Hops and Skips

Welcome to Hops & Skips, a travel journal seeking unique stories, authentic family experiences, and under-the-radar destinations near and far.

I’m Kari, a middle school librarian in my hometown of Nashville, TN, where I returned after nine years living in New York City. I dragged with me my New York-born-and-raised husband (also a public school educator); in December 2017, we welcomed our first daughter into the world, and in October 2020, our second.

They say your job shouldn’t define your identity, but I can’t separate the two. My profession is truly my calling; I’ve worked with books, literacy, and education for my entire career – beginning at the public library when I was 17, to a children’s publisher in NYC post-college, to my current job in public schools. I advocate equal and equitable access to information, and I believe in the power of stories to bring a greater sense of compassion and commonality to the human experience.

When I’m not at work, I’m seeking new adventures and experiences, near or far. I believe travel is the best way to see and learn firsthand the beauty and stories of our world and of the people living in it. I love digging into the history of a place and finding its gems, whether hidden or in plain sight. Through my writing and photographs, I aim to share a deeper experience and connection with a place than what can be found on the surface.

Travel with a full-time job is not impossible, and travel with a young child is not a recipe for disaster!

Since 2014, we have visited New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Japan, Ireland, Mexico, France, Great Britain, and countless domestic locales – all during our school holidays or weekends. And since our kids joined the mix, we’ve rarely taken an outing without them. We’re not a family looking for “family-friendly” adventures; we seek destinations and activities that can engage and inspire us all, and we figure out how to navigate them with two young companions.

I believe it’s possible to build a lifestyle that balances the multitude of interests, passions, and responsibilities of everyday people. I hope to show how you can build adventure into each phase of your life and inspire you with where to find new adventures, even if they’re just around the corner.

And when we’re not out exploring the world together, I encourage you to stay informed, seek new perspectives, and engage with the community in which you live. Thank you for visiting, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, ideas, or inspirations at kari@hopsandskips.net.

If you’re a brand, publication, or tourism board interested in collaboration or partnership, learn more about what I offer and why you should Work With Me.

I can’t wait to hear from you!