Bible Hill woman has a passion for world-wide adventure


Published on February 15, 2017

Kaitlyn Guinan had the opportunity to get close to the edge of Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, during a trip in 2013. Her feet were being held to ensure she didn’t go any farther forward.

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BIBLE HILL – Kaitlyn Guinan felt the eeriness and heaviness of the area when she walked through one of the ‘killing fields’ of Cambodia.

During a recent trip to Cambodia and Shanghai she visited a field outside Phnom Penh and a museum documenting the genocide that took place in the country during the 1970s, when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killed about 1.7 people.

“It’s very quiet and sombre,” she said. “There was a lot of death in these places and every few months they go through and pick up teeth, scraps of clothing and bone fragments that come through.”

Learning about the history and culture of different places is an important part of travelling for Guinan, who has now been to 36 countries including Uganda, Croatia, Iceland, Brazil, Kenya, China, England and Chile. She works as much overtime as she can to save money for her journeys.

Buddhist monks are often seen at Angkor Wat, but not always with iPads.

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Although she was in Chile when an earthquake struck, has laid at the edge of a waterfall and gone diving with sharks she has never felt she was in danger.

While in Cambodia Guinan did visit one of the popular tourist spots, Angkor Wat temple, and fed bananas to elephants at a sanctuary.

“These are animals that were once owned and some of them were mistreated,” she said. “When I was in Thailand (about four years ago) I rode one. I didn’t know any better but now that I know more I would never do that.”

One of Kaitlyn Guinan’s photos from her underwater exploration of Cambodia.

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As a teenager she went to Guatemala and El Salvador as part of a group and still bears scars from spider bites as a reminder. That hasn’t deterred her from travelling although her discomfort around spiders did prevent her from trying fried tarantula while in Cambodia.

“Cambodia did have great weather and friendly people and I’d go back there in a heartbeat,” she said, “I love pretty much everywhere I’ve been except Italy. It has a perfect climate and fascinating history but there was a lot of rubbish and graffiti. You don’t expect that somewhere like Italy.”

Guinan usually travels alone and stays at hostels. An avid diver, she also fits in some underwater exploring.

She doesn’t find the language barrier a problem, as she’s become very skilled with hand signals.

There are about 40 countries she still hopes to visit but she doesn’t know which will be next.

“I just see where the seat sales are and where the weather’s good, and then plan my trip,” she said.