Kat Mortimer a world traveler, conservationist, aspiring digital nomad and zoologist! I recently quit my job and explored Europe for a month, so I’m currently unemployed, but I’m working hard on my own freelance business (website design & small business branding) as well as a few other projects! I’m also studying a Bachelor of Zoology (Marine Biology) & a Bachelor of Animal Science. At the moment, I’ve been thankful enough to move back home with my parents to save money (a small town near Newcastle NSW Australia). When I’m not there, I’m exploring around the area or taking time off to travel overseas! Follow Kat’s journey on Kat’s Footsteps, on Instagram or Facebook.
1. I love that you have goals to create documentaries/blogs about eco-tourism. What inspired you to want to do that?
I think it’s always been something that’s been in the back of my head. For as long as I can remember, I’ve cared about animals and conservation.
Even as a 10-year-old, I wrote speeches at school about Sumatran tigers and their plight. I just wasn’t really sure how to go about it and what I could do to help.
I think the biggest realization was growing up and seeing how some animals were treated especially wild animals. Reading articles about what’s really going on behind the scenes when you take a tiger selfie or go for a ride with an elephant, and then seeing friends and people you know post these photos on social media, it just really hurts to know that people don’t realize what they’re actually doing, and sometimes even when you explain it they just say something like, “well it happens everywhere, there’s not much you can do about it.”
But if everyone who thought that way, who understood that it was bad and can put an animal’s life above their own social media status, actually STOPPED partaking in harmful animal tourism and even started advocating for eco-friendly tourism, then we would make a MASSIVE difference.
Most of these countries participating in these types of experiences rely on our tourism. If we show them that we don’t want this anymore, that we don’t think it’s right and won’t give them our money, then they will change and find more eco-friendly ways to earn money.
These things still exist because privileged people spend their money on it.
That’s something I really want to push. To show that we can make a difference, that seeing a tiger or elephant in chains isn’t normal or worth some likes on an Instagram post.
For me, documentaries and blogs are the easiest way to get in front of a huge audience these days, which is exactly what I need to do to make any kind of impact. Even just the other day I saw such an ignorant comment on an article (related to tiger conservation) that I wrote up a 3-page argument in a few minutes. Things like that just really start a fire in me that I can’t let go of until I’ve done something, even if it’s just explaining to them and trying to make them understand what’s really going on.
I personally believe that humans have harmed the world enough, so I want to spend my life trying to reverse some of that.
2. What have you found to be the biggest challenge in getting started on being a Digital Nomad?
Definitely being able to stick to it and not freak out when things are taking longer than you thought.
I’m still on my way there, and this first stage is incredibly difficult to stay motivated. I came back from Europe in late January with almost no money, no job, a loan and other things to pay for. Even though I’m motivated at times, other times you just want to give up. But then you think about why you’re doing it.
Do I really want to go back to a normal, boring 9-5 job? Hell no.
So, one thing I’ve learned that is super important, and that I’m still getting the hang of, is that motivation is actually bullshit. As awesome as it is to be motivated, it never lasts! Anything that requires hard work, including becoming a digital nomad, requires discipline. Discipline will keep you going when motivation fails you. I’m still working on that aspect of it, so I’d say that’s the hardest! You end up working more than a normal job, but if it’s going to get you to where you really want to be, then you just have to suck it up and keep going!
3. What’s your #1 packing tip?
Compression sacks and packing cubes are your best friends!! Compression sacks don’t really need an explanation, they compress your clothes and also allow you to sort them out. Packing cubes don’t exactly compress anything, but they make packing sooo easy, especially if you’re carrying a backpack! I’ve never traveled without them. Instead of pulling stuff from the bottom of your pack and having the horrible task of trying to get it all back in again, you just have a cube for tops, pants, underwear, etc so you can pull the individual cube out without making a mess of the place which is especially handy when you’re in hostels and constantly on the move.
If you don’t already have these items, definitely get them! Whether you’re a backpacker or someone who travels with a big suitcase, they just make life so much easier. Also, non-liquid shampoo, conditioner, and soap bars instead of bottles are a big win! They’re lightweight, don’t take up much space and are plastic free!