I am Holly Joy Haveman and I was born and raised in the awesome “mitten state” of Michigan. Although I am “smitten with the mitten” as they say, I am also a citizen of the world and I strive to be a wonderful ambassador of the United States while I travel.
I have been a traveler all my life, and through this I have learned that it’s not always about the destination – it’s about the journey, complete with all the road bumps along the way. The things you encounter and the lessons you learn through travel make you richer than anything money can buy. Growing up, I was lucky to be exposed to travel in the form of family road trips, but it was a summer study abroad program in Rome, Italy, which really ignited my passion to explore the world. Over the course of a six-week semester of living in a foreign land, my eyes were opened, my world shifted, and I developed the desire to see as much of this planet as possible.
After finishing up with college I was fortunate to land a job with a big multinational corporation. I was hired as part of a “development program” which combined continuous learning with professional development and also came with the perk of a new location every six months. It was perfect for me! I love to meet new people, learn new skills, and explore new places, and I could do all of this and get paid at the same time! While working as part of this program I made my way from Southern California to Northern California to Chicago and on to Columbus, Ohio. In between each location there were many unforgettable cross-country road trips with my favorite travel partner, my mom. We would pack my little yellow Mazda Protege from window to window and set off, armed with our GPS, into the great unknown.
As my final rotation in Columbus, Ohio came to a close, I got wind of an opportunity to take on a short term assignment working in Alajuela, Costa Rica. I had always wanted to live in a foreign country and learn another language, so I raised my hand for the opportunity, and off to Costa Rica I went. What was supposed to be a one year assignment stretched on past two years, and could have easily continued for a lifetime… I loved Costa Rica! I loved the food, the culture, the people, the countryside and the language.
However, as time went on, I knew that there was still a dream deep within me that I had to pursue. A dream of world travel. Like my shadow, this desire to unabashedly explore the world followed me everywhere. I had been lucky to be able to travel and work at the same time for 4 years, but the whole time I was working I was never satisfied. I always knew that being another cog in the wheel was not my calling. I knew that a time would come where I would throw caution to the wind and set out on my own terms, at my own pace, and without the golden handcuffs of security that come with a corporate job.
I am now spreading my wings and taking flight with this dream. I don’t have an exact timeline or schedule; I am completely open to the winds of the world and the opportunities that present themselves along the way. I know it’s not only about the destination, it’s about the journey and I hope that perhaps you will want to come along for the ride and see the world too, traveling with me, Traveling with Joy.