If you enjoy traveling and placing yourself outside your comfort zone, we will get along very nicely. My name is Valerie and I am the creator of my blog, The Traveling Smile. I started this blog back when I was in high school as a way to write about my travels, inspire others to explore and share some laughs. Many years later, I am continuing to travel and have created an adventurous lifestyle for myself. A little bit about me…I grew up in a small town in Indiana. While still in school I found I had a passion for travel and helping others. I went on a few volunteer trips to Zambia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and various locations in the United States. During my college years I traveled every chance I could get. I studied in Costa Rica for 4 months, then traveled solo through Central America for a month. After I received bachelor degrees in Nursing and Spanish I passed my NCLEX exam and became a Registered Nurse. My present to myself for passing my boards? A three week solo trip through Europe. I currently work as a full-time Registered Nurse in a Pediatric Hospital, while taking monthly trips to wherever interests me at that point in time. Working 3 days a week has wonderful travel time benefits. Meeting new people, trying new foods, and pushing my limits are all favorites of mine. Photography, and art in general, is a hobby I really enjoy sharing with others. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I like creating it. Come with me as I go on hikes, scare the shit out of my parents while traveling solo, and goof off while enjoying this wonderful world we live in.