In 2013, I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). I spent three years motivating and working with clients as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. I took my first solo trip to Europe in 2014 and as soon as I returned I picked up a second job to save for the next trip. At the end of 2015, I left the states in pursuit of my dream to live overseas, travel the world and embrace a new culture. I quit my jobs and flew to the mystical and magical land of “Lord of the Rings” — New Zealand.
The first year in New Zealand, I traveled, explored, and did some crazy things. I jumped of bridges and cliffs, bungee jumped, went sky diving, and rode in a helicopter up a mountain to hike through a glacier. I tramped through mountains, kayaked rivers, and even stayed alone in a hut in the middle of nowhere.
The first year I had the time of my life. Although most of it was just fun, I also worked in a kiwi pack house, in several hostels, hotels, and restaurants and even had a few clients for personal training. These jobs didn’t pay much but they provided a really unique NZ experience–I felt like a genuine Kiwi.
The second year, I met a Kiwi guy and ended up staying a whole extra year to be with him. During this time I experienced the “real kiwi” life. I lived in a small town with all Kiwi’s and volunteered at my boyfriend’s fish transportation factory. I went deep sea fishing, I rode a “motorbike”, fell in love with his little siblings, jet-skied, and attended festivals featuring famous NZ musicians.
Sadly the Kiwi and I ended things as we were not compatible in our long term goals. Although it was devastating to me, I tried to maintain a positive spirit and enjoy my last months! I started a three month work contract right before we broke up so despite the demise of the relationship, I worked and maintained my composure at all times. After the first month of training as a tourist information center consultant, I also began a job at the local pub and worked diligently to save for my upcoming adventures.
I worked nearly every day, I still enjoyed both jobs and learned “heaps”. I networked with all of our local businesses, described the highlights of the town, booked activities/accommodation/transportation, sold souvenirs and built itineraries. I cultivated skills in marketing, promotion, booking systems, and customer service. By night, I learned to bar tend and made friends with my kiwi co-workers.
In my free time, I went snorkeling, rode on a glass bottom boat, and took trips to learn more about the local tourism companies. I moved out of the shared apartment into a nice house right by the river just five minutes walk from work. I knew after this job contract, it would be time to pursue my other dreams and travel to new places even though I had fallen completely in love with New Zealand and it’s culture and people.
After New Zealand, I planned to work for a few months in the states during the summer to save a bit and spend time with my family.
At the end of my work contract, I flew to Queenstown to spend a week with friend and to hike some beautiful trails.
Then, I journeyed through Japan and Hong Kong for five weeks five weeks and finally arrived in the states.
When I landed in Nashville where my brothers live, the family experienced a crisis and the plan to work through the summer changed unexpectedly. As an alternative, I considered some jobs offers in Nashville but realistically it would be difficult to save, find housing, get around without a car, and only stay short term.
Although I didn’t mind Nashville, this was not the time to settle in the states if I planned to continue my adventures around the globe. My dad who initially was anti-travel, surprised me when he suggested that I go to NZ or to Australia where I could work but still travel.
I didn’t feel that going all the way back to NZ or Australia was the right decision yet. I considered a trip to Europe to check out some Universities where I might get my master’s degree with the intent of study after my return from the working holiday in Australia. I also wanted to stay closer to home for a while rather than go straight back to the Southern Hemisphere.
After a bit of research, I choose to visit Puerto Rico. It was another dream destination and as part of the states so I could legally work there and practice my Spanish!
After the second week in Puerto Rico, I had fallen in love with the island but as the locals warned, there were no jobs. Tourist season would start in December and hurricane season was coming. I thought through various solutions and looked at flights for a few days. Finally, I took advantage of a cheap direct flight to Germany and flew to Europe.
During the summer, I spent over a month in Germany and several weeks in France as well as some time in Scotland, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Northern Ireland. I reconnected with many of my European friends from New Zealand, and visited a few universities. I found myself constantly meeting other traveler experts with blogs and experience in photography and listened to all of their advice on the industry. The trip turned into something that resembled an unpaid internship. They gave me insider tips on how started the documentation of their travels and growth of their online network.
After life abroad and nearly six months of intense travel, I accepted that this is who I am. Travel is not just a small part of my life–it is my life. I felt an urge to inspire others to travel and keep up with their health and fitness and finally created my own platform to do this.
The goal is to entertain, inspire, educate, and motivate readers in their fitness and travel pursuits! Follow me on instagram @golidlocks.adventures for pictures and on my website for the latest posts and adventures! Shop the essentials for your next trip