Ahh Greece, where it all began, sort of… What you may ask? Well to answer that question, you must know a little more about me. I’m Erica, an ICU nurse in the US Army. I’ve recently decided to get out of the military (or at least active duty) in lieu of traveling across the world for however long I can. This may seem like a crazy decision to a lot of people, but I love a good adventure and plenty of people do it all the time.
I graduated from nursing school at Penn State University in 2009, and commissioned into the Army Nurse Corps and headed straight to the medical officer’s version of “basic training” in Texas. This lasted about 2.5 months and then off to Oahu, Hawaii I went for my first duty assignment. I was fortunate to be there and was able to get some decent traveling in while there (see photo galleries), which gave me that itch to travel as much as I could. Hawaii was so far away though, that it seemed like such an endeavor to take a big trip more than once a year. After 3 years in Hawaii, the Army said it was time to go, and I left my friends and beach lovin’ lifestyle behind to attend a 4 month Trauma/Critical Care training course in good ole Texas again before landing in my current duty assignment of Bethesda, Maryland- at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The Capitol region is great- I live in the heart of Washington, DC, and have access to loads of stuff to do, bars, resaurants, concerts- you name it. It’s not all great though- it’s been difficult to really connect with people and make friends (oh boo hoo)…so I have been taking more trips and connecting as often as possible with my Hawaii friends. This year alone I’ve gone to Panama and Costa Rica (in May), Greece in August and I am about to embark on a trip to Australia in November. AND IT’S NOT ENOUGH!
I did a Topdeck tour (reviewed in a separate post) of Greece, and I met a bunch of Aussie’s- most of whom had left home to live abroad, quit their jobs to travel, or were doing a gap year. My wheels started turning…my contract with the Army was up in January and suddenly, I could do anything I wanted! I realized I could actally travel full time if I wanted- people do it all the time! It’s not as common with Americans, but I’ve never been one to do the “normal” thing- why start now? This idea that was previously just that- an idea- has now become a reality, and I am slowly working my way towards moving abroad (I’ve decided on Australia) and traveling for a while in between.
I have a tattoo on my arm that’s part of a Mark Twain quote that I consider to be somewhat of my mantra, “Twenty years from now, you will be more dissapointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” …and that’s exactly what I intend to do.