Hello! I am Melissa Ann Maida, a nomad, minimalist, entrepreneur and writer. Originally from Chicago, I left home at 19 bound for Las Vegas. After almost a decade of working as a hairstylist in Sin City, I took off to indefinitely travel the world! I created this website to document and share personal musings along the journey. Join me for what I’m sure will be a wild ride!
Exploration is my veins, adventure is something I crave, and I embrace change with open arms. In the 9 years I lived in Las Vegas I had 10 addresses and traveled to 19 states and 12 countries! I like to move around and shake things up. Comfort zones make me uncomfortable.
In September 2017 I took my nomadic lifestyle a step further by selling or giving away nearly everything I own to embrace a life of travel!
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
My path to minimalism began unconsciously. With no reason other than to make my frequent moves around town easier, I started getting rid of stuff. From clothes and books to furniture and kitchen appliances, everything had to go. Clearing physical space cleared space in my head and my schedule which led to unimaginable freedom- freedom to learn, freedom to travel, freedom to create, and freedom to live.
We all need money to live. The way I see it, why not figure out ways to make money doing things you like? Starting with the hemp bracelets I made and sold when I was a kid to the salon I ran out of my mom’s bathroom in high school to the actual salon I opened in Las Vegas, entrepreneurship comes naturally to me. Before leaving Las Vegas I started thathairgirl.com, an online platform connecting quality clients with quality independent salon professionals.
Entrepreneurship isn’t all about businesses and money to me though. Entrepreneurship is about having the audacity to design and create one’s own life.
In 2012 I graduated from the University of Nevada- Las Vegas with a degree in elementary education. I student taught third grade for one semester and substitute taught Kindergarten through eighth grade for over a year. Around this time my cosmetology career was taking off. I decided to steer away from education, following a path that eventually led to opening my own salon. People would often ask me if I planned to ever use my teaching degree. I’d say “probably not here, but maybe one day I’ll use it to teach English oversees.” I can hear my 22 year old saying those words but I never thought I’d actually get the chance to do it!
I find solace in the written word. Words have power. They can be your best friend or worst enemy. Words can enlighten and heal or they can forsake and harm. Expressing myself through writing allows me to process my experiences. My hope is that by sharing my stories I can have a positive impact on the life of another.
“Be Impeccable With Your Word- Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”
-Don Miguel Ruiz