Karen Gershowitz has been traveling solo since age seventeen when she flew to Europe and didn’t return to the US for three years. She got severely bitten by the travel bug and since then has traveled to nearly ninety countries and visited all fifty states—many of them multiple times.
After studying ceramics in college and graduate school she abandoned that career and switched to marketing so that employers would pay for her travel. In her new career as a marketing strategist and researcher, she traveled the world conducting thousands of meetings, focus groups, and interviews. Her skills as an interviewer have persuaded total strangers to talk candidly about the most intimate of subjects: personal bankruptcy, illness, and religion. When traveling for pleasure, those same skills help her to draw out people’s stories. She learned about their lives, as well as local customs and fashions, and what makes them laugh. These conversations often led to invitations for dinner and personal tours.
Her hope is that each story in Travel Mania can be read and enjoyed independently, but together they convey the profound impact travel has had on her life. Even more, she hopes these stories tickle the travel bug in readers and set them off on their own adventures.
Karen Gershowitz lives in New York City. Read her exclusive article Travel Mania.