My name is Vanessa Ball. I am a freelance writer, traveler, and mother. After earning my degree in Natural Resource Management from Washington State University in 2003, I took a detour from the traditional work path and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as an Arabic Linguist (2671). The ensuing 5 years were filled with intensive language training, multiple moves, and a deployment to Al Anbar province in western Iraq in 2007. My deployment was formative in that it gave me a much deeper insight into the human condition, as well as the darker side of humanity. Coming home was a challenge, one that took several years of hard work and perseverance to overcome.
As part of my journey, I began a blog to document outdoor experiences with my kids. From simple nature walks to long backpacking trips, we currently adventure up and down the west coast. My solo trips have also been included in these musings. As writing became a more central part of my day-to-day, I applied to a fellowship through The Mission Continues, a non-profit centered on getting veterans engaged with community service. I was accepted into the program and my fellowship was held through OutdoorProject.org. I was fortunate to be able to write about conservation, outdoor recreation, and the beautiful places I hold dear.
My fellowship has come to a close, and I now work as a freelance writer. My interests remain conservation, environmental protection, and outdoor travel. I continue to seek new challenges, and new adventures.
*I have recently changed my name. Previously, I wrote under the name of Vanessa Davids. Vanessa Ball is what I will be using going forward.