Hi! I'm Becca, and I like wearing hats. Typically, not of the cloth kind worn for shade or style, but more of a life-exploring-kind distinguishing what I’ve decided to do with my time here. I am an au pair, traveler, registered nurse, health food searcher, mix tape maker, runner, swimmer, photographer, behavioral service assistant, beer and wine drinker, and a lifetime student of what the world has to offer.
In May 2010, I graduated from the University of Florida with my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. During the summer while studying for my N-CLEX, I worked as an Ocean Lifeguard while deciding what I wanted to do with my life. I applied for several nursing jobs but didn’t have much luck. So, before trying any further, I decided to make a life-changing decision I’d been contemplating for several years: pick up and move to Germany as an au pair to absorb a new language and culture. After a few months of sorting through families, I found a great one here in Frankfurt, Germany- I boarded my transcontinental flight on January 16, 2011, and I’ve been here ever since. I have a great host family with a bundle of kids aged 4, 6, 8, and 10. I consider myself very lucky to have found such an accommodating and flexible host family!
As great as it is traveling about, I have had a bit of a struggle keeping healthy. Just like many other bloggers, throughout the past years, my weight has gone up and down a lot - I went from being a super swimmer in high school to a busy poor college student to a windsurfing counselor to an ocean lifeguard. Most recently, as an ocean lifeguard, I was running almost every day, eating fresh, healthy foods, and was in the best shape I’d been in since high school. Then I moved to Germany. And it was cold – all the time. And I was homesick. I found myself craving hearty, comfort food. And Germany supplied. Their grocery stores lack the variety I loved at my local grocery stores at home, and I have been completely dependent on what my host family has in their kitchen. Luckily, my host father is very helpful about getting the “health” food I used to eat back at home – but it’s definitely not the easiest to find. (For example – tofu is considered “extreme vegetarianism” and chia seeds have not even been approved for human consumption here, so I have heard that I’d have to buy them from a bird seed store. Cool.)
In addition, running did not seem so appealing when I couldn’t feel my face after 5 minutes of jogging. I did my best, but the first couple of months were still a bit rough on my body with a huge change in diet and exercise. But then, just when I thought I couldn’t stand another day of waking up to frost on my windows, sometime at the beginning of April, the weather made a turn for the good! It started getting warmer, grass started growing, flowers were blooming, and bees were buzzing. (You have to understand, I had never experienced seasons living in Florida.) I immediately started to get back into running, and here I will document my quest to maintain a healthy mind and body while delving into my attempts at eating healthy while traveling in a foreign land!
I can typically be found ...
making giant seaweed rain turtles on overcast days,
relaxing in a park,
being a monkey,
And if not in any of those places, I'm likely on the search for new healthy recipes to concoct or places to travel. As a closing thought : while moderation is key- let's be honest, it can be boring. Be moderate, but don't be afraid to let loose occasionally. Work hard, play hard. One of my favorite quotations comes from John Steinbeck: "I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment." And this is life. Destination: beautiful.