Kat Gal: Hungarian by Birth, International by Choice
July 17, 2014 | Interviews
Each person’s unique vision of Nomadtopia is a reminder that there is no one way to create your ideal life, no right or wrong approach. Many people just like you—or in even more complicated circumstances—have made it happen, or are working to get there. Hearing others’ stories keeps us all inspired, and reminds us to dream big!
Kat Gal is a a holistic health & happiness coach working with women who are craving to be themselves. As she allows her clients to discover their dreams and intuition, they feel empowered to get out of the roller-coaster of chronic emotional and physical pain, and enter into a world of confidence, self-love, energy, happiness, health and freedom. She is a nomad, runner, traveler, health-maker, happiness-creator, nature-lover, free-hugger, writer, educator and a whole lot more.
How would you describe your current Nomadtopia?
I am Hungarian by birth, but International by choice. I have been living internationally since 2000 and have been a nomad since 2009. I change my location every 3 months on average, but I am open to all sorts of possibilities. I am planning to remain location independent and continue as a nomad for life probably.
My goal is to create a home base, in fact 3-4 home bases around the world, where I can always go back to and feel at home. I may continue being on the road for a while, I may settle down for 6 months or even longer in one spot, but traveling, moving around will always be my life. I am just listening to my heart and following my intuition.
I am a holistic health and happiness coach, offering a blend of health and life coaching. I work with women to empower and guide them to find their true selves, discover their passion and purpose, to work through their fears, to heal their physical and emotional pain this way and to live their dreams in happiness, health and freedom. I work via Skype so I can continue being a nomad. I am soon publishing my new ebook and working on some group programs for the future as well. At the same time I am always open to new opportunities, translating gigs, EFL teaching jobs, writing gigs and volunteer opportunities.
How did you end up living the lifestyle you have today?
It happened in a rather unusual way. I was born and raised in Hungary and moved to the US when I was 17. I lived there for almost 9 years. Even though I traveled around the US and North America, adventure was missing from my life.
In 2009, I moved to Amsterdam for my Masters. First for my thesis work then for a job as a social researcher. I was working in Kenya living back and forth between Europe and Africa. In 2011, the NGO I worked for closed. I moved to Spain to work for another NGO and to teach, and worked in England in the middle of it.
Then I went back to the US, went to Costa Rica, then in the summer of 2012, my boyfriend and I left for Europe, with no savings. We spent over a year volunteering on farms and eco-projects in Turkey, Germany, Greece, Albania, Romania and Croatia, and also traveling a bit.
For the past 8 months I have been between upstate New York, enjoying the Catskills Mountains, and Hungary, taking care of my sick grandma, who has since passed away. By the time this is published I will likely be in Germany, and as of now my plans post-August are unknown.
As you see, my path is rather unusual. I didn’t just decide one day to quit a corporate job, as I didn’t have one. I didn’t sell all my stuff, as I had none to begin with. I didn’t win the lottery, start a successful business first or save up money (money has been my struggle throughout). I didn’t just do one thing, I didn’t plan it this way, it sort of happened. First I went with the flow then I started to listen to my heart and intuition, be open and trust the process.
It is only in the past year that I actually started consciously making steps towards a sustainable location-independent life, despite being location independent and nomadic for 5 years already.
What is the most unexpectedly useful thing in your current Nomadtopia?
It is more the lack of things: it is very useful not to have many material possessions and be able to move around with my life on my back. My running shoes, journal and pen are a must, though it is more for my personal happiness and peace of mind than my work.
What do you miss most?
Pretty much everything is with me. As freeing and useful as it is not to have many things, sometimes I do wish I had a home base to go back to with my own couch or pretty plants to welcome me. I would love to have a cat too someday, but it doesn’t fit into my lifestyle.
What is the most challenging aspect of this lifestyle? What’s the most satisfying?
The most satisfying aspect is the freedom, the excitement of packing and going to a new place, the beauty and places I see, the experiences I have, the fun stories and the amazing people along the way. The constant variety and excitement is amazing.
Not having a home base and stability can be frustrating and being on a tight budget is challenging right now.
What advice would you have for others who are hoping to do something similar?
Stop planning, stop thinking of ‘what if’ scenarios, stop thinking about the future and saying ‘maybe someday’. Do it now. Follow your heart. Jump. Go. Now.
Just for fun: Would you rather spend one month in a place you’ve been to before, or 24 hours somewhere new?
That is a difficult question. I don’t think I have to make a choice, because there is always an opportunity for both. If I won a ticket to anywhere, I would go somewhere new. If it was my last month or hour on the planet, perhaps I would go back to Split, Croatia, for a month. I love that place so much.
Thanks for sharing your story, Kat!