Hi! My name is Mariana.
I grew up in Florida, went to school in Boston, and have in the past found myself a transient in the beautiful four corners region of the American southwest. Currently I am based out of Melbourne, Australia.
My story goes a little something like this: After a wonderful but utterly predictable college experience, I started thinking I might want to try something new. While my friends dove into corporate America and steady jobs, I wandered towards a different trend altogether.
For four years I worked seasonally as a Ranger for the National Park Service. I strove to balance my need for cash with jobs that fulfilled me and kept me moving in an outdoor space. Working seasonally also allowed me the opportunity to travel and dedicate time to my hobbies – namely hiking, skiing, writing, and discovering new and amazing places.
Since 2010, I have worked as a guide at Canyonlands and Mesa Verde National Parks, and as a ski instructor at Keystone. I spent the fall of 2011 hiking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, and the following winter exploring the mountains of the front range of Colorado. I spent the winter of 2012/13 beach-hopping – first in my mother’s homeland of the Dominican Republic, and then in the vast, colorful, varying country of Mexico. My next off-season (2013/2014) was again spent based out of beautiful Leadville, CO, where I continued to explore the US and carved out a bit of time for several weeks in Japan!
In the summer of 2014 I moved to Estes Park, CO – the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park – where I worked on a pilot program for the Boys & Girls Club. That experience empowered me to become a teacher, and it was with that knowledge that I set off the following fall to volunteer at an elementary school in Nicaragua. After returning to the States for the holidays, I moved to New York City in January of 2015 to study at Teachers College, Columbia University. In May of 2016 I graduated with my Masters in Elementary Inclusive Education with an extension in Gifted Education. Shortly after I moved to Melbourne, Australia to be with my then-boyfriend, now husband, Tom.
This blog is a place for me to document my adventures in work, play, and travel.
Robert Frost’s poem has always spoken to me. My ‘road less traveled’ will be different then yours, but I’m sharing my stories in the case that you might want to follow along on my particular journey.