About Karissa

A shameless selfie captured in Saudi Arabia.

I treated myself to seeing the world.  I wanted to reward my courage after overcoming a devastating stroke and completing my BA.  At 26, I took my first trip abroad. I flew to England and France. Shortly after I got home, I sat down with my parents and told them that I would put grad school on hold, say goodbye to corporate America, and scoot away to teach English in the Far East. Well, that conversation was in November 2011. By February 2012 I was on a plane headed to China.

I finished a year and a half of teaching English in Hangzhou, China back in September of 2013. It was such a fast-paced 18 months. I enjoyed my entire experience. Immediately following my stint in China, I spent a month and half strapped to a backpack, traveling throughout Southeast Asia. I visited four countries including Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and then skipped down to Australia.

After my six week adventure, I came home to Nebraska in the US and soaked up all of the year end holidays. In January of 2014, I set off for a new exploit in Saudi Arabia. I spent a year teaching bright minds at two universities in Riyadh. Being exposed to such a unique culture awakened me like never before. It was an unbelievable and life-changing experience. During my time in Saudi, I even managed to squeeze in a trip to Kenya that rocked my world. Malindi, Nairobi, Mombasa, I miss you!

In April of 2015, I reached my goal of visiting South America and Antarctica, at the age of 29, which were my last two continents. I have now seen all seven continents by 30.  I’m delighted to be home in Nebraska as I treasure time with family and work on writing my first full-length book, Seven by 30.

I love gleaning and giving as I travel and I’m grateful to God for this opportunity. He has been the best travel guide! One of my greatest passions is sharing my journey with others, so to book me to speak at your organization, school, or conference, email me at misskarissajohnson@gmail.com. Be sure to mention that you stopped by my blog. I’m also a columnist at Gospel Today Magazine. Feel free to check out my “Diary of a Travel-Diva” articles and join the journey!

Oh! Don’t forget to snatch your copy of my first eBook, 7 Steps to the 7th Continent:  How I Planned for Antarctica and What Really Went Down, available exclusively on sevenby30.com/books. It’s only a buck in English! The Arabic version is $4.99.

I’d love to connect with you on Periscope, Instagram, and Twitter.  Follow me @sevenby30.

❤️ & ✌🏿,

Karissa Denae Johnson

16 thoughts on “About Karissa

    1. Great question! Once I accomplish my goal, I look forward to sharing future plans. I’m enjoying the beauty of each new day and all of the mysteries that each day brings.

      Where are you writing from? And what dream are you currently pursuing?

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  1. Darius Moore

    It’s amazing to watch God stretch you and impart His wisdom in you as you travel. I’ve enjoyed watching from the sidelines and cheering you on, with every picture, video and blog you post. I know I haven’t visited the places you have, but I’m thankful you have openly shared your window’s view with us all. I have seen God’s great playground through you. What an awesome reality show you’ve produced. #7×30&beyond!

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    1. Thank you so much for your support throughout the years. It’s a blessing to have people who believe in you and push you to new heights. Thank you so much, Darius and yes, 7×30 and beyond! I believe it!

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  2. Tesa Collier

    This is beautiful!! I love seeing someone whom I know of who enjoys traveling to different countries and learning different cultures and ways of life. Thanks for sharing your journey with us and I only hope that one day, I’m afforded the opportunity to travel abroad. You’re beautiful, smart and such a sweet soul and God has truly blessed you. I’ve always admired you and your sisters with your beautiful voices from singing with you all in the Y.F.C. Choir to seeing you all as adults, and I’m glad I know of such an awesome soul. Blessings to you as you continue your journey!

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    1. Oh wow! Thank you so much, Tesa! Thank you for the love and support. God has been so good and I’m forever grateful for how He’s guided me. I’m blessed to know you and I trust that you’ll be afforded the opportunity to travel abroad. Your life will be changed because of it. The world needs to see more of Tesa and you will love seeing more of the world. 😉

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  3. Karissa,

    Shame on me for not getting to your beautiful blog sooner. You encourage me along my traveling journey and I want to become the best of friends when I gather my belongings to teach abroad next year. I love this journey God has you on, am grateful to know you, my love and live vicariously through your expeditions. Keep being a light and a legacy, my love. I promise to visit this blog often to see what Miss Seven by Thirty is up to. Love to you my fellow Nebraskan.

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    1. Thank you soooooo much! I truly appreciate your love and support! If you ever have any questions about your move abroad, send them my way. I can’t wait to watch you soar even more! I love you!

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  4. Aida

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have a similar passion to visit other countries and was blessed to spend a month in Nigeria in December. It is a life changing experience to experience the lifestyle of others. Have you been to Africa? I don’t see it mentioned in this article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been to Egypt in 2012 and Kenya in 2014. I have to update that in my About Me section. Thank you for mentioning that. I didn’t include all of the countries I’ve visited, but you brought out a great point. I would love to spend more time in Africa though. My trip to those two drastically different countries touched my heart in a huge way. I must see West Africa and beyond, so I’m glad you made it to Nigeria. And for a month?! What were some highlights of that experience for you?

      Also, on my blog and in a Gospel Today Magazine article online, you can find stories of my trip to Kenya. My GT column is called Diary of a Travel Diva. Looking forward to hearing from you, Aida. Thanks for writing!

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  5. Chris Rowell

    After reading your inspiring story and seeing just what you have accomplished only one word keeps coming to mind….WOW!! Congratulations to you….can’t wait to read the book!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Chris! I truly appreciate you stopping by and sharing such kind words. I look forward to sharing the book with you very soon. Thank you for the encouragement and I’ll see you soon!

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  6. Karissa, great meeting you last weekend. Quite an impressive blog and world adventures! Travel is addictive and I am glad to have found someone who shares travel experiences. Looking forward to reading about your Antarctica trip.

    Liked by 1 person

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