Welcome to InspiredBeeing, Let’s Go for a Walk

Hi! My name is Cat and I am the author of InspiredBeeing.

This blog started as a result of a ball of frustrated reigned-in inspiration that had no outlet. I was in a windowless cubicle dreaming about bees, social change, and mountains, and my internal compass was chanting “send thee to the Caucasus.” I didn’t have a plan but a very clear idea. You could call it an ideal state of being, a state that I wanted to achieve – for myself, for others, and for the world around me.

So I sold my things, packed up my life, and moved east to Kars, Turkey – where I became the world’s tallest American woman living east of Ankara. This blog begins with that decision and has moved with me, over grassy billowing plains and plateaus to rocky mountains and dark forests – all in search of bees, honey, social good, and an inspired self. Along the way, I’ve started two travel companies that aim to support small-scale women beekeepers and rural village communities. I love to write about the lessons from this process, because it’s been the most difficult yet thorough education of my life. I was also awarded a National Geographic Young Explorer Grant to map beekeeping, walking routes, and honey traditions throughout the South Caucasus. That is my main preoccupation. I hope for it to become a travel guide on how to taste honey, support small-scale beekeepers, and travel respectfully throughout the region. With luck, good-timing, and enough sleep – I want to start a travel movement in the region – connecting global guests with rural locals around unique food experiences. This is my end-goal, the thing that drives me, and the meat of this blog.

I am lucky to be joined by incredible friends, family, and teachers throughout this journey, and I hope I can do them and this experience even just an ounce of the justice it deserves.

Thank you for checking in, and I hope we cross paths somewhere along this winding, chaotic, inspired, sticky sweet road.



The Art of Inspired Beeing by Cat Jaffee

The Art of Inspired Beeing by Cat Jaffee

About Cat

Catherine de Medici Jaffee is a National Geographic Young Explorer, a Fulbright Scholar, a Luce Fellow, the Founder of Balyolu: the Honey Road, and a lunatic about honey culture in the Caucasus. Raised on a farm in the Colorado Rockies, Cat grew up loving animals, dirt, and altitude. Her dedication and passion for animals, agriculture, and women leaders has launched her across the world as a Luce and Fulbright scholar: to raise Aigamo ducks in Japan, to research yak trade caravans in Sikkim, and to study rural women’s migration in Turkey. In particular, Turkey - with its fish hung like laundry from windows, its 9,000 species of flowers, and its delicious honey - continues to lure Cat back to its borders. Cat’s love for Turkey, the mountains, agriculture, and women’s leadership blend together sweetly in her new venture Balyolu and her blog Inspired Beeing. You can most frequently find her jumping on a mountain, running from angry bees, cooking in villages, hitching on dirt roads, or joking with Turkcell about her internet woes. Cat is joined by her partner in crime Claire Bangser, artist, photographer, writer, and globe wanderer who believes in creative storytelling as a way to powerfully connect people across mental and physical borders. From working with small-scale women farmers in Mali, to documenting peoples' lives along a 2,000 mile bike tour in the US, she finds that every person (and bee) has an important story to tell and much wisdom to share (speaking of Wisdom, Claire just published her first book, Ride Somewhere Far. Check it out on our Link Roll). These days, you're most likely to find Claire upside down, yodeling from a mountaintop, making tragic mistakes in Turkish, or eating meat for Cat.

Posted on August 30, 2012, in Business, Culture, Environment, Food, History, Travel, Women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I have been following Cat’s adventure virtually and she is everything that her vision aspires to do. Welcome to her blog!

  2. Inspired Beeig LEFT me extremely motivated and feelings of keep my head held up and move forward with my goals and dreams alive.

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