First blog post

Well here it goes! I’m entering the blogging world without the slightest idea of what I’m doing and just a bit less slight of an idea what my intention is. For just a little background, about 2 years ago I took a pretty big leap of faith when I decided to become a traveling physical therapist. It was something I had considered in college but at that time I really didn’t think I’d ever be ballsy enough to do it. I grew up in a small Connecticut town, went to college only 40 minutes away, and began working as a PT right after school within the same radius. Most of my family lived close by, for my friends CT was home base, and I was comfortable.  There was never a single factor that pushed me to move across the country and leave everything that was familiar. I think I’ve just always been intuitive to what my soul needs. I felt that by leaving I wasn’t running away from anything; I just knew I was running toward something that was going to be amazing. I made my New Year’s resolution that year to be brave, I left my first job that I dearly loved and am so appreciative of, and headed to California. My parents were my biggest cheerleaders, which I think is a huge reflection of the foundation I had to build this opportunity for myself.

What happened next was this huge personal awakening for me that the universe rewards you when you choose to live your best life. One of my patients had supported me with the line (also so California appropriate..) that it’s worthless to fight the wave, and better just to ride it. I’ve come to believe that more and more. As a traveler, I never know where I’m going or what I’m doing farther than the 3 months of the assignment in front of me. I’ve always been a planner and I strive for efficiency. So in the beginning this was a huge anxiety-provoking factor for me.  What I began to see though, was that no matter how stressed about where I was going and how to get myself and all of my worldly possessions there, everything eventually did work out, and time and time again the most amazing adventures followed. I believe there is not a lot we can plan for in life that will go exactly how we expect. It felt like my life plan had changed 100 times around the time I was about to become a traveler. There is so much energy that is wasted trying to fight that wave when it can be so enjoyable just to prepare yourself, start paddling, and then enjoy the ride. (I learned to surf in California too, just excuse the cheesy analogy.) While I do feel extremely fortunate that being a traveler is a career option for me, there has been so much I’ve learned about perception over the past few years that has led me to so much personal growth. I think this learning is universal and this is what I’d love to be able to share.

The first time that I was struck with the idea of starting a blog was by one of my patients (again.. they seriously inspire me as much as I do them). She was so intrigued by the fact that I was traveling from Santa Clara, CA, the heart of Silicon valley and probably the most progressive region in the country, to the tiny Alaskan island of Ketchikan, and the perspective I would be able to gain with the opportunity to live within both of these cultures and experience the difference in people, pace, economy, and much more. From then until now, I’ve gained no new understanding of the blogging world or really even how to write. But just as I’ve been learning over the past few years, when you go for it, doors open.

I’ve actually kept a journal since I was 5 years old. I remember asking my mom how to spell everything I wanted to write and I put a period between every word. At some point when I was 10 or so, I thought I was super cool and went back and edited all my old entries with a red pen. It certainly wasn’t the most fascinating memoir back then- mostly telling what I played with my friends at recess, the scary snake I saw in the grass, and the occasional dramatic detailing of how mad I was my parents wouldn’t let me have a sleepover last night. The drama certainly rose in middle school and high school, then in college I kept up whenever I could, but in total I have a solid collection of notebooks now that essentially catalogs my entire life. It’s an innate trait of mine to be introspective. I like to find reason, to understand things, and to explore. I’ve read through different parts of my journals at various times throughout my life and sometimes it’s pretty incredible to discover how my 27 year old and 7 year old selves are so alike. I can see how different experiences have shaped me, what kinds of things inspire me most to write about them, and that overall, I have always found pleasure in life.

So that is essentially the path that lead me here to my first blog. I chose the site name “Travel Bug” because I’m thoroughly entertained by symbolism and double meanings. My mom used to call me “bug” when I was little. I used to play with bugs and I’m pretty sure I was a very weird little kid. If journaling in kindergarten wasn’t convincing, I used to conduct my own science experiments on the reg, would make my own gardens with cut flowers I would stick in the ground, and remember spending recess time smashing acorns to make squirrel food. First off, I’m extremely lucky that I’ve somehow found friends all along the way that enjoy me. But I think what it comes down to is that I’ve always found pleasure from simple things in life, in nature, and in beauty. So “Bug” is representative of that. And now as a traveler, I’ve opened my desire for adventure to the whole country, and I’d like to be able to share my views of these incredible places as well as the perspective I’ve gained and, I can imagine, will continue to gain through my travels.

With 2018 just 2 weeks ahead, I figured this was the perfect time to reflect and then see where this blog takes me in the New Year. As I said, I really don’t know where it will go, but neither did I when I made the choice to become a traveler, and I’ve learned, despite all the planning, none of us really know where we’re going. Some of the biggest pleasure I’ve had is being able to share my stories, my pictures, and my experience with other people. My desire to help other people is intrinsic in both my nature and my profession. My ideal world is one where everyone finds their passion in whatever they do and they live their lives with purpose, integrity, happiness, and enjoyment in all things- whether it’s traveling the world, or playing with bugs.

Here’s to always finding adventure!

Hannah

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