Towson journalism and Spanish student seeks to traverse the globe

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By Billy Owens                                                744 words

Towson University journalism major and Spanish minor Katie Keogh has been passionate about journalism and traveling the world ever since she was a child and is planning to incorporate travel into her future career as a journalist.

“I’ve kind of wanted to do it in high school, just because me and my dad have been watching the news since I was a kid,” Keogh said. “We would see the broadcast journalists like Liz Cho. I always wanted to be her. Growing up watching these people in the news made me want to get into journalism. Plus I knew I wanted to do Spanish, and I figured journalism and Spanish would go really well together.”

Keogh, 20, a native of Bergen County, New Jersey, came into Towson with relatively little journalism experience. After graduating, she plans to teach children English in Spain for a year before covering global breaking news and current events as a broadcast journalist or foreign news correspondent of a news outlet based in the U.S.

“Honestly, doing something with National Geographic would be really cool even though that’s never going to happen,” Keogh said. “All of those photojournalists are really cool on social media, even doing something like, when, let’s say a terrorist attack happens in Europe, being the first journalist on the ground would be really cool. Just hearing everybody’s experiences and their take on what happened.”

Keogh credits her parents with sparking her love of travel at a young age with her family taking cruises to various Caribbean countries and resorts during her summers growing up.

“We’ve always been going on cruises,” Keogh said. “My dad’s scared of flying, so we’d only go places that were tropical. But then once I had the opportunity to go to Spain and France when I was in high school, that’s pretty much when it started and I realized that it’s something that I love to do.”

Keogh feels that her dream job would be one in which she can travel the world and experience new things and cultures. She believes that her previous experiences with travel have helped her develop an open mind and to be less judgmental of aspects of the world different from the ones she’s familiar with.

“I really like just experiencing other cultures,” Keogh said. “When I got to Spain, I remember how freaked out I was by the food there because the fish still had eyes on them. I was so grossed out, but then I realized, ‘why should I be grossed out by that? That’s just how they live.’”

Being a prospective world traveler and college student at the same time has meant that Keogh has had to be creative with her travel plans, especially considering the financial burden of travel itself.

“I’ve been looking for places that I can go to to stay for free,” Keogh said. “My best friend’s cousin lives in San Francisco so we went there together so we could stay there for free. One of my good friends moved out to California, she lives in San Diego, so I went there over the summer. My boyfriend and I just went to Florida because his dad lives there so we could go there for free. It’s just trying to figure out how to do this the cheapest way.”

Keogh believes that the most difficult aspects of travel are saving up and managing money, as well as the homesickness and fatigue of traveling that set in after a certain period of time away from home.

“Also, just deciding what to bring,” Keogh said. “Since I want to do Spain for a year after college, how am I going to pack my life up into one suitcase?”

A career as a traveling journalist appeals to Keogh not only because of the wealth of other people’s experiences she would share but the experiences she would get to live herself. She really loves landscapes and nature, citing the lavender fields of France and the cliffside view of whales in Newfoundland, Canada as some of her most memorable travel experiences, but she still has a whole world ahead of her to explore.

“I definitely want to go to Costa Rica and Cuba,” Keogh said. “I really want to go to Ireland because that’s where my dad’s family is from. Pretty much just Europe, I really want to backpack through or something. One of my friends is studying abroad in Rome right now and that looks really cool.”