Growing up in Northern California, some of my fondest childhood memories were trips with my grandparents to the redwood forests. I was awestruck to see the world’s tallest trees. This early experience left a lasting impression. After five years in the military as an Intelligence Analyst, I developed a strong desire to lead a simpler life. I took every opportunity to travel. My first adventure was to Australia, where they live very near to nature. While in Australia, I scuba-dived in the Great Barrier Reef and hiked the Great Ocean Road. I then traveled to China to be a volunteer teacher. One of my favorite things about China is the significant role scholars gardens play in Chinese culture. I was fortunate enough to visit several of China’s famous scholars gardens and tea garden cities. After leaving China, I went to Sweden. Sweden, where over 50% of the land is forested. I enjoyed wandering in the woods, picking wild blueberries and chanterelle mushrooms.
I eventually settled back in the U.S. and purchased my little piece of property in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is an old schoolhouse on 5 acres full of old-growth forest trees, small brooks, and a couple of artesian springs. And now I wander my woods and observe nature. I’ve always been enthusiastic about learning and educating others, and I am excited about my second VetsWork internship. This year as a Land Survey Assistant. I hope to draw inspiration and ideas from this internship that I plan to use as a stepping stone to a fulfilling career in forestry!