About Karen Gershowitz

I was 17 years old, traveling alone, when I boarded a plane to Europe. Living in a different culture I experienced the world in new and surprising ways and discovered myself. My love of travel was born. I didn’t return to the US for three years.

Since then I’ve traveled to more than 90 countries. I climbed Kilimanjaro, conquered my fear of falling to go on an elephant trek in Thailand, spent time in Berlin shortly after the wall came down, stayed with a Japanese family who taught me to make sushi and made friends across the globe.

In pursuit of my passion for travel I’ve lost and gained friends and lovers and made a radical career change. Travel is my addiction, and I don’t want treatment

I studied ceramics in college and graduate school but abandoned that career and switched to marketing so that employers would pay for my travel. In my new career as a marketing strategist and researcher I’ve traveled the world conducting thousands of meetings, focus groups and interviews. My 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 helped me to draw out people’s stories. I’ve 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.

Travel Mania is a compilation of stories that explore how travel can change a life. Like my readers, I am an ordinary person. Through travel I’ve learned courage and risk taking and succeeded at things I didn’t know I could do.

Each story can be read and enjoyed independently. My hope is that they will tickle the travel bug in readers and encourage them to set off on their own adventures.

I live in New York City.