“ A constant state of wandering to capture all of life’s FEELS”
This is how Cait Collins x Nomad was born.
After overworking myself for the wedding season of 2022, I hopped on a plane to Europe.
In April of 2023, I’m sitting in Dublin, Ireland, on my first solo trip. I didn’t want to leave this little life I was starting to create by hopping from country to country, but I still had 24 amazing couples who needed me back at home for the coming season. With so many emotions, as I thought about what my future would look like, there was a little spark at the back of my brain. A few years had passed since COVID-19, and the wedding boom was finally ending. Couples were no longer rushing to book wedding vendors, so I had no obligations for 2024. For some reason, this was a relief. Knowing a handful of people who have lived abroad for school, work, or holidays, I was compelled to research and figure out my options to move internationally.
One visa, in particular, sparked my interest. A working holiday visa – a visa you can only apply for in college/ university or one year after graduation. An opportunity you must take while you’re young. Each country is exponentially different. With a working holiday visa, it takes a lot of research, time, and commitment.
I fell in love with Ireland in April of 2023. The people are incredible. Traveling by myself, I could go anywhere and make a friend. It’s artsy, diverse, and such a VIBE. It’s moody + green ALL year round. I could walk everywhere, and I felt safe. It felt like my own little oasis, so I made a decision.
I applied for a working holiday visa in Dublin, Ireland, when I returned to the US at the end of April. That meant (if I got it) I could work + live in Dublin, Ireland for a year. It took eight long months to get the approval to fly to Ireland and get an interview for my visa. Little did I know Dublin, Ireland, is currently one of the most expensive places to live. – Don’t worry. I will get to what happens next.
On November 7th, I landed in Ireland – with my boyfriend, whom I could talk about non stop, but the most amazing thing is he chose to follow me on this crazy adventure. I planned to grow my photography business in Ireland and the EU, live in hostels (so I could save money), travel back to the US occasionally for destination weddings, and LIVE the life I always dreamt about.
The working holiday visa ended up being a nonstop rollercoaster. A lot of emotions arose as what I wanted to do wasn’t a realistic option for me anymore due to specific visa requirements, the housing crisis in Dublin, the high cost of living, and knowing I still wanted to give a portion of my time to destination weddings in the US and my US clients.
I made the decision not to finalize my working holiday visa and spend the next two months traveling around the world and planning what was next for my business, my life, and what made sense for me emotionally + financially. (ps. I still love Ireland with all of my heart)
Part of me was sad and confused, but as I traveled and experienced more, I realized this was an incredible opportunity. Everything happens how it’s supposed to, and the most powerful thing is to keep a positive outlook on your journey, not allow the thoughts + opinions of others to impact you, and stay in control of your life. It dawned on me that this was a better outcome for my business than I had envisioned. I can travel anywhere, photograph anyone I want, and experience anything I want because I have a whole year with no place holding me down.
Before I got to Ireland, I wanted my business to have Nomad somewhere, so I figured why not Cait Collins X NOMAD for the travel sections so everyone knows I’m taking a year to live in Ireland. Once I got to Ireland and sh** hit the fan, I took time to process and regain my sense of self. It was even more perfect because I was truly living a nomadic life and I was still going to have the same opportunities to grow my business internationally. Life in a suitcase, no proper home base (for now), following my clients wherever they take me, not knowing what might be next but embracing what life throws at me and making it the best adventure yet—a constant state of wandering.
Capturing moments wherever you take me.