Hiya! I’m Meghan, the 23-year-old mess behind Gone Rogue Travel. I say mess, because since I graduated university last May, it feels like my life is in a giant, uncontrollable whirlwind.
But before that, some background…
I grew up in the barren, snowy lands of North Dakota — that’s north of South Dakota (where the giant president heads are) — and loved it.
ND’s claims to fame are that Lewis and Clark stopped by one winter (they stopped everywhere) and Teddy Roosevelt visited Badlands National Park (which apparently healed his poor health).
We’ve also produced the likes of actor Josh Duhamel and the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz. With more cows than people and the most oversized animal statues of any state (okay, unofficially…), it’s no wonder our tagline is ‘Legendary.’
But actually, my childhood was.
My hometown has fewer than 3,500 people, so it’s literally an episode of Cheers: everybody knows your name. I had the same 50 classmates from kindergarten to senior year (many of them are still my best friends), and was the straight-A student, valedictorian, captain of the volleyball team, student council president type.
A small town allows you to feel like you rule the world like that.
But I always knew I couldn’t live there forever, and wanted to experience the larger world.
Cue: my first travel adventure
My parents are awesome. Every summer, they packed me, my older sister, and my younger brother into our minivan or camper and took us on various road trips. Unintentionally, they instilled a love for travel in me.
When I was 14, we did what for me became the spring board for my desire to see the world.
With just a few weeks and our minivan, we piled in and drove (almost) every state west of the Rocky Mountains. And in my teen angst, driving through Texas deserts, standing at the corners of four states at once, passing through a giant redwood, seeing Route 66, winding up Highway 1, and stopping in San Francisco — my favorite city of all time — was awe-inspiring and eye-opening.
The whole world opened before me and I wanted more.
So, I stayed in ND for college
In truth, a long-term boyfriend and the promise of no student loans caused me to go to college in-state. I chose the biggest university I could, North Dakota State (student population of 14,000), and spent four years living on the opposite side of the state (so four hours) from home in Fargo. Yes, like from the TV show.
Luckily, during my time at NDSU, I took the opportunity to study abroad in Leeds, England.
Genuinely the best decision of my life thus far.
While in Leeds, my four-year relationship with my boyfriend ended, I met the most incredible friends, lived with English university students, partied harder than I ever have in my life, and made decisions in the sole pursuit of my own happiness.
Of course, I was hooked.
Leading up to now…
But, I had to finish my degree back in North Dakota, where temperatures drop below -40°F for weeks on end and 30mph wind is an average Tuesday.
With a new motto to take life as it comes, I found a job for the summer at a lake resort within my last month at Leeds, secured a place to live four days before the start of the school year, and had an amazing senior year —graduating summa cum laude with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management (debt-free, yay!), leading the hospitality student organization, and participating in an innovation/entrepreneurship competition with a business idea that I named:
Gone Rogue Travel Co.
Initially, the venture was designed as a business that would plan the travel portion of people’s overseas journeys. Aka, I’d tell you the best way to get from A to B, and you can plan all the fun bits, like what to see in A, and where to eat in B.
While it won me second place (and $1,000), the idea didn’t excite me enough to run with.
So, here we are.
The blog and the whirlwind that is my life
I’ve always loved writing, editing, and traveling (said every travel blogger, ever), so I put these passions together and wah-lah, Gone Rogue Travel (I dropped the Co).
Since summer 2016, I’ve been writing about my scattered life: finding a job overseas, traveling around Europe, and working an unpaid internship for 6 months and now two different paid internships while trying to wade through the mess that is immigration law to prepare for the future (stay tuned to see if I can EVER open a bank account in the UK).
I’m dating an English guy, Jonny, who you’ll probably see in various posts, pictures, etc. and living outside of London in a quintessential English town.
And, one of my current internships is with a learning travel company who sells activity travel holidays all around Europe.
Hence, activity travel
My interest in activity and adventure travel came from this job. I’d never known you could surf for a whole week at a Portuguese surf camp or cook pasta, pizza, and gelato in Italy for five days with a local Italian host.
So on top of my writing/editing love, I get to add my favorite style of travel: active.
In the past, I’ve done cultural travel, a 6-week backpacking trip with my sister, and typical tourist stops… which I won’t lie, I still like because I get to check things off my bucket list. Now, I’ll just be adding another layer to that bucket list that involves activities.
Here’s the plan
My goal is to do one activity in every country in the world (and every state in the USA). While I’ve set a goal of four years, if I do it in 10 or 15, I’ll be happy.
Whether it’s self-planned hiking holidays or group travel holidays like I described above, I’m keen to try anything and everything.
My current UK visa ends in December, and my sister gets married in April, so I plan to use this time to plan and get in the odd adventure here and there.
Have any suggestions? I’d be happy to hear them via email or in the comments.
Some last tidbits about me
Since you’ve just read my life story, here’s some more (fun) things about me. I:
- Love Doritos, coffee, sushi, and huskies… not generally at the same time
- HATE when people use the wrong ‘there, their, or they’re’, when rough ceramic plates rub together, and large tour bus groups (sorry not sorry)
- Am left-handed
- Would rather play sand volleyball than sunbathe (*burn)
- Am working my way through the Top 1001 Films to See Before You Die
- Will use the Oxford comma relentlessly across my blog
- Am currently reading: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Want to know more? Just email me or feel free to leave a comment on any of my posts.