Ambitious Adult: Kelly Nash

Kelly and I met at a bug- eating party! That’s right, our mutual friend ordered chocolate covered crickets and an assortment of bugs to try! We stayed in touch and when she was about to embark on a solo-trip across Canada, we chatted about solo-travel, blogging, and taking risks! She’s an inspiration to us all and she is the definition of an ambitious adult!



What city do you call home?

Since quitting my job, selling my house and traveling for two months now, I do not think of any city as my home. My home is my kids, so basically home is where my heart is. ❀

What was a defining moment/situation that made you decide to travel/be adventurous?

For me, it wasn’t just one moment or situation. I thought there was but as I’ve been traveling and answering this question many times for people who hear my story, I started to realize it was more a process over a three year period. The flow kind of went like this: a dramatic and painful relationship breakup, a stepson who was traveling a lot who I wanted to be like when I grew up (!), a rock climbing accident where I fell 20 feet and sustained a brain injury and couldn’t work for almost 6 months (spent a lot of time on the couch thinking about my life!), watching a good friend leave her ‘normal’ life for traveling and teaching ESL, and joining Toastmasters which acted as a catalyst for increasing my confidence, pushing through my fears and giving me skills to pursue my dreams. That makes FIVE defining situations which I think can be broken down into THREE main reasons: trauma, personal growth, and inspiration!

Where have you been/lived?

Lived: Ontario, Canada. I last lived in Dundas, Ontario. I thought I would quietly retire there. I was wrong. πŸ™‚

Now I enjoy saying I’m of NFA. (No Fixed Address)

Traveled: I’ve only been solo traveling for 2 months. So far everything west of Ontario – not done yet! I wanted to travel my own country before heading out to others.


Can you share a memorable/funny travel story?

Not long after starting my journey west across Canada I had a now hilarious encounter with wild turkeys while walking through a prairie grass trail in Rivers, Manitoba. As my ultimate goal was to see the Rockies and western mountain ranges in Canada, I’ve been warned many times to not get between a mama bear and her cubs. However, no one warned me about getting between a mama WILD TURKEY and her brood! As I sauntered peacefully along the trail, I heard some rustling and stopped dead hoping to catching a glimpse of Manitoban wildlife. After a few seconds of waiting quietly, two birds the size of an adult grouse suddenly made a breakaway from the long grass beside me towards some trees further in. As I cooed loudly how cute they were, a HUGE mama wild turkey came charging out of the grass, wings flaring out and up (reminding me oddly of the Karate Kid), and running headlong, or rather beak-long at me. Having no time to think, I quickly took off my backpack to keep her at bay. She charged me repeatedly beak first (and OH what a beak!) between swings of my backpack from right to left, left to right. I tried to continue along the trail and put some distance between myself and her brood which I could now hear on both sides of the trail. However, she stymied my progress as she would deftly run through the grass only to cut off my progress as well as my attempts to retreat. How will this end? I wondered as I spun like a top brandishing my backpack like a shield. I tried one last attempt to make a run for it as I faked her out but she was surprisingly faster than me even with her wings half-up! I finally surrendered and waited as I did not have any new moves. This was her territory and she was clearly in charge. After a short staring contest, she sensed my surrender and walked another 10 metres in the direction I was hoping to go, turned to face me, again raised her wings in warning, and finally went back into the long grass and circling back to her brood slowly leaving me free to go. Whew! The beauty of an adventure is never knowing what will happen next!


Share a story when something did not work out as planned while traveling:

I have been car camping across Canada and my only plan is: There is no plan. In keeping with this ‘travel mandate’, I decided I would not plot any course or reserve any campsites along the way. I did have a campsite in mind that I would start at, one that was familiar from the previous year. I headed out late afternoon, much later than expected, on my set date of starting my adventure and went to this familiar campground. It was full! And it was almost dark and I didn’t know the area at all. IT WAS PERFECT! I found another campground and I met some amazing people the first night and received invites to two campfires! It was my first lesson to stick with my plan of ‘There is no plan’. Living by the seat of my pants was exactly what I wanted and it’s exactly what I got!

What has traveling taught you about the world or your life/ or changed your perspective on something?

I’ve been doing a lot of solo hiking during my travel across Canada so this has given me a lot of time to think about my life – what is was, what it is now and what it can be. Breaking out of the societal and cultural rat race and having time A LOT of time alone to think, I’ve learned that I have been sometimes living outside my values and have not been living my life consciously. I also have learned that I have a lot to learn about who I am and who I want to be. I’ve learned that I need to listen to my own quiet voice inside and make my decisions from there. I’ve learned I will never go back to the mode of living I was in prior to traveling solo.


How do you balance travel with work/relationships/family etc.

I believe I have a finite amount of energy and I try to make conscious decisions on how I will use or where I will direct this energy. I keep in regular contact with my loved ones through phone calls, texting, a bit of social media. My kids have been amazingly supportive of my travels.


Where can people learn more about your adventures? – However, it’s not up and running yet. I’ve been too busy focusing on being in the moment up until now! In the meantime, people interested in following me can also find me on Facebook, Kelly Nash, and let me know they saw this feature. I have a few albums up there but I will be starting my blog soon!

Want to learn about more ambitious adults? Sign up for the weekly newsletter to get more stories and free resources for financial independence and adventure.

Read about other ambitious travelers:

Michelle Owens, the exceptional millennialΒ 


The world traveler and hitchhiker: GosiaΒ 




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