My Story

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a veterinarian, a dancer (specifically, a Solid Gold dancer), or Olivia Newton-John (especially after Xanadu). In my teenage years, I pondered being a truck driver or an international journalist. In college, I finally figured it out, and decided I wanted to be a marine biologist (just like Jacques Cousteau).

Hmmm……pretty diverse dream jobs. I think most little girls want to be a vet or a dancer. As for being Olivia Newton-John, what can I say, I’m a sucker for roller skates and flowy dresses. But what do being a truck driver, an international journalist, or a marine biologist have in common? I envisioned myself traveling across America in my giant truck, covering news stories all around the globe, or scuba diving in amazing places and discovering new creatures.  Ahhh…a life on the road (or on a boat); a life filled with adventure and exploration.

Well, I did follow my dream to become a biologist. However, with life’s little twists and turns, instead of working as a marine biologist, I’ve worked for the past 15+ years as a wildlife biologist where 99% of my work was done from behind a desk. I’m not complaining! I worked with amazing people to conserve endangered animals and plants and their habitats being overrun by urban development. While it was a fulfilling job, it didn’t provide the life filled with adventure I’d always dreamed about.

So, in January 2015, I finally decided it’s time for me to “let life happen.” I quit my very secure, federal job, sold and donated most of my belongings to join the ranks of the vagabonds roaming the globe to experience and interact with the people and places that make up this wonderful world.

If I had a business card, it would now read:

Tannika Engelhard

Letting Life Happen

(by dancing, Solid Gold-style, around the world)


8 thoughts on “My Story

  1. This is a wonderfully fun description of you! All I know is that whatever you choose to do in your life, you’re going to be great at it, my lovely daughter!. And, I love your blog!


  2. This is amazing and you are amazing, T. I very much admire your determination to live life to its absolute fullest. That takes a tremendous amount of courage, and you’re showing how it’s done. Good on you! Also, I love that I can see where you are “now.” I just checked and you are at Latitude -33.44252 and Longitude -70.66235. I LOVE THAT PLACE! 😉 Enjoy Chile!


  3. Thank you so much, Tannika, for sharing your adventure with those of us who are still living life from the desk! 🙂 We will all be dancing around the globe vicariously with you.


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