It’s a funny feeling being a mid-twenty something-year-old this day and age. Even funnier, as a gal on the cusp of thirty, single, and living at home with her parents. But I am not complaining, because through all the introspection and self-doubt along the way, I’m finally in a place where I can say I LOVE WHAT I DO, and I want to share it with everyone.

As a kid, I remember boldly claiming that I will be married by the ripe old age of 25, finished pumping out kiddos by 30, and willfully employed with the job of my dreams. But like so many others my age, life would have it another way.

Graduated from a credible college and underqualified for practically every job posting available, I threw darts at a board and landed on San Francisco. Unsure, but ready, I took a job offer as an entry-level sales rep in healthcare and ran with it. And boy did I have to run. Like a fish out of water it took some time to find my sea legs.

After a year, I felt comfortable (at least comfortable enough). I could cold call a hospital executive and face rejection without trembling or turning bright red. Tack on another year, and although I may have been shrinking in height from all the sitting,

I began growing in confidence with my capabilities and decided to pivot.

Taking a fruitful job in ad sales, I no longer had to take the bus everywhere, chug vodka sodas before going to the bars, or live off a diet of pb&j’s washed down with Folger’s coffee. I could finally afford a Crunch gym membership, buy fancy caffeine from Philz, and join brunch with friends not just Saturday, but Sunday too. Feeling like a success, making substantial money, and carrying around a sense of “I’ve made it” in the big city. I felt as though I had hit my stride, but if I stopped the wheels from spinning, even just for a second, an emptiness would take over. Something was desperately missing.

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I was growing tired of the same old sales pitch, overpriced workout classes, bottomless mimosas, and late nights not entirely worth the hangover. The existentialist thoughts took over.

What am I doing with my life? Where’s this going? How am I going to make a change? What is this change?

 

With no husband, no house, no kids, nor career that I loved, I was by my child’s version self-standards, a complete failure. The only problem was, I didn’t want any of those things. At least I didn’t think I did. Instead of comparing myself to my friends on social media who were getting engaged and buying homes by the dozen, I bought my first overseas ticket to Thailand and recruited a friend.

There’s a special kind of excitement that comes with the purchase of an airline ticket. A feeling that overcomes you when you realize you’re about to embark on territories unknown (at least unknown to you), eat unfamiliar foods, and be surrounded by traditions, architecture, mannerisms, and cultural norms that aren’t your own. With it comes a sense of fear, and admittedly as a female, I got a little nervous not traveling with a male companion.

Yet somehow, we managed. We managed to get lost in palaces and temples in Bangkok, took a boat along the Chao Phraya River to see where the king once lived and shopped for goods from the floating market. We wandered into alleyways where people gathered to drink Thai beers and naturally, we joined them. Regrettably, we learned what a ping pong show was, and vowed to never let our mothers or fathers know. We sunk our toes into the clear waters and sands of Phuket, and filled our bellies full with tom yum soup and a variety of curry dishes.

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By ferry, we met others from around the world who were equally excited to explore the Phi Phi Islands. I’ll never forget my first Rambutan, a fruit that resembles a sea urchin, but is actually a lychee-like fruit in the middle when you peel back its layers. A young French man shared it with me as we approached the docks and it somehow made the fruit taste better.

On the island, we ran into people we knew from San Francisco and suddenly the world felt smaller. Together, we watched fire dancers spin and toss flames dramatically high into the air. Monkeys were thrown into our arms, and of course, money was asked for shortly after, but we didn’t care. The alcohol and music flowed continuously, and it was an unforgettable experience.

Ready for peace and quiet, we found a bungalow in Krabi. We floated in the abundantly salty waters of Railay Beach and ordered snacks directly from boats along the water. One night, we even got caught in a bit of a rain storm, wound up in a tattoo parlor and got inked. Thailand is popular for its Sak Yant Tattoo where an expert monk uses a long bamboo rod to etch designs into the skin. It hurts a little less when you’re high off vacation.

We made friends, saw elephants, ate glorious amounts of well spiced foods, and even managed to get past language barriers at times. We were fearless and we were excited. The world had shown us things we had never seen before, and I for one, felt truly alive.

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Ever since that first trip abroad, a restless itch and craving for more has always been boiling at the surface. Since then, I’ve gone on various trips and seen more parts of the world with that feeling of wanting more never seeming to fade!

Leaving behind the comforts of working in an industry I knew so well, and instead partnering up with a friend to start our own company inspired by a shared love for travel. A company that offers curated group trips to Europe for young professionals just like ourselves. Our mission is to make traveling in groups easier for everyone.

Both coming from a strong Italian background, and even a little study abroad for my business partner, we decided to name the company Trova Trip. Trova, meaning “find” in Italian, encouraging everyone to find their next adventure.

We do offer subscription travel for those who find it difficult to save up. Only $99 a month to earn 1 credit that can be applied towards any trip. No matter the cost of the trip, you only need 12 credits to book any of our destinations in full.

Travel has changed my life. It has opened my eyes to things I’ve never seen or experienced before, and has made me less fearful. Fearless enough to become my own boss and go to work every day doing something that I love. It has brought me endless amounts of happiness, which I hope to share with everyone through Trova Trip.

Don’t worry, Thailand is on the docket for winter of 2018 😉


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