Meet & Greet: Valerie

Her Adventures | Valerie Zage
Another Monday, another Meet and Greet! This week, we’re sitting down with Girls Who Travel Team Member and all around awesome nurse: Valerie!
Tell us about the thing you do that you’re most proud of (this could be your job, your blog, your hobby, your family, your volunteer work, anything).
I’m pretty sure I am suppose to say my kids ? Truth is I’m most proud of my family as a whole. I have a rock solid core family.
Why are you proud of it? What about it is inspiring to you?
My family is a source of inspiration and pride because to me it is perfect picture of true love and support. No matter what happens we all take care of each other
What is your favorite travel tip, piece of advice, hack?
Don’t pick a place. Find a deal and let the place find you.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from travel that you’d like to pass on?
We are blessed in life and we forget that so quickly and easily. I want my children to see why they need to appreciate what they have. Also there’s so much beauty out there! I love cities and water and mountains and fields. Everything has beauty, you just have to look. The best memories are created when we lose ourselves in life. I find it much easier to lose myself while I’m traveling because I’m not focused day-to-day life and I can just lose myself in the moment. And much more presents when I am out of my natural environment.
What’s your favorite place that you’ve ever traveled to? Why?
Probably Ireland. The cities we’re amazing, the people nice and the landscape breathtaking. I can’t say there was anything about Ireland that I didn’t like. Galway was probably the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to. I would live there if they let me! And if I wasn’t so scared to move so far away from my family. It had everything in my opinion, Especially Dublin. Cool city vibe, ancient architecture and nice people. Plus I could listen to the natives talk allllllll day. Oh and beer. Who doesn’t love beer.
What’s your dream? What does your end game look like?
My end game is to inspire my children to be good people and travel the world. I want them to be responsible and give something back to this world. I also want them to move out when they hit college-age so my husband and I can travel the world ? We are hoping to spend an extensive amount of time on various cruise ships and be nomads so to speak for a period of time. With a cute little condo in the city of Chicago to come home to and rent out while we wander the world. in a perfect world what I would really love to do is win millions of dollars and spend the rest of my life doing medical missionary work. But I don’t see millions of dollars falling into my lap ?
Was there a time you ever wanted to quit? How did you deal with that situation, or overcome it?
I pretty much feel like I want to quit everything everyday. Thanks to some really Catholic education I have a extremely guilty conscience. So I often feel inadequate and want to quit life in general. However I am also extremely stubborn and so that usually pushes me through most situations. the biggest thing in my life was nursing school. I had a lot of problems with test anxiety and depression during school but I refused to quit because I knew it was what I needed to do with my life. And Here we are 11 years later as an RN.
What is your travel style? How would you describe it?
I don’t know that I have a travel style that’s uniquely my own. I’ve never solo travel because it makes me extremely anxious and I’m too nervous to try it. So I usually follow the style of whoever I travel with. I like traveling with my mom the most. But I also travel with my husband, my kids my sister, cousins, grandma and my father. I feel like most of them have stronger personality so I just follow their style. For example my mom likes to be in control so I let her plan everything (which is my favorite). My dad likes to look for deals and explore nature. My sister likes caviar on a peanut butter and jelly budget.
How does traveling affect your friendships in general?
I find that most people get extremely jealous about the amount of traveling I’ve been able to do and continue to do. It’s kind of frustrating because I feel like they look at me as lazy and privileged because I don’t work as much as they do. However I’ve worked two jobs most of my young adult life and have carefully planned and budgeted and put traveling as a priority. They could do the same. I’ve scrounged and I’ve saved. I don’t go and get my hair done I don’t go and get my nails done and I don’t buy fancy clothes because I’d rather buy a flight.
What do you credit most to your success?
Definitely my parents. They are fairly opposite in personality, however I feel like they have both instilled their best qualities in me. They taught me to love people, love the world, value family and be responsible. They taught me how to work hard and the value of money. And they definitely show me an example of everything I want to be. They’re close to retirement and they have financially set themselves up to enjoy life and not have to rely on anyone else. Money isn’t everything and I know that. They also love each other. I hope that my marriage is as successful as theirs!
Thanks for sharing your stories, advice, and glimpse into your family with us, Valerie! Join Valerie and over 81,000 other women in our Girls Who Travel Facebook Community!


Her Adventures is an education and empowerment community dedicated to helping women explore beyond their boundaries. We welcome all people who identify as non-masculine/non-male to connect, educate and inspire each other with their stories, fears, knowledge, questions, and ideas. Because together we make each other strong. We hope you will join us and see the world.

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