I grew up hearing stories of dancing around palm trees during balmy Cuban nights, surreal snorkeling adventures in the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean, a suspense-inducing midnight earthquake in Argentina, and the entrancing beauty of Spain that was worth selling a car for an additional week’s stay. I was raised on tales of adventure that involved sneaking over a border through a Yugoslavian forest to flee a communist government, the struggles of living in an Italian refugee camp, and the questionable necessity of applying makeup while the hotel is on fire, for fear that the Brazilian news cameras will be present…Clearly in an emergency, some people’s priorities vary. I was inspired by the delicacy of oriental designs in an authentic kimono and in awe of the bravery symbolized in a World War I calvary sword.
So looking back on all of that I was exposed to as a child, I pretty much have my parents to blame for my lifelong sense of wanderlust and unsatiated desire for adventure.
Welcome to Vici, Vixen. My name is Liz and I’m here to remind everyone that life is actually the real adventure and it’s meant to be lived that way.
I am a born and raised adventuress and a great lover of stories. I believe the best ones are the ones you’ve lived out yourself. As a young kid, my parents both had a vast collection of nighttime narratives to entertain me with in hopes that they would induce me to sleep. If anything, they’ve probably contributed to my restless spirit. Both of my parents grew up in Poland while it was in the grips of communism. No one was allowed to leave without the expressed permission of the government. Not much fun was had by its citizens during that time. My mother was one of the lucky ones who got to see numerous countries when she joined a famous Polish folk dance troupe that performed on stages all around the world. Think of a mix between what the Beatles were to England and what Riverdance is to Ireland. My dad however came about his youthful excursions a bit differently. At the spritely age of nineteen, he snuck out of Poland illegally. That experience in itself was an adventure and led to a great deal others in his life, including exploring Europe in the 70s, starting businesses in 2 countries where he did not know the languages, and eventually attempting to raise a headstrong daughter.
As I got older, I developed a desire to have my own collection of stories to rival my parents’. I’ve seen 10 different countries and counting. I’ve gone diving with a dozen nurse sharks in the Bahamas, seen sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, and chased after squids during a night dive in Cozumel. While in Ireland with my brother, we tested each other’s bravery by inching as close as we could to the historically windy edge of the Cliffs of Moher. I’m lucky to know what the view looks like from the top of the ancient Mayan temple in Chichen Itza before they restricted it. But at the time, my legs didn’t feel so lucky on the climb up. I understand what true anxiety is after taking an overnight train in Eastern Europe not knowing if I’d get to my desired destination. And I’ve had the time of my life in Australia while volunteering with kangaroos and wallabys in an animal sanctuary, dangling from a rope over a cliff in the Blue Mountains, and witnessing my friend get pickpocketed by a dingo on Fraser Island. They seem to have an affinity for leather wallets.
But the colorful moments I’d consider part of the highlights reel of my life didn’t occur only during international exploits. There’s plenty of fun to be had just checking out different cities in your own country or even rediscovering your town in a different way. A simple girls’ night out dancing in Chicago unexpectedly led to my friends and I hanging out with some of the Pittsburgh Steelers a few weeks before they won the Super Bowl. That can only be rivaled by our night of partying with Apl.D.Ap. from the Black Eyed Peas and maybe getting on stage with the Dropkick Murphys. I experienced my first earthquake in Virginia of all places. And no one can tell me that, after an adrenaline pumping whitewater rafting trip in Wisconsin, campfire cooked chicken and sausages isn’t the most savory culinary experience to enjoy under the stars. And I won’t even get started on my obsession with mini golf and small moments of triumph while learning the sport of frisbee golf.
I cherish the stories I’ve collected so far and I feel that more people need to go out there and embrace all of those clichéd phrases “Live life to the fullest”, “Carpe diem”, and my personal one “We’re here to conquer”. Your life should be full of goals and experiences and conquests that you want to pursue. And as you keep adding to your own collection of stories, you’ll be able to look back at all of it and see how much richness was added to your life.
I started Vici, Vixen as a travel blog, but my intentions are to make it more than that. I want it to inspire everyone to go out and embrace the sense of adventure in their lives. It can be done through travel, it can be done through trying new sports or activities, and it can even be done through exploring new venues and events in your own city. Today is never ever going to happen again in all of history, so why not use it to discover as much about yourself and life as you can.
Vici, Vixen is a venue I want to use to post about all things travel related, along with inspiration for new events and activities to try out, maybe some of my own mishaps and exploits, and anything worthy of making your life more of the epic journey it’s supposed to be. I believe everyone deserves to have their own collection of captivating stories.
Cause life is an adventure and it’s meant to be conquered.