We had the good fortune of connecting with Ella Gordon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ella, is there something you believe many others might not?
The absolute biggest piece of conventional advice I disagree with is the advice most American young adults are given before they’re even 18 years old.

“After you graduate high school, go to college, buy a home, settle down, start a family.”

This might come across sounding bitter toward those who have followed that path; I preface this by saying I support anybody who has and am happy if that’s what’s allowed you to create a life you love.

That just isn’t the case for some of us.

What I disagree with is this: The idea that this piece of conventional advice is the ONLY option, or the RIGHT option for everyone.

Rather, my advice is this: There are so many right choices to make, and there are so many wrong choices to make. The point is, there are choices. We’re born and bread as a human race to make choices every day of our lives, from what to pick as a lifelong career to if we should put cream in our coffee today (the answer to that is yes, by the way).

So why when it comes to our life path, it seems that our choices are limited based on that advice? Because, this: That advice does not apply to everyone.

If you’re 16, 18, 20 years old, and somebody’s advice is to just follow society’s traditional path, please remember this:

This time of your life is when you have unlimited choices. Don’t limit yourself to someone else’s path, unless it’s the one you see for yourself, too. Don’t be scared to be different.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve recently started a position with a company that happens to be my dream job. Every day I get to wake up and help others dreams come to life, through travel. I’m a travel consultant for a world-wide known company who gets to book our client’s dream vacations anywhere around the world.

What I adore about my job isn’t just that I can help people do what I love to do (travel), but that I get to help build the best memories of their lives.

It took me years to know what I wanted in a career. I’m the type of girl who’s been bouncing between jobs everywhere I go- from waitstaff to reception work to airport gigs- and this career plopped in my lap one day whilst traveling through Peru and I knew I had to have it (in reality, I was job hunting for fun and stumbled across the listing and applied like a normal human, but we all get the gist).

Before that, all I knew was that I was almost 24 years old and I loved to travel. Don’t beat yourself up if that’s the point you’re at, too. You’re allowed to try new things and see what works for you. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who know EXACTLY what you want to do, never give up on it. It’ll be worth it in the end.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh my gosh! Where to start?

I’m actually a newbie myself to the Tucson area, one month down and plenty of time to come!

But, with my fiancé as a bartender and a my own extroverted personality, I think I’ve rounded up a few gems in the area. If my best friend came to visit for a week (and I know she will!), here’s a little itinerary I’d throw together:

Breakfast joints -> Baja Café (to DIE for, HUGE pancakes! You won’t regret it), Eclectic Café (you can’t go wrong)

Lunch -> if you’re in the sandwich mood, Bison Witches on 4th ave is absolutely wonderful and also has huge portions!

Dinner -> Seis Kitchen, where your burrito dreams come true. I’ve also heard Union Public House is wonderful.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try many dinner joints, but I don’t think you can really go wrong in Tucson.

Drinks -> Tough Luck Club, an underground cocktail bar beneath Reilly’s Pizza, Hotel Congress has a great outdoor patio and good cocktail bar. Fini’s Landing, up in the Catalina Foothills offers great local vibes, and hit up the Shelter Bar if you want to get thrown into 1960 with really retro vibes. Get the pickle martini.

In our free time when we’re NOT eating- which won’t be long if you’re me, who’s a constant foodie- our days might look something like this:

~A hike through Sabino National park, snapping a good few photos of the classic saguaros.
~ A drive up Mt Lemmon for the sunset, or just to enjoy the view.
~ A trip to Saguaro National park for more great AZ nature.
~ A day trip to both Bisbee & Tombstone, to get those history and old-school vibes checked off our list.
~ Catch a show at Laff’s Comedy Café.
~ Hop around Congress St and 4th Avenue for a fun night on the town.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
If I hadn’t had the immense amount of love, support, and encouragement I had when I chose to travel the world at just 18 years old, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

That credit goes to my parents, along with the rest of my family and friends. Regardless of being afraid to let me fly across multiple (35+) countries and 6 continents, they’ve always made me feel that I was on the right path in life. I’m exactly where I need to be, and my family (and friends) support is what keeps me grounded.

If you don’t have that community yet, create one. Surround yourself with people whose passions align with yours, and lift each other up. It’s important to hold those people close.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellauniversal/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.