Katie R. Aune is a recovering tax attorney who has worked in nonprofit and higher ed fundraising for more than a decade while also dabbling in travel blogging and writing. Despite not traveling overseas until she was 25, she has been to nearly 70 countries and all seven continents. Born and raised in Minnesota, Katie is currently based in Washington, D.C. and has a habit of rooting for teams that find ways to lose in devastating fashion.
The longer version…
Katie is a Minnesota native, 15-year Chicago resident and Washington, D.C. transplant who started dreaming of traveling and seeing the world at a young age. But aside from a church mission trip to Mexico when she was 14, she didn’t leave the country for the first time until she took a 23-day tour to Europe after finishing law school in 2001. She spent the next ten years making the most of her vacation time by taking short trips to Australia, Egypt, Peru, Norway and all over western Europe.
A self-professed “recovering attorney,” Katie left a job in educational fundraising and event planning in August 2011 to travel and volunteer in all 15 states of the former Soviet Union. She returned home in September 2012 after a 13-month career break that included running a marathon in Estonia, teaching English in Russia and Tajikistan, volunteering with the national tourism board of Armenia, living with local families in Azerbaijan, and trying my best to speak Russian on a daily basis. In addition to being obsessed with travel, she is a sports fanatic and running enthusiast who has been gluten-free since 2010 due to Celiac Disease. She has finished 14 marathons and has a goal of finishing a marathon on each continent.
After returning to the United States at the end of 2012, Katie spent three years working at a law school in Chicago as the director of alumni engagement, while writing about travel in her free time. She wrote regularly about Chicago, Russia and the Baltic States for Viator, as well as the occasional post for sites like G Adventures, BootsnAll, Meet, Plan, Go! and Brazen Careerist. In January 2016, she moved to Washington, D.C. to start a new job as a planned giving officer at the National Geographic Society, a job that perfectly combined her background as a tax attorney, her experience in fundraising and her passions for travel, geography, education and wildlife. Several years and three jobs later, she is still in D.C. working in fundraising for a university and still trying to travel as much as possible!