Woman of the Week: Anna

I met Anna during middle school, when we had a few shared classes and sports teams. We struggled through softball, cross country, and volleyball together but we didn’t become really close until the night Melissa returned from her semester in Germany. The Suitcase Six gathered at the airport to greet her (though S6 was far from conceptualized at that point) and while Anna and Melissa weren’t super close either, Anna was there to welcome her back and from that point the six of us more or less decided we were going to be hanging out together a lot. Anna and I were roommates last year at IU as she finished up nursing school and I worked out of Bloomington, and I’ve been lucky to have her as a partner in crime for some of our craziest adventures. Read this Suitcase Sixer’s thoughts on traveling the world here. 

Anna trying to pet a dog at the Liverpool Pride Parade


1. Tell us about yourself.

I just graduated from nursing school. I’m currently searching for an RN position. I travelled for the first time when I was in the 5th grade where I went to Costa Rica. I grew up in a Spanish immersion program so I’ve always been interested in travelling to Spanish speaking countries. I got the chance to go on my first backpacking trip last summer because I’m a PRN (as needed) employee I was able to take off three weeks and go to the U.K.

Did you travel in between Costa Rica and the U.K.?

Yes, I studied abroad in the Dominican Republic for a month where I lived with a host family. I took two classes at the PUCMM, and lived with a host family, and then went on various trips to other parts of the country while there.


Anna at a coconut stand in the Dominican Republic


2. Why do you travel?

I travel because I love seeing the world and learning about other cultures, and meeting new people. I think it’s a good way to take yourself out of your comfort zone, and I’ve never regretted travelling even when I probably did not have the time or money.


3. How do you balance travel and work?

I can think of when I went to Phoenix & Seattle. Because I’m a PRN employee, and in the healthcare industry you often work 3-12 hour shifts a week, I have been able to go see friends and do other travelling in the U.S. by stacking my shifts together so that I have bigger parts of the week off. When I went backpacking last summer, I made sure to save up money so that I would be able to afford to request off three weeks. I hope to once I start a full-time nursing position, work for a few months, learn my new position really well, and go back to getting the chance to work and have time to travel when possible. In a few years, I would consider being a travel nurse, so that I can see new places while I work.


Anna posing on the beach in Hawaii


 4. What is the best lesson you’ve learned from your trips?

The best lesson I have learned from my trips is that life is short and time is precious. It may be cliché, but every day is truly a gift and I choose to spend the time I have experiencing the world as much as possible.


Anna posing behind a gate pretending to be trapped


5. Tell us about one of your favorite travel experiences.

Getting to see the Cursed Child in London! We had bought tickets to see the Cursed Child nine months before, and it was an experience I was so excited about, and it completely lived up to my high expectations. It was also really exciting to meet other Harry Potter nerds who had travelled far distances as well for the same reason as us.


Anna with Melissa and Sarah in Scotland


6. If you could share one travel tip, what would it be?

My travel tip would be to stay safe but ignore all the people who try to scare you out of doing things. Often times I’ve had adults warn me against travels and how I need to be careful constantly, which I do, but I’ve found that people’s cautions aren’t necessarily based in fact and you can’t completely avoid all risks. Be safe and prepare for different risks, but don’t travel so cautiously that you miss out on opportunities.

Thanks for reading! Want more travel tips from Anna and women like her?

Join the Suitcase Six mailing list and you’ll get access to 3 freebies to help you plan your next adventure!

After you sign up, you’ll start receiving the following freebies: 50 Practical Travel Tips from Solo Lady Backpackers (a 6-page PDF), 20 Tips for Sustainable Travel (a checklist), and 30 Jobs to See the World.

Want more interviews? Head to our Woman of the Week archives for the full library.

 WOW Anna pin