Author, editor and animal-lover, Karen Hastings graduated with an Honors-qualifying BA in Communications and Psychology before embarking on an Aussie-style international “walkabout” that continues to this day.

Early in her journey she scored a dream post as a foreign correspondent for Reed Travel Group reviewing more than 300 luxury vacation properties in the Caribbean, Central America and Africa. In total, Karen has lived in nine different countries as diverse as the Cayman Islands, Canada, France, Switzerland and Zimbabwe. She also criss-crossed Africa and Australia in a temperamental old Land Rover.

After eight years roaming the globe, Karen settled in her husband’s hometown of Santa Barbara where she continued working as a freelance writer, editor and photographer. She wrote two editions of the popular travel and relocation guidebook, “Insiders’ Guide to Santa Barbara” (Globe Pequot Press), edited visitor guides throughout Southern California, and her articles and photographs have appeared in newspapers, magazines and books, including the San Diego Union Tribune, Santa Barbara Seasons, Forbes Travel Guide and Islands magazine.

In 2011 Karen, her husband Brian and their two children moved to a tiny island in the Bahamas for two years on a quest to live a simple, happy life. You can read about their experiences in her blog, Light Living.

In 2016, Karen moved back to Santa Barbara, California from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she spent three years living the mountain life. When she’s not in her writing bubble, she loves to hike, bike, ski, practice yoga, or play by the sea.


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