From the first time, I read Robert Frost’s “The road not taken,” I have had an affinity for the poem. It is a poem about the choices we make and how we reflect on them later in life. Every choice leads down a new road. With every road, a new path is formed. When I started my high school graduation speech with “The road not taken,” I couldn’t have imagined forks that would appear in my road. My paths were sometimes very different and with every choice, I knew I couldn’t regret my choice even if it ended badly. Over the last five years, I have been going down roads that I would have never thought possible. I went 8 hours from home for college, did a solo cross-country road trip (twice), worked in a U.S. national park, moved to Africa, and moved to Colorado. I can’t believe the roads I have taken, but I don’t let the fear of the unknown stop me from living. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had made a different choice, but we will never know. I have made my road my own and in the end it has made all the difference.
Who is the Traveler?
Hey, y’all. Can you tell I am from the south? I am a small town girl born and raised in rural East Tennessee, United States. My hometown was one of those southern towns with a church on every quarter, almost everyone is related, and you graduate high school with 90% of your kindergarten class. My Yankee parents (my mom is from Pennsylvania and my dad is from New Jersey) found their retirement home at the ripe age of 30. It is a 9 room log cabin with a pond and 55 acres of woods and fields. I grew up exploring the property and having imaginary adventures.
I got the travel and exportation bug very early in life. My parents loved to travel. My parents didn’t let having a kid stop them from traveling. They flew with me to kite festivals all over the country. I was 4 the first time I left the country. When I graduated high school, I had been to 20+ states and 10 countries. One thing that stands out is that I have only lived in one town in Tennessee. I had never experienced moving to a new town, being the new kid in school, or a home to explore.
This lead to my first solo adventure and eight-hour move to Gainesville, Florida to attend the University of Florida. During college, I used those four years as time to explore and travel. I spent my freshman summer working in a Mount Rainer National Park, Washington and my junior summer interning in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both summers involved a solo cross-country National Park hopping road trip.
Upon graduating college, I made the surprising decision to accept a job in Equatorial Guinea, Africa. Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be working in another country other than the United States. I work for an oilfield service company. I am was a M/LWD field engineer. That is a fancy way of saying I ran tools that go after drill bits and tell them where they are underground as well as where the oil is in the hole they just drilled. I used my time off to travel to the United Arab Emirates, Colombia, and Iceland. After I got laid off due to low oil price, I moved to Colorado to be a field engineer for a gas turbine company. I can’t wait to travel for my job and explore the world. I plan to explore the great state of Colorado on my time off.
Fun Facts about Me
- I have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
- I graduated from the University of Florida in December 2013.
- I am a third generation Florida Gator.
- I am a second generation University Florida Engineer.
- I have lived in the following US states Tennessee (18.5 years), Washington (4 months), Florida (4.5 years minus my summers Washington and Colorado), andColorado (4 months during college and current location).
- I have lived in United Arab Emirates (2.5 months) and Equatorial Guinea (9.5 months).
- While in Equational Guinea, my permanent address was my parents house but I lived in a hotel or on an oil platform in Equatorial Guinea.
- I am now 24-year-old.
- I like traveling by myself (it has some advantages).
- I like traveling with friends (requires more planning).
- I am have an adventurous streak (hence the move to Africa) and am almost always up for trying new things.
- I played soccer from the time I was 4.5 to 18 years old.
- I am an Advance Open Water Driver with a Nitrox specialty.
- I have 60+ dives.
- I have been to 27 US National Parks.
- I have hiked or backpacked over 1000 miles of trail.
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