This post will be a longer telling of my story. If you’d like the short version, head over to my About page.
I was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1990 and spent my childhood growing up with amazing parents and grandparents. We lived in Biglerville, a very small town in central Pennsylvania. My parents (and Nan) have had huge influences on my life.
My dad is a very intelligent man (and I’ve been told I look exactly like him). He has the ability to remember amazing amounts of information about history (I’ve gained this skill, but I seem to use it to remember a lot of non-useful information like movies and video games).
My mom is also very sharp, and has an incredible sense of people. She will do anything for those she cares about and maintains relentless positivity even during hardships. She LOVES traveling and adventures, and I credit her with my world travel addiction (also my kindness and listening traits are no doubt her doing).
I also always had Nan. She’s my grandmother and she’s the wisest and one of the most logical people I’ve ever met. She has experienced many things in her life, and had more than her fair share of hardships growing up in the Great Depression. Along with my parents, she had a major role in shaping me to be the man I am today.
Growing up I was always one of the smaller ones (the tall and lanky, thin-as-a-board type). I also had a curiosity that drove any one watching me absolutely insane. I would ask questions non-stop to the point people would tell me: “okay, Travis, no more questions today”.
I was always (and still am) very captivated by video games. Something about the ability to control and create the worlds that I’m put into has always fascinated and led me to play hours and hours and hours of video games.
I have two siblings, one brother (older) and one sister (younger). My brother used to torment me when we were young (don’t all big brothers?), but as we aged he then grew into a man that I respect greatly. Always down for a party, he has a social intelligence and way with people that I’ve always tried to emulate. Always the life of the party, and always liked by all–he’s a great guy. He also has style like you wouldn’t believe (in fact, you can bet that any nice clothes I’m wearing are either given to me by him or my sister). My sister is younger, and is definitely smart beyond her years. We grew up in the same “gifted” program while going through school. She’s better at the whole “book-smart” thing than I am though! She’s always there for me, and even if she gets mad at me we always have deep conversations about life with each other. She’s my little “b” and I’m so thankful that I have my two awesome siblings.
I’ve always had an easy time getting along with people, and had good friends throughout high school. When I went to college and hit my 20s is when the big changes started happening in my life.
The catalyst for positive change in my life has always been world travel. This started when I did a Semester at Sea in the summer of 2010. We departed from Canada and crossed the ocean to visit Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. I grew more, learned more, felt more, and developed a thirst for LIFE that I had never felt before. It made me want to go on to do great things.
Below are some pictures from that trip:
This is overlooking a beautiful cliff in Croatia.
Me climbing on one of the Great Pyramids in Egypt (I wasn’t supposed to go up there–but this picture was worth it).
After this trip I was absolutely hooked. World travel reminds me of the importance and amazing gift of life that I’ve been given. (Too long without travel = this fact gets forgotten). One of the courses I took while on my semester at sea involved a ton of reading. I believe I read 7-10 books in our 2 month trip. Mark Twain was the author of at least one of those books. This quote is from one of those books and really sums up my views on travel:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
When I was in high school I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I “grew up” (and in a lot of ways I still don’t). I thought maybe doctor or lawyer would be a good profession. Sure, why not?
I went to school as “Pre-med” like so many other undergrads do. I did quite well in the sciences, but realized I had no interest in medicine. I looked for a major that would allow me to utilize my science credits while still graduating on time. This led me to major in Environmental Studies. I had also developed an interest in the environment during my semester at sea (particularly renewable energy). I did really enjoy my professors, classmates, and classes. I also got a certificate in a computer program called ArcGIS (basically some software that lets you map any data that has a position on the planet a.k.a. is geolocated).
My first job out of school involved using GIS to create maps for the oil and gas industry. My second job was basically an upgraded version of that.
I had known (while also not fully known) that starting my own business and being in control of the results was what I was really supposed to do. I started my business and created the Nail Biter’s Toolkit (which was later re-vamped into the Nail Biter’s Toolkit Online Course). Was it a game changing idea? Not really. But I understood that the important part was for me to learn and just get moving.
In 2014, I resumed my world travel. This time to Scandinavia and Northern Europe.
Me enjoying a beer fresh from the brewery behind me. A birthday treat for me.
My travelling companions (they’ve been on all 3 major world travel excursions with me) and I in front of the legendary Amsterdam sign.
In 2015, I quit my full time job to work on my business full time. I grew my online course utilizing SEO and other online marketing skills to the point that it was supporting my monthly living expenses.
Also in 2015, I went on another adventure to Europe. This time covering most of Central Europe. (Future trips will take me to other continents, I promise.)
At the legendary Berlin Wall.
On top of the world!
At this point, we’ve covered most of my life so far. I’m so thankful for my family and friends. I’m so excited for the journey to continue.
I can promise you this. I will continue to travel. I will continue to do whatever makes me happy (even if it’s unconventional or seems crazy at the time). I will make the world a better or happier place for as many people as I can.
And if you’ve read this whole way, I just want to say thank you for reading my story—If I can help you with anything, I’d love to. Just ask 🙂 tgrubesky at gmail