This past week we honored veterans with their special day. There’s no way to really repay them for their service and sacrifices but I wanted to share one young veteran’s experience and how it relates to a certain form of travel – following the map.

For her whole life, Shaylene Caffey has loved maps. She had a sure sense of direction when she was a young girl and often helped guide her family on road trips. Her mom helped her join the military at 17, as the first woman and family member to do so. After enlisting she jumped at an opportunity shaylene_caffeyto work with maps and became a terrain analyst. Unfortunately a hip injury forced her to leave the service. With two children and another on the way, she enrolled in an online degree program at American Sentinel University  in Geospatial Information Systems and hasn’t looked back since.

What Shaylene has accomplished so far in her life is inspirational, but I hope that you listen to the interview for the rest of the story:

While she’s faced many challenges, she says, “There is no one on this earth that can stop you, but you. I can be a mom and a wife and have an awesome career too. I can be all those things. I love maps and love that I get to do this everyday. There’s so many options out there today especially with online school.”

Shaylene looks forward to further degrees and being a living example of hard work and dedication. “I want them to see that women can be strong and persevere,” she says. “And I want them to know that education is so important.”

Elaine J. Masters

Travel writer, co-host of San Diego Travel Massive.

Travel ease books and audio at: