My Story

Hello! I’m Brittany.

Photography by my mother in my country Manitoba yard

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I am a twenty-something Canadian with a passion for simple living and travel. I am curious about the world – about cultures, languages, people, places, history – and I have an intense desire to explore, experience and learn more.

I seek to continually simplify my life while making time to explore more.

I am a minimalist, traveler, cat lover, avid reader, introvert, healthy eater, and knowledge seeker. I have an adorable cat, Bella, whom I love to pieces. I enjoy the simple things and the small pleasures of life. In my free time, I love reading, organizing, spending time with family and friends, writing, being a tourist in my own city/province, watching interesting documentaries and inspiring TED talks, and playing board and card games,

My goal is to live a fulfilling life with purpose and passion, by doing more of what I love and focusing on what makes me happy.

I grew up and continue to live near a small town about twenty minutes north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, called Stonewall. I live on a peaceful three acre property in the country with my family. Manitoba experiences extreme temperatures year-round. Our summers can reach upwards of +40 degrees Celsius and winters are often -45 degrees Celsius with lots of snow. I grown to brave these long and cold winters, but I love the heat and summer is my favourite season (sometimes I wonder why I choose to live somewhere with 6 months of winter…).

Minimalism

I seek to simplify my life by owning less stuff and spending less money, slowing down, living intentionally and spending more time experiencing and exploring what the world has to offer. I am focused on finding my purpose, living a life that is aligned with my values and passions, and ultimately, falling in love with my life. Some of my favourite things include spending time with family and friends, cuddling with my cat Bella, cooking and baking, airports, reading,

I used to have a lot of stuff. I would go shopping for fun once a week or more, and I would always purchase new clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags and other things that I didn’t really need. I had boxes and stacks of papers and old schoolwork lying around the house everywhere. In early 2014, I discovered the concept of living minimally and the benefits of doing so really appealed to me. Minimalism is about focusing on what makes you happy, what you value, and what matters to you, while eliminating everything else. I started getting rid of a lot of my unnecessary stuff that I didn’t love or use. Some of my clothes still had price tags on them and had never been worn. I donated it to charities in my hometown. Over the year, I have been continually finding ways to simplify many different areas of my life and I continue to declutter on a regular basis. Living with less stuff has provided me with more time and money to focus on pursuing my passions and the important things in my life. I feel lighter (both physically and emotionally) and freer with less clutter, I feel happier, and I have more time.

Travel and Exploration

Travel makes me feel fully alive, and I love absorbing everything around me with all of my senses. For me, travel is about learning (about yourself, other people and places), exploring, creating meaningful memories, connecting with people, immersing yourself in new cultures and languages, challenging your existing perspectives and developing a globally-minded outlook.

I absolutely love exploring new places and in order to experience this more often, I embrace a minimalist lifestyle and make travel a priority in my life, choosing to invest in experiences instead of spending money on more things that I don’t need and which add clutter to my life.

Learning about different cultures, history, languages fascinates me, and I love learning about these things firsthand while traveling in a new place. I love experiencing new things, challenging myself, stepping outside of my comfort zone and overcoming my fears, and constantly learning.

Researching and planning my travels is half the fun of traveling for me! I love researching my future travels in great detail and planning what I want to do and see, while still leaving room for relaxing and spontaneity. In between my travels, I am always saving money, while planning and dreaming about my next adventure. I enjoy taking “longer” trips for two weeks to international destinations and shorter weekend or week-long trips to places within Canada or the USA.

Travel is something that I have always loved. I have been fascinated with studying maps from a young age. While I was growing up, my family and I went on road trips and camping trips during the summers between school years. I took my first international trip when I was 20 years old to an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico with my family. I have since returned to Mexico and staying in resorts two more times. It was during my most recent family trip to Mexico when I really fell in love with exploring, when we decided to take local transportation to the Coba ruins instead of participating in an organized group tour. I loved the thrill of researching and planning this excursion, navigating a foreign country and doing something independently. After I returned home, a couple of my female friends traveled solo and they inspired me.

My First Solo Trip 

I decided to travel as a solo female and I backpacked in Mexico for 12 days in May 2015, a country that I was somewhat familiar with from my past family travels. I had the most amazing and enriching experience! I discovered a lot about myself, met fun and interesting people (even as an introvert), and learned a lot about the Mexican culture and language. After this backpacking trip, my comfort zone was expanded and I learned about the kind of travel style that I prefer. I am convinced that I was born with the “wanderlust gene” and I always have an insatiable desire to explore and experience more.

 This was taken at the Winnipeg Airport when my mom dropped me off for my first solo backpacking adventure to Mexico!

What I love most about travel is that it is such a unique, enriching, transformative and personal experience. Travel helps you to discover yourself outside of your social roles and labels. I love how travel connects you with culture, people and nature, where you can learn more and develop a greater understanding and appreciation. I love the freedom of travel – freedom to do and see whatever interests you, freedom to be spontaneous, and freedom to be whoever you want. I love tasting new foods made from ingredients that I’ve never heard of before.

Work and Education

I graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Studies and Psychology. Right after graduating university, I entered the 8-4 office job lifestyle.

I am a part-time traveler. I currently work at a full-time office job while finding the time to travel as often as I can. I take full advantage of my limited paid leave and use all of my vacation days by the end each year. I am definitely not in love with the monotony of working the 8-4 lifestyle, and my mind is constantly wandering and dreaming; craving new experiences, to try new foods, to explore new places. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and how I can turn my passions into a career. Two of my biggest fears are working in a job that I dislike for the rest of my life and not living a life that is true to my passions and aligned with my values.

I am always searching for and am determined to find a source of income that I am passionate about and which allows me the freedom to pursue my dreams of traveling more often.

I believe that there is more to life than just going through the motions. I seek to live life unconventionally and on my own terms, by pursuing my passions and doing what makes me happy. Life is short and it should be spent doing what we love!

Where am I traveling to next? I am focusing on exploring Mexico more in depth, experiencing more of the culture, connecting with people, and further getting off the beaten path. After that, I am planning on traveling to Guatemala and Nicaragua and then exploring South America (Peru, Colombia and Eduador).

Contact Me

If you have any questions, work opportunities, or just want to say hello, please do not hesitate to contact me!

I would love to hear from you and help you out in any way that I can.

You can email me at brittanymariathiessen(at)gmail(dot)com.

You can also find me on the following social media sites! I would love to meet you and become virtual friends!

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/SimplyTravelBlog?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SimplyTravelBlg

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/SimplyTravelBlg

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/brittanymaria23/

TripAdvisorhttp://www.tripadvisor.ca/members/brittanymaria237

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