Why travel is crucial to my personal and career growth

Abby Tegnelia

I owe my path, my career development to travel. Photo © ericitaphoto.com

Last year, I was introduced to the field of travel nursing, an admirable field combining a sense of adventure with helping people. How inspiring is that! So when they asked me to speak about travel and career development at their Gypsy Nurse conference in Vegas, how could I say no? All I had to do was will away my intense fear of public speaking and squeeze in time during my move to San Francisco to write a speech — and then make it to Vegas four days after my move and one day before grabbing a flight to Hong Kong. The conference’s founder, Candy, is an energetic, encouraging, sincere woman, and I can’t thank her enough for inviting me to be a part of her world for a day. I had been so nervous, but once I got into the room of kindred spirits, I was fine.

It was strange to write a speech during this transition time, as I gear up for my next chapter, when I am determined to go after everything I want–personal time, success, freedom. But as always, I remain flexible to what my future actually holds…

All I know is that for now, I am right where I belong: on the move.

Here is a condensed version of my speech, about how each of these big moves/travels have been a defining moment in my life and shaped my career:

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Sacrifices in moving: Leaving Las Vegas

Abby Tegnelia Leaving

Photo by foggodyssey.com

Yes, it’s true — I am hanging up my stilettos and deserting the desert. It was a long, hard decision, one I had been mulling over for about six months. I did some Hail Mary-type plays in the end to see if maybe I could save my comfortable, happy life here. Alas, I did not get the humongous raise I gunned for (I said it was a Hail Mary), and Prince Charming did not ring my doorbell (ok, maybe becoming a homebody while I tried to figure out where I could move to doesn’t count)… But the universe was stubborn. In fact, the ol’ uni was sick and tired of whispering that my time here was done, irritated as I proved to be just as headstrong. So it threw bricks — the weekend getaways that usually rejuvenate me to return home? This time, on an innocent girls’ trip to Napa and San Francisco, I learned that I wasn’t going home, not really. My life as I knew it had come to an end.

“Why don’t you just move here?” an old friend asked me during happy hour in the Castro.

And I answered, “Why don’t I?” as breezily as if he’d asked me if I wanted another drink.

So here we are. I am at last… Leaving Las Vegas.

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A Monthly Treat for Travel Fiends

Escape Monthly

My kind of mail delivery!

Attention wanderlusters: For those of you who haven’t fallen for Birch Box (which I love), this brand-new monthly surprise service might be more your style. Maybe it’s the editor in me, but I just love poring over new products and digging into info on brands and places I’m not familiar with. Seeing as I’m also a travel junkie, imagine how excited I was to be gifted the first installment of Escape Monthly, a monthly shoebox-sized delivery of goodies for the travel-inclined. The first installment just happened to be on Napa, where I’ve been spending a great amount of time lately.

So I dug in with glee!

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A once-in-a-lifetime wine cave sneak peek

Buoncristini Napa WineriesOne of my favorite parts about visiting wine country is getting to hear how important the art of winemaking is to some very special families, including some of my recent intros to Robert Mondavi, Benziger, and Trinchero. In fact, Napa and Sonoma are some of the only places in the world where I’ve gotten to visit one family business after another. And they are often of Italian lineage like mine to boot. The Buoncristiani brothers were the grand finale to my most recent trip, one final stop on my way to the airport. Matt, Jay, Aaron and Nate are several generations into winemaking, but they decided that the family actually needed a (not-just-a-hobby) winery — and so the young whippersnappers created one. Their next step? Build wine caves like Napa has never seen.

They invited us for a sneak peak.

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Acting Silly at Biale Winery

Biale WIneries in NapaTiffany and I packed a lot into this last trip to California wine country,  from Robert Mondavi and Trinchero, to Benziger and a food tour through my favorite restaurants in Napa. So by the time we arrived at Biale, one of the most fun wineries in Napa, we were a little loopy. Tiff and I had by now joined a larger group of mostly Las Vegans, which created an entirely different vibe. We went from studious wine connoisseurs-in-training to acting completely silly with our hometown gang. Biale was the perfect place for us — it is serious about its wine and family history, but they definitely get a kick out of themselves, which makes me swoon. Family lore includes a teenage Biale family member using the code word “Black Chicken” to sell his jugs of wine on Napa party telephone lines so he wouldn’t get in trouble. So old-fashioned “Watch out for Black Chicken” signs adorn the place, and even some of the wine labels.

We were in the right place.

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My first good-bye: to the magazine I love!

at the Vegas Magazine Summer Cover Party at the Azure Pool at PolazzoBeing the editor of a magazine that represents all things luxury Vegas has meant three years of not only a demanding work environment, but also a life as a 24/7 spokesperson of sorts for not only the publication, but the city as well. All of this has been the most wonderful experience. But the “100 percent all the time,” all-encompsing-job schtick has meant one thing to me in the past few days since I ended this chapter in my life: Whoa, saying good-bye was way more emotional than I thought! Enter, my very last cover party. After throwing soirees with stars such as my favorite Las Vegas Strip icon Celine Dion, country idol Shania Twain, and Dancing with the Stars beauty Brooke Burke, I have come to relish the excitement. My very last one? Chrissy Teigen, the most stunning of swimsuit models

I, of course, turned it into a going-away party of sorts for myself.

Why not?

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