in-depth areas of knowledge are Russia, where I spent 3 months, and Ukraine, where I spent 6 weeks.

Central Asia

I spent 3 months total traveling through Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, including a month volunteering in Tajikistan. I spent 11 days in Turkmenistan, which is far more than most people who only skip through quickly on a 5 day transit visa.


I spent 3 months in Russia, including a month each in Moscow and St Petersburg and another month traveling the length of the Trans Siberian Railway from Vladivostok back to Moscow.


I spent 6 weeks volunteering in Armenia and living in Yerevan.


Regular Contributor to Viator.com on Chicago, Russia & the Baltic States