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A BRIEF MEET & GREET

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Hello beautiful people! In case you didn’t know… I am Ana- a free-spirited, travel-obsessed, fun-loving, full-time nomad! I began traveling in May of 2010, and haven’t stopped since!

I am on a mission to travel the world, live life to the fullest and spread good vibes along the way! I would like to share my experiences through “The Art of Epic Living” as a way to inspire others who are looking to add passion and excitement into their own lives.

I want to help people to realize that epic living is a possibility for anyone, and that their mindset is the only thing standing between them and their dreams!

I have always valued experiences over possessions, and although I have no base, no apartment, no car…I have lived and traveled in amazing locations around the world, encountered beautiful people from all walks of life, and have indulged in unforgettable adventures!

I have always followed my passion and my heart above all else, and it hasn’t failed me yet! With “The Art of Epic Living”, I am attempting to communicate my story as a way to encourage others to chase their dreams, step outside of their comfort zones and live in the now!

In order to provide you with a better understanding as to who I am and what type of life I have led so far, I invite you to sit back, relax, and dive into the summarized version of my time here on this planet:

PART I: THE BEGINNING

YEAR: 2010

Location: EUROPE

Well, my story begins in May of 2010, and takes place in upstate New York- where I was born and raised, and where I had just recently graduated college. My roommate and I were getting ready for our post-graduation, celebratory Euro-trip, which would be our first time traveling overseas! After months of planning and preparation, we decided to travel for a month, and arranged to fly from NYC to Brussels, do a bit of country-hopping, and return home from Rome back to NYC by the end of June.

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Although we were nervous, we at least had our entire itinerary completely figured out. We had compared and contrasted cities and routes, we had spent hours researching modes of transportation, tourist attractions, “thank you”’s in other language- we had a basic time frame to follow for each locaiton- we were good to go! And so, we said good bye to our families, and hopped aboard our plane to Brussels. We had planned to follow the geographically logical route of:

  1. Brussels
  2. Amsterdam
  3. Berlin
  4. Prague
  5. Austria
  6. Italy

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However, after all of that time spent trying to create our ideal schedule, we almost immediately threw our itinerary out the window! We decided that the best plan, was no plan, and that we would go with the flow for the entirety of our trip! !

We would bounce from place to place as we wished, without the limitations of sticking to a set schedule. We wanted to be free, and we wanted to do whatever we felt like doing in that moment

We ended up going from Brussels, to Paris, to Amsterdam, to Barcelona, to Lisbon, to London, to Croatia….. and then…

AND THEN…

I FELL IN LOVE WITH CROATIA! It was the most beautiful place I had ever been to! I decided that I would try to find work there, and extend my stay indefinitely; at least for another month or two!

I ended up instantly finding a job at a hostel in the city of Split- which would offer me free accommodation, food, alcohol and a wage! I finished up the last leg of our original trip in Italy, and while my roommate flew home, I headed back over to Croatia on a ferry!

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I worked and explored through Croatia until the end of September. As the sunny summer season finally came to an end, I decided to continue my travels through Eastern Europe. I bussed and trained from:

  1. Croatia
  2. to Bosnia
  3. to Serbia
  4. to Hungary
  5. to Czech Republic
  6. to Poland
  7. to Germany

I flew out of Berlin at the end of October, and finally returned to my family and homeland!

PART II: CLUB MED MADNESS

YEAR: WINTER 2010 – SPRING 2011

Location: FLORIDA

So before I get into this chapter of my life…we have to flashback to October of my Euro trip. On one sunny September afternoon in Croatia… I received an email from “Club Med”. At first glance, I thought that this message should’ve fallen into my junkmail, as some sort of spam promo for a spa membership or something. BUT, good thing that I didn’t disregard this message…because it turns out that Club Med (… or Club Mediterranné) is a French all-inclusive hotel company, with locations all around the world! The email was concerning an employment opportunity, and in response to a job application I had (apparently) filled out months ago, while still in college!

The employment letter requested that I fill out some follow-up applications, and set up an interview! After completing the applications and undergoing a series of Skype interviews in an internet cafe in Budapest, I ended up landing a role as a Kid’s Club Counselor at their Florida location, beginning in December! Wooo! Did I have any experience with kids?? Mehh … but the thought of living on a resort with no expenses, perfect weather and a job that beat working in an office was fine by me!

My daily schedule included activities such as sailing, trapeze, dance class, art class and swimming! I lived on site in the free, dorm-style staff-housing, and the people who I had the pleasure of working with can be described as 20-25 year-old, work hard-play hard types! There was never a dull moment, and never a night without a party! It was a great follow-up to my epic Euro-trip, and an amazing opportunity for me to save money for the upcoming summer!

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PART III: THE LIFE IS LAGOS

YEAR: SUMMER – FALL 2011

Location: LAGOS, PORTUGAL

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So, it was nearing the end of my 5-month contract as a Kid’s Club Counselor..and I was looking forward to heading back overseas to find work for the summer! My hostel job in Croatia from the year before had covered my expenses for accommodation, food and alcohol… so my mission was to find a new gig on a new beach in a new hostel!

So, it was nearing the end of my 5-month contract as a Kid’s Club Counselor..and I was looking forward to heading back overseas to find work for the summer! My hostel job in Croatia from the year before had covered my expenses for accommodation, food and alcohol… so my mission was to find a new gig on a new beach in a new hostel!

Lagos is a beautiful small city on the Southern coast of Portugal, filled with bars, young people and good vibes! The beaches were incredible- jagged cliffs, golden sand, and turquoise water- and only a 5 minute walk from where I lived in the city center!

Lagos is paradise on earth for backpackers, and this little town definitely knew how to draw in huge crowds of party people!! From May to October, the place was buzzing with action! My summer job was to organize parties, host booze cruises, lead bar crawls and make sure that everyone was having a blast during their visit to this little piece of heaven! My time in Lagos was filled with lazy days, crazy nights, beautiful people, and wild times! Every day, I woke up to my dream life!

After nearly 6 months, with a broken liver and an empty wallet, I finally booked a return ticket to the US, and headed back home in November.

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