I’ve always been a dreamer and a compulsive list maker… so when you put those things together you end up with a fancy doodled form of a To-Do list for Life. Things you dream to accomplish that are important to YOU for one reason or another. I’ve been making lists for years. It’s almost comical reading some of my dreams from ten years ago. Learn to Sew? Who knew that would be something that never really interested me in the first place… but felt more like a life necessity I SHOULD learn. Then there are other things on the list that you just can’t ever seem to live up to…. like “Always give more than you take.” First of all, that is not a measurable goal. My nursing professors and educators would be disappointed in that statement Haha but it’s more of a gentle reminder to stop being so dang selfish in life. We are programmed to be selfish, to fulfill our needs before any one else’s and in my line of work we are pushed to go against the grain. A special thanks to my coworkers, they constantly fulfill the needs of our patients and their family members far before their own needs.

Speaking of work, one of the next things on my list was get a Masters Degree. Whewwwww I’m all about working hard and doing well in school…as a broad concept (my friends all know I’ve always been a committed back row sitter and will be for life). But SO many people are doing things like this just to check the box. When I start my masters, I want it to mean something. I want it to change my career entirely… so I refuse to buy into the “You should start now to get it out of the way feeling” that so many people I know have done. Recently I’ve read “Yes Please!” by Amy Poehler.

Yes pleaseIf you haven’t read it yet… do yourself a favor and BUY IT NOW on your iPad/Kindle/Nook or be old fashion like me and actually buy the book you hold in your hands because it’s HILARIOUS. One of my favorite quotes in her book was about how women tend to constantly compare themselves to others. She reinforces the fact that you don’t have to measure up to anyone else’s standards of success. She says in her book “’Good for her, not for me’ that is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.” So to my friends getting masters right now, CHEERS! I am sincerely happy for you. I hope it leads you to exactly where you want to be in life! But to be completely honest, I haven’t even decided what I want to be when I grow up! I’m still deciding if I want to apply for CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) school or if I want to apply for Nurse Practitioner school. Right now, saving lives in the ICU is extremely rewarding and enough for me. Hands down, there is absolutely nothing better than taking care of soldiers that have sacrificed so much and sending them home to their families. To my friends stuck in the in between stop stressing and just enjoy the season of life you are in right now.  Eventually I too will decide whats next but for the moment, I’m caught up in living the life I’ve always dreamed of. I have spent years dreaming about traveling the world and I’m finally doing it. I keep telling myself that NOW is the best time! I’ll only be young and able to run, hike, swim and bike across the world for a limited amount of time. So maybe by the time I’m 80 I’ll look back with less regrets on what I “should have done.”

ibiza couple


{As for Traveling}

Holy Moly, these last 6 months have been packed with travel. It helps that my trip-planning partner, Dan is constantly asking me “where are we going next?” I love his heart and the way he is always pushing us to enjoy the best things in life. He is on the path to discovering the world, the people and of course the beer/wine selection, one country at a time. Eight days after I landed in Europe he talked me into starting my travel with the most relaxing thing on earth… the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. We traveled to the Balearic Island of Ibiza, Spain. {I will do a retrospective blog post about this later} I conquered so many fears with this trip. First of all, I was out of my comfort zone my first week of living internationally but at least I was back in a country where I could speak the language. (A huge thanks to Señora Walsh and Señora Seamans for teaching me Spanish, a life skill that I’ve used more times than I can count…in work and in life.)

ibiza rock

One of my most memorable moments on this journey to finding myself on the other side of the Atlantic was taking the plunge… literally off of a cliff in Ibiza, Spain. I have always been terrified of heights, as in I don’t even like standing on ladders. Dan talked me into cliff diving with him (as you can tell by the pictures he’s not scared of anything). It seemed like an eternity standing on the edge of that cliff. I was shaking the first time and wanted so badly to return to the safety of the beach with my sun hat and sunnies with a book in my hand. I knew at that moment I had the choice to be brave or to play it safe. Every time we’ve gone to the beach since then we cliff dive. It is exhilarating! (Of course I have to make sure the water is deep enough first…haha) but most times we were diving into places 15-25 feet deep and into schools of fish! The water is more clear than any pool I’ve ever swam in. I absolutely can not wait to go back to paradise. Dan’s front flips were pretty impressive! Each time we jump I get more brave. Here’s to many more cliffs and tackling many more fears in life.




Dan dive


J cliff dive

If you’re interested in my Lists here they are:

A few things still left on my old list:

  1. Bike around Mackinac Island.
  2. Hike the Grand Canyon.
  3. Go on a mission trip.
  4. Take Gram to Hawaii.
  5. Go parasailing.
  6. Swim with dolphins
  7. Own exotic fish.
  8. Learn to surf
  9. Do a mini triathalon

Things I’ve accomplished:

  1. Run a marathon (Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC in 2011)
  2. Pass my NCLEX
  3. Own a Jeep
  4. Be debt free
  5. Navigate better with a map (this is an ongoing process and it’s accomplishment depends on who you ask 🙂
  6. Conquer my fear of heights
  7. Make Grandma Jo’s peanut butter fudge
  8. Admit when you are wrong
  9. Go shopping in New York City
  10. Rescue a dog (Bonus… I rescued TWO!)
  11. Buy a House with pillars
  12. Spend a few weeks traveling through Europe (and OHHHHH how I’ve traveled! This should have been a few years traveling Europe)
  13. Learn to drive a stick shift and own a car with a manual transmission
  14. Trauma Nurse Critical Care Course
  15. Donate my hair to kids with cancer (twice!)
  16. Passed my CCRN

OHHH the places we dream to go!

  1. Fjords of Norway
  2. See the northern lights in Iceland
  3. Croatia
  4. Italy (again and again and again. I want to see the whole country. Eat all the food and drink all of the wine!)
  5. Yacht week in Greece
  6. Run the Athens Marathon
  7. Go on an African Safari
  8. Hike in New Zeeland
  9. Surf on the beaches of Hawaii
  10. Take a cooking class in Thailand
  11. Study Yoga in India
  12. Prague, Czech Republic
  13. Skiing in Austria
  14. Portugal
  15. Canary Islands

Places we’ve been:

(If I haven’t blogged about them already, I will soon!)
  1. Ibiza, Spain
  2. Paris, France
  3. Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim. (Biggest wine fest in the world!)
  4. Mallorca, Spain
  5. Octoberfest in Stuggart, Germany
  6. Portsmouth, England
  7. London, England
  8. Venice, Italy
  9. Nurnberg, Germany
  10. German Christmas Markets: Trier and Heidelberg
  11. Strasbourg, France
  12. Zermatt, Switzerland

Favorite Big Cities I’ve visited in the USA:

(In no particular order, I’ll blog about my favorites later!)
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New York, New York
  • San Diego, California
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Washington DC
  • Orlando, Flordia
  • Raliegh, North Carolina
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Austin, Texas
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Portland, Oregon
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Destin, Florida
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Auburn, Alabama

Places I’ve lived for more than six months:

  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Germany

Published by Jenny

Hi friends, I'm Jenny. My wild and adventurous heart is the fire that drives me to love life and to travel as far and as much as I can. I also LOVE photography. Come along on my adventures and read about them here. Enjoy!!!

Join the Conversation


  1. You Rock Girl!!!! So glad to know someone with such positive energy!!! Keep reaching for your dreams and crossing things off those lists!!!!


  2. Absolutely loved reading this Jen! I totally agree with what you said about not stressing about school. I have been think about NP for so long but at the moment I am loving the ER. Why mess with a good thing😊


    1. You are absolutely right JB! Life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. You have so much time to go back to school. If where you are right now in this chapter of life is making you happy, then keep up the good work!!! I miss my ER team so much!!!! Give everyone a hug from me! Love, Jenny


  3. Jen this post is fabulous. I totally agree with how your friends and society wants you to think spending thousands on education and gaining a degree is the norm. Well I agree with you and say no! Just love, live and travel because when you are 80 and can’t do the things you can now, what will you regret? Not having a degree or not travelling. You have made me crave my big trip of indefinite travel. 21 months until I leave and counting!


  4. Jen, you are right about grad school for several reasons. Its a big investment of time and money. It also can be an exhilarating intellectual experience, but if your heart’s not in it, it will just be a chore. But more importantly, the profession needs smart, dedicated nurses who are passionate about caring for their patients (soldiers or civilians). You are right where you are supposed to be right now! You will know when (and if) its time for you to do something else.


    1. You are absolutely right. I know this isn’t where I’ll want to stay forever but for the moment it’s perfect. That’s the best thing about nursing…is how flexible it can be. I have been looking into my options about what’s next once I move back! Thank you for reading. Love, Jenny


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