Meet the Travelers, Part V: Katelyn

*This post was originally published on May 27th, 2012 om

Last weekend, 23-year old Katelyn Osburn took her first airline flight of her life; a 45-minute flight from Binghamton, New York to Virginia. Tomorrow, she will embark on her second flight – a 26 hour journey in the air to Bangkok, Thailand.

So, who would choose to take such a long, grueling flight after flying only once before, and for less than an hour? Well, perhaps an adventurous, outgoing, 4-wheel racing construction worker from a small town who has “always wanted to do something completely different.”… Katelyn Osburn, that is.

Every morning, the assiduous Ms. Osburn awakens at 3am to work in construction as a flagger and traffic/safety worker at designated constructions sites all over New York State for Vestal Asphalt, Inc. She lives in a town named Greene, New York, where she grew up with her parents, three sisters, and uncle.  Some days, she contributes over 12-hours of work per day on her feet at her job. Katelyn describes herself as someone who is “not afraid to sweat” and is willing to work hard to get where she wants in life.

When Katelyn is not on the construction site, she may be seen carrying her massage table to a local client’s home. She has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for almost two years now, adding that she loves doing this work the most. “I am more of a hands-on type of person, so a career in massage therapy is perfect for me.” Katelyn graduated in FLCC’s Therapeutic Massage and Integrated Health Care Program in the Spring 2010 semester. When she first graduated from high school, she was unsure if she even wanted to go to college, but then thought she may want to learn something new and broaden her horizons. Choosing massage therapy in the beginning was “really random” for Katelyn, as she was intrigued by the kinesthetic component of massage therapy, but did not know much about it at the time. “Once I started the program, though, I really loved it, and wanted to keep learning. I like that FLCC’s curriculum is spread out over two years, also, to give students time to really learn and practice the work.”

Another one of Katelyn’s great passions is yoga, which is what originally enticed her to sign up for the Thailand travel course to learn Thai massage. Thai massage incorporates many stretches and movements that reflect yoga asanas (postures). She also enjoyed practicing shiatsu while she was in the massage program, and although shiatsu (a Japanese healing art based on Chinese Medicine) and Thai massage are very different in several aspects, they share the similarity in that they are both practiced on a futon mat on the floor, with the client remaining fully clothed. “I want to learn different bodywork, and get a chance to do more mat work. Where I’m from, most people have never even heard about Thai massage. I want to expose people in my home town to something new.” Eventually, Katelyn also strives to have her own massage business and practice full-time. She briefly worked for a spa after receiving her license two years ago, but decided that being an entrepreneur suits her interests and personality more. Adding Thai massage to her list of therapeutic massage skills will increase her business marketability, as well as give her a variety of skills to practice.

After working a similar routine every day at her full-time job as a construction worker for four years, Katelyn is excited to go to Thailand and do something completely different. When asked what other activities besides learning Thai massage she is looking forward to on the trip, Katelyn answered “I’m really excited to go to the Elephant Nature Park. I want to learn about how they are part of the culture, and see how they live.” She also anticipates that it will be fun to take classes learning from the Thai people, since all of her teachers throughout her life have always been American.

Although Katelyn is from a small town and she is a novice at taking airline flights, adventure is not a new concept for her. One of her fondest hobbies, aside from practicing power vinyasa style yoga, is to race 4-wheelers. Currently, she is undefeated in the women’s class in the sport this year. She accredits her exposure to 4-wheeling to her boyfriend and high school sweetheart of the past seven years. “My boyfriend has been racing his entire life. He taught me how to race almost seven years ago.”  This often entails taking hour and half rides through a wooded area to race in as many laps as possible. In addition, she also enjoys hiking and being in nature, and calls herself a “feminine tomboy.”  While she was at FLCC, Katelyn played on the women’s lacrosse teams and was also on the Woodsman Team along with her close friend and former classmate, Chelsey Black.

So…how was Katelyn on her first flight last week, you may ask? “It was pretty cool.” Said Katelyn. “I loved looking out the window. My eyes were glued  to it the entire time.” Well, in that case, I think we should make sure she gets a window seat for our 14-hour flight from New York City to Doha, Qatar, tomorrow on our way to Bangkok. We’re counting down the hours!



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