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Photo Source: Tanya and Instagram
We've heard laughter is the best medicine and travel is our self care, but it wasn't until our TCT interview with Travel Nurse, Tanya that we heard travel referred to as medicine. Tanya is so right! Travel really does have healing properties. Think about that trip that made you whole again or that weekend getaway that allowed you to be revitalized. Travel presents a real opportunity to to heal physical and emotional wounds and Tanya knows this all too well. Keep reading to get to know Tanya and the many ways travel has healed her and her relationships.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Tanya, but social media knows me by the name of thick_bodytravel_. I’m currently a travel nurse and I must say it has not been easy. This pandemic is hard for everyone. Working as a healthcare worker has taken a huge toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally. There were weeks that I cried everyday. I honestly believe my love for traveling helped me through the quarantine period. I just continued to tell myself that when the country opens back up I’m gone. I’m flying anywhere that would accept a person with an American passport and a negative COVID test. I knew that some people would criticize me for traveling during COVID, but I was at the lowest time of my life and traveling was my only medicine.
What moment, trip, or experience caused you to catch the travel bug?
The Bahamas was my first vacation as an adult. I was accompanied by my friend Quaniece Raquelle. I never traveled by myself or even been on a “real” vacation. Growing up I flew back and forth to Jamaica, but I didn’t count this as a true vacation. My Dad lived in Jamaica and it felt like a second home to me. Quaniece was so reassuring about the trip to the Bahamas that I felt like I had nothing else to lose. This trip opened my mind up to the world. It was a huge accomplishment. It felt like a “I told you so” type of moment. I flew to the Bahamas, had tons of fun, and made it back safely. I really didn’t have any expectations. I didn’t even take pictures. I don't believe that it was a main priority to me. I took the moment in. I can honestly say from this moment on, I definitely caught the travel bug.
Why is inspiring women to travel important to you?
My main focus is being as real as possible to my audience. Staying true to myself is important to me. I feel as though people, especially women, tend to get lost trying to be like everyone else. I am who I am. A thick Black girl from Hartford Connecticut with dreams of traveling the world. I grew up thinking traveling was impossible and only for the rich. I don’t recall anyone in my family or community speaking of traveling, besides driving to New York city. My goal is to change the mindset of people, especially women, who were raised to believe that you had to be in a certain income bracket to travel.
What kind of traveler are you? Are you a go with flow, hangout where the locals go kind of traveler or are you a stick to the itinerary, I've got to see it all kind of traveler?
Traveling with me is a blast.I like to think of myself as a free-spirit traveler; I really just go with the flow. I don’t make traveling a job. Majority of the time I know where I’m going, but I never have a set plan. As long as I have a plane ticket I feel as though I'm packed and ready to go. I usually book the hotel at the airport and reassure myself that everything is fine. I pick the excursions when I get to the hotel. I change my mind every minute and I could care less about an itinerary. I usually travel by myself, but for some reason I always meet other travelers or content creators on my vacation, so I never really feel alone. Sometimes we end up forming one big group trip, which is sometimes better for everyone because we bounce around ideas. I’m not the traveler that has to see it all. I believe there is always a next time. I don’t plan on settling down because traveling is incorporated into my life, so eventually I will go back to explore some countries twice.
Share with us your most memorable travel experience? What made it so unforgettable?
Traveling with my mom has been the most memorable travel experience of my life. Just recently we flew to Madrid and Lisbon to celebrate her birthday and retirement. I was never close to my mother as a child and I don’t remember many intimate moments. The whole purpose of the trip was just to be around her. To share one life-long experience together that could never be forgotten. The trip was not perfect, but I cherished every moment. Since this trip, I can admit that my personality definitely comes from my mother; she is a character. My Mother is the most outspoken and funniest person I know. I’m so glad that I was able to travel with my Mother because life is short.
Here are some more of our favorite travelers and their gorgeous shots.
Ellee is in the building - and this week she's showing us what it means to be a globe trotting Travel Crush. This native New Yorker has climbed the pyramids of Egypt, took her whole life in her hands on the swings in Bali, and she's still pumped for more challenging, new adventures. Read on for her tips on having magical experiences without breaking the bank, her favorite hack for buying cheap flights, and how she stays in villas without the hefty price tag.
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