I thought I’d start by letting you get to know me. I am a 28-year-old veterinarian. That’s my identifier I guess you could say. It’s my job, my career, and my passion. But, there’s so much more to me than that. I am first and foremost an adventurer. Both among my friends and colleagues. I’ve lived in several cities, big and small. I’ve traveled to all 50 states, 5 great lakes, and 17 countries, hoping to keep adding more and more. I have lists upon lists of the stuff I want to do, places I want to go, things I want to see and experience.
I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian. Since I was 4 years old, and we had to pick what we wanted to do with our lives for career day. I’ve never wavered. I knew exactly what I want to do. Who I was going to be. I had my life mapped out, up until vet school graduation that is. But, fortunately or unfortunately, people change. Wouldn’t it be great if I would have graduated vet school, settled down in my hometown, and just be happy taking a yearly vacation to the beach?
I learned a long time ago that I love to travel. Due to circumstances far too complex to write about in this blog, we didn’t get to travel much growing up. So for my high school graduation, while everyone else was getting drunk in Panama City, I had my first big kid plane ride to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to visit my godparents and go to the Grand Canyon. It was my high school graduation present, and I couldn’t have been happier. My parents bought me luggage, and my godparents bought me the plane ticket. We did some hiking, some road tripping, and I was hooked!
I took several small trips after that while I was in undergrad, but I was fixed on getting into vet school and doing whatever it took to accomplish that goal. Halfway through vet school, I got the opportunity to backpack through Europe with a girlfriend for 3 weeks. I was supposed to do some volunteer work in Africa, but it fell through so I already had the money saved. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned what I was made of. How to travel safely. How to plan and execute my adventures. I ended up loving the backpacking more than I should have. But I was in vet school. I had a plan… didn’t I?
That same summer, I took an epic road trip across country with my dog, Cowboy. We drove from Louisiana- New Mexico- Idaho- Oregon- Washington- then down to Yellowstone- then back home to Louisiana. All I can say was it was epic. Nothing could stop me. (Not even an unfortunate car wreck in Oregon. Another story for another time.)
After that summer, I just wanted to travel. But, I still had 2 years of vet school left. I worked in some trips in the last year for road trips to externships. I knew I didn’t want to stay in Louisiana. After some rocky times and jobs that fell through in my last few months of vet school, I decided to go backpacking through Europe again. This time, solo. I learned the last time I backpacked that I do better solo. I actually love it! I get to do what I want, when I want, at my own pace. This time, I hit up different countries, different cities, and loved every second of it.
After 3 glorious weeks, I came back to the states. Why, you may ask, especially if I loved it so much? Several reasons: 1. I just spent, I don’t know, my whole life working toward this supposedly great career, 2. My dog was waiting for me, and 3. Student loans were looming over me like a dark cloud. So, I kicked it into high gear, found myself a job, and within a few months, settled into a life in Austin, Texas. I needed to be somewhat in the vicinity of home, due to all of my friends getting married and other family events. It’s a 7 hour drive, so it is by no means particularly close to home. My travel bug was still in full swing, but I was working literally all the time, and hiking or kayaking when I wasn’t working so it was okay. That job turned out to be a BIG life lesson in what kind of doctor I wanted to be.
So after 5 long months, I accepted another job… in Juneau, Alaska. They funded the majority of the move, so I loaded up the car and a storage unit. Cowboy and I turned it into a road trip. I hiked in Arches National Park. Visited a friend in Boise, Idaho. Stopped in Portland, for funzies. Visited friends in Arlington, Washington. And, finally boarded a 3 day ferry to Juneau, Alaska.
I loved my new adventure. It was the two of us on my mountain top! Far from the rest of the planet where I could think about my life and decide what I truly wanted. The money I made there funded numerous trips. I hiked. I ran a half marathon. I played in the snow. But I was lonely. Juneau is a smaller town than I anticipated. And, about 3 months into living there, I started a long-distance relationship with a guy I met in Austin. I know, I know. That was stupid. I’m fully aware. But when you know, you know.
So after a year of living in the far north, my boyfriend and I moved in together in Portland. I’ve been here for 7 months, and I could not be happier. I miss Austin and Juneau for different reasons, but moving to Portland has been my greatest adventure. My household has grown from 2 (me and Cowboy) to 4 (me, boyfriend, Cowboy, and Stella [his dog]).
Enter my wanderlust starting up again. We like to travel, both my boyfriend and I, separately and together. But it’s been tough coordinating 2 schedules and my 2 jobs (yes, I work part time at 2 different hospitals to pay the bills). I started this blog when it got really bad. I’ve worked my butt off to live the life I’ve dreamed of. However, I get antsy and want to travel. My heart literally aches. But, I have a career, two canines, and a life here.
So here I am, figuring out how to travel and have a full time career. I hope this blog helps you to live your dreams too. Live your life to your fullest potential. I may never be one of those travel bloggers who gets to travel full time and work remote. Somehow, along the way, I have accidentally tied myself down. But I’m still figuring it all out. I’m sure you are too.
Feel free to leave me some comments about how you too are working and traveling. I would love to hear from you!