How I Got the Travel Bug
I am a Colorado native who always grew up with a fierce spirit and a thirst for adventure. Growing up, my family and I always went on various trips (our favorite was a Caribbean cruise).
My first solo trip was when I was only 16 when I went to a college preparatory program in London and Paris. From there, I was hooked. I became absolutely obsessed with traveling and experiencing new cultures.
At the end of high school, I permanently relocated to the UK to Cambridge to get my full BSc in Forensic Science. During my years at uni, I spent every moment I could traveling to other places in Europe and loving every minute of it.
I also received my yoga teacher certification at this time and fell head over heels with my practice and guiding others in yoga practice. After graduating, I went on a trip that would change my life forever.
For roughly six months, I started in the UK and did a circumnavigational trip around the world ending in Colorado. My eyes truly opened to the world, my adventurous side flourished, and my passion for travel deepened like never before.
Getting a Big Girl Job that I Didn’t Love
As soon as I returned home, reality set in. I had a sharp mind, loved working with people, and had a science degree so the natural path was medicine. After being certified as an emergency medical technician, I worked throughout the more dramatic parts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I worked in clinics, ambulances, and various sporting events. This did not curb my appetite for travel and it, therefore, was a common topic that would come up with my patients and me.
I hoped to hear about their fantastic adventures, but I was disappointed with the opposite. Over and over again I sat and listened to these people (some dying and sick, some not) saddened that their bucket list became more of a dream list that just never got accomplished.
I heard all the reasons in the book:
“I was scared to leave my country!”
“I got so distracted with work that I forgot to live!”
“I could never do the things I dreamed of doing because they sounded crazy!”
“I don’t even have a passport and have never even left the country; it’s so scary out there!”
I was saddened by all that I had heard at work. I thought that I was helping people live by going into medicine and I came to the harsh realization that I was only helping them survive. I then started asking people who weren’t my patients and I got the same answers!
Still…I had to do what society expected of me and get a good job. So I stuffed all of my feelings down and trudged down the long and arduous path (which is something that I am unfortunately very good at…oops).
Heading to Medical School
Slightly burnt out and longing for a new adventure, I decided to travel to Budapest, Hungary for medical school, hoping that studying abroad at a prestigious medical school would subdue my nomadic wild side.
News flash: it didn’t. My burnt-out coworkers and complaining patients were traded in by sleep-deprived and depressed medical students.
As I explained to my mother over my numerous phone calls, it was what I would think drowning in the air felt like and the entire experience was very claustrophobic. After a few months, I started to understand my patients.
I started to understand why people forget about actually living their lives and experiencing all that they want to experience. It was beyond easy to focus on what needed to be done right NOW: get a career, find a stable relationship, be able to afford a house, and pop out a few kids.
Travel and adventure can come later once you are stable! I realized that this is how people get stuck in this crazy thing called life. They blink and suddenly they are 70 years old with a huge family, a burnt-out career, bad knees, and no motivation to explore. I found myself going down the same exact path. Again, not saying this is a bad path per se, but these were some of the regrets that I had heard across the board.
If I am being honest, remembering to live while working full time on your career/family/relationships is HARD. It is very easy to get lost and simply forget. After working in healthcare, I had a very harsh dose of reality regarding how fragile life really was…and I was wasting precious days going down a path I wasn’t even sure I wanted.
After this realization, I made an important decision. I didn’t want to dedicate my life to helping people survive–I wanted to dedicate my life to helping them LIVE!
Why I Gave Up the Life of a Doctor and Became a Mermaid
That is why I started The Bucket List Mermaid. I wanted to inspire people to make the most of their time and live like they were going to die tomorrow.
And for those who were too scared to make the leap (which is 100% okay), I wanted to provide information about these activities so that they may dive into their list with more confidence and peace of mind. I took a passive year off of medical school to achieve this dream and haven’t stopped writing/filming/photographing since!
And just to add some added entertainment and laughs for you, I am going to do the entire thing as a mermaid. Yeah, you read that right…a mermaid. The ocean has always been near and dear to my heart (my parents even got married underwater).
And for those who knew me previously, I’ve always been kinda obsessed with them and have always been a mermaid at heart! So get ready for some unique travel photos and some messy behind-the-scenes videos!
Thank you so much for your time and attention and I hope that I can be of some help so that you can live life to the fullest and conquer your bucket list! You can read more about the blog itself.
Here are Some Of My Favorite Bucket List Moment in my Life So Far
All of My favorite Places
Fav Disney Park – Tokyo DisneySea
Fav Hotel – Atlantis Resort (Paradise Island, Bahamas)
Fav Cruise – Disney Cruise…any of them.
Best Hospitality – Tokyo, Japan
Fav Mountain View – TIE – Rocky Mountains (Colorado), Annapurna (Nepal), The Andes (Peru)
Fav Countries for Solo Female Travel (Beginner) – Australia, France, UK, Switzerland
Fav Countries for Solo Female Travel (Intermediate) – Thailand, Mexico, Caribbean, Costa Rica
Fav Countries for Solo Female Travel (Advanced) – Tanzania, Nepal, Peru, Cambodia
Fav Country for Adventure Travel – New Zealand
Fav Country for Luxury Travel – Fiji
Fav Country for Hiking/Outdoor Travel – Peru
Fav Overrated City in Europe – TIE – Paris, France and London, England
Fav Underrated City in Europe – Budapest, Hungary
The prettiest City in Europe – all of them…but I fell in love with Lugano, Switzerland
Fav Place to Go if you Never Left Your Country – Scotland
Fav Beach – Padar Island, Pink Sand Beach (Komodo Islands, Indonesia)
My Favorite Experiences
Fav Fireworks – Rockies 4th of July Game (Denver, CO, USA)
Fav Roller Coaster – The Hulk (Universal Studios, Orlando, FL, USA)
Fav Carousel – Central Park (Manhattan, NY, USA)
Fav Snow – Ål, Norway
Fav Outfit – Kimonos (Tokyo, Japan)
Fav Party – Half Moon Party (Koh Pha-ngan, Thailand)
Bluest Water – Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Fav Snowboarding Mountain – Breckenridge (CO, USA)
Craziest Experience – TIE – SkyLodge Adventure Suites (Peru) and camping in the Serengeti (Tanzania)
My Favorite Meals
Fav Meal – Melting Pot (Littleton, CO)
Fav Lasagna – Vesuvius (Paris, France)
Fav Sausage – Boppard, Germany
Fav Dumplings – Soup Dumplings, Din Tai Fung (Shanghai, China)
Fav Steak – my dad’s
Fav Pizza – TIE – Manhattan, NY, USA and Napoli, Italy
Fav Beef Stew – Nüetnigenough (Brussels, Belgium)
Fav Cocktails – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Fav Beer – I am not a beer drinker but the only one I could tolerate was a brewery in Cologne, Germany
Fav Wine – Baune (Province, France)
Fav Curry – Delhi, India
Fav Pad Thai – Bangkok
I want to thank you for supporting me in this journey! This is truly my dream and I absolutely love inspiring others to travel and do everything on their bucket list! Please feel free to contact me if you need anything in regard to bucket list or travel: questions about travel, request for me to cover a bucket list idea, or simply sharing your travel story! Happy bucketlisting, mermaids!