I’m Bailey, the girl behind Travel Heals. I currently live in a 26-foot travel trailer (#RVlife!) in the Austin, TX area with my husband, Mark, and my two great danes, Mozart and Magellan (with one dane in heaven – Quinn). We all love being in the outdoors, and I wish we could travel everywhere with my dogs. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2013 after about 10 years of struggling with health issues and multiple misdiagnoses. Mark is a very successful musician here in Austin, while I have been focusing on healing.
I’ve always loved the outdoors and was lucky enough to have parents who enjoyed traveling, but I didn’t truly start adventuring until college. I went to Texas State from 2004-2008, where I was a recreation major. I started camping more, picked up mountain biking and climbing, learned to kayak, and became an avid backcountry camper/hiker. Luckily, I ended up marrying a guy who loved all those things as well, even though I did have to teach him a few things. 🙂 Unfortunately, my health just kept getting worse and worse after getting married in 2009, so much of my adventuring has been scaled down. Though not all the way!!
Mark and I are both Christians and are both from large families (Mark is one of 7 children, many of his siblings married, while I am one of 4, many of us married, and we have 10 nieces and nephews). We can’t have children of our own for the foreseeable future because of Lyme Disease, and can’t adopt because of said health issues, so our dogs are our babies. Mark has always wanted children, so when people ask why we travel so much, his answer is, “You get to have babies; we get to travel.” Maybe travel is filling a hole for us or something, but we’re okay with that for now!
I began treatment for Lyme Disease in September 2013, and since then have changed up treatment quite a bit. I’m still on the road to finding the right treatment for me. I still have a long way to go, especially considering all the complications that come with Lyme.
We are vegans, myself by choice, and Mark because I force him to be (jk!). This started for health reasons, but my reasons now for not eating meat/animal products are for the animals’ benefit and to combat cruelty. I also firmly believe that humans were not created to eat meat.
Occupation(s): Before my Lyme Disease became debilitating, I worked as a contract recreational therapist for 4 years for people with disabilities. During that time, I also worked as a ropes course facilitator at a camp for kids with special needs over the summers, my last summer being in 2013. I started my own photography business in 2011 after dreaming about it since I was in high school, only to realize that I’m not a fan of portrait or event photography. I now only take portraits for friends and family. Currently, I do copywriting for websites and I have a direct sales business.
Age: 30 this past June
Hobbies: Travel, photography, anything outdoors, playing with my dogs, health, cooking, eating, reading, perusing Pottermore, geography trivia, board games, and planning trips.
Favorite Books: Harry Potter, Ender’s Game, Peter Pan, The Earthsea Cycle, Lord of the Rings, Sword of Truth Series, Chronicles of Narnia, The Abhorsen Trilogy, The Princess Bride, and many more. Basically all fantasy. But mostly Harry Potter.
Favorite Musical Artists: Coldplay, Common Kings, Lake Street Dive, Otis Redding, Beatles, Eagles, Steely Dan, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Dave Barnes, Marc Broussard, Wild Child, MuteMath, Amos Lee, James Taylor, Nickel Creek, Selena, and Hanson (not ashamed).
Favorite Shows: The Office, Parks and Rec, Community, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Chuck, SNL, and Boy Meets World.
Favorite Movies: O Brother Where Art Thou, Shaun of the Dead, The Lion King, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, Fun with Dick and Jane, and The Whole 9 Yards/The Whole 10 Yards.
Talents: Photography, debating, logic, dancing, and planning.
Biggest Pet Peeve: Grammar mistakes. Now, don’t go calling me a hypocrite if you find one on my blog. I’m not saying that I don’t make them; all I’m saying is that I don’t like them. 🙂
Weirdest Trait: I hate receiving gifts from my husband. We share everything, including money, so how is it a gift if we BOTH bought it? I’d rather just go on a picnic. Also, sometimes I laugh so hard that I start crying uncontrollably.
Favorite Destination so far: Crater Lake National Park
Occupation(s): Mark worked as an activity director for a skilled nursing facility for 2 years before going full-time with his music business. Mark is now a full-time professional DJ/wedding singer and musician. In 2013 alone, he had over 110 gigs, which included 64 weddings. He also recently recorded his first album, which you should totally check out!
Age: 31 this past June
Hobbies: Music, piano, singing, ultimate frisbee, basketball, travel, writing, reading, staying fit, anything outdoors, jumping off of tall things.
Favorite Books: Count of Monte Cristo, Harry Potter, The Maker’s Diet, and The Princess Bride.
Favorite Musical Artists: Take 6, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Lake Street Dive, Brian McKnight, Dave Barnes, Marc Broussard, Lauryn Hill, Harry Connick Jr., old-school Mariah Carey, Temptations, Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Norah Jones, Al Green, Smokie Norful, Anthony Hamilton, and Justin Timberlake.
Favorite Shows: America’s Funniest Home Videos, Loony Tunes, and The Office.
Favorite Movies: The Princess Bride, Condorman, Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, Just Friends, any Marvels movies, Nacho Libre, and The Incredibles.
Talents: Singing, music, writing, ultimate frisbee, and keeping a dance floor packed.
Biggest Pet Peeve: When people make a hobby out of hating (for example, when someone hates Obama more than they like or love something else).
Weirdest Trait: Mark is the best at going off on a bunny trail (or tangent) in a conversation and make you completely forget what you were taking about in the first place. It benefits him very much during arguments. 😉
Favorite Destination so far: Big Bend National Park
Age: 5 years old, born in November 2009 (Passed away November 20, 2014)
Reason For Name: Really, there is no reason besides the fact that I liked the name. We got the idea since he was part harlequin great dane. Also, he was our first dog, and we had heard that one-syllable names were easier on the dog for training. I guess that might have been true, but we don’t see a difference between one-syllable names and longer names now that we’ve had 3 dogs.
Favorite Toys: Long rope toys that he can swing around or throw in the air.
Favorite Food: Peanut butter, raw meat, and carrots.
Greatest Fear: Water. Especially the kind that is cold. Or wet.
Obsession(s): The frisbee and the laser light.
Greatest Instinct: Quinn barks at noises when he can’t see what/where they’re coming from (e.g. doorbell, knock on door, voice outside the window, etc).
Favorite Outing: Going to the park with dad to play frisbee.
Favorite Command: He loves the command “shake” and he’s really good at it. He’ll also “high-five” (jump a little to high-five a hand above him) and “dance” (jump all the way up to put his paws on my shoulders).
Gets in trouble the most for: leaning on people and rubbing up on people when he wants them to pet him.
Funniest Traits: He is scared of everything. He’s big, so his tail hits a lot of things, and he’ll jump so hard when they fall over and he’ll run away as fast as he can.
Age: 3 years old, born in December 2012
Reason For Name: I had once come across a great dane in a shelter named Amadeus (the composer Mozart’s middle name, and the name he went by). We weren’t able to adopt the dog at the time but he was so sweet and deserving of a good home that he never quite left my mind. By the time we were ready to have another dog, he had long since been adopted (yay!), but I loved the name Amadeus. It fit our family so well, being a music-derived name. But Amadeus didn’t quite fit our new pup somehow, and we landed on Mozart instead. It fits him perfectly. When we adopted him, his name was “Spike”. Original, huh? We think “Mozart” is much better.
Favorite Toys: His “coping ball”. The day before his older brother, Quinn, died, we bought them this plushy, faux-sheepshin-covered ball almost as big as Mozart’s head. When Quinn passed away, Mozart became a little depressed and would keep the ball in his mouth for hours. We termed it his “coping ball” and he still uses it when he gets over-excited, flustered, annoyed, sad, or bored. It’s the cutest thing ever. They tear easy, but we’ll buy him a million of them if they help him cope. 🙂
Favorite Food: Peanut butter, carrots, and anything crunchy.
Greatest Fear: The hairdryer and the vacuum cleaner.
Obsession(s): His coping ball.
Greatest Instinct: Protecting his little brother, Magellan.
Favorite Outing: Going to a dog park with water so he can play with other dogs and then cool off.
Favorite Command: He’s good at “wait” because he knows that command comes right before food.
Gets in trouble the most for: Running up to other dogs really fast. In this case, he doesn’t get in trouble with us, but instead with the other dogs. 😉
Funniest Traits: Mozart is very floppy and seems uncoordinated. He’s the perfect goofy dog. He makes GREAT faces.
Age: 2 years old, born in May-ish 2014
Reason For Name: Obviously, we love to travel, explore, and have adventures. Our dogs have always loved that, too. Hoping he’d take after our other pups, we named him Magellan after the famous explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. When we adopted him, his name was “Diesel”. We kicked that name to the curb pretty quick.
Favorite Toys: Anything he can destroy. (Weirdly, he’s actually never destroyed a possession of mine. The only thing besides dog toys that he has chewed up is children’s toys. They’re very similar! Hehe.) He also loves stealing Mozart’s coping ball, hoping he can get a rise from Mozart so they can play.
Favorite Food: ANYTHING.
Greatest Fear: He’s not afraid of much, but he is timid around new people.
Obsession(s): Other dogs. He has never met a dog he didn’t like. They might not all like him, but he doesn’t care!
Greatest Instinct: He thinks he is a good protector.
Favorite Outing: Anywhere with Mark. He loves me just fine, sure, but he LOOOOVES Mark.
Favorite Command: He’s good at “shake”, and gets confused with almost every other command. 🙂
Gets in trouble the most for: Not coming when called. Hopefully this will get better with time.
Funniest Traits: When Magellan gets excited, he likes to buck (yes, like a bucking bronco). It’s super hilarious. Just make sure your toes are out of the way.