Solo Female Travel as an Optometrist with a Dog

What do you do for work?

Traveling optometrist, doing nursing home eyecare

traveling optometrist solo female travel packing style interview how to

Tell me a little about where you've gone so far. What are your favorite locations and most impactful trips?

I went to the bush of Alaska to provide eyecare to natives. I climbed to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite and the bottom of the Grand Canyon. My dog and I traveled around the US for a month seeing many of the national parks. Different Europe destinations have also been vacations.

When did you first know you were a traveler?

When my list of places to see topped 100.

What are your favorite items that you always travel with?

travel solo optometrist travel with dog packing tips gearMy dog. A jump rope. My Beats headphones. My Yeti coffee cup. Chia seed “pudding” with dried blueberries and coconut. Chai tea latte mix.

How would you describe your packing style:

  • Backpacker
  • The smallest amount possible in the smallest bag possible
  • Carry-on Rollerbag
  • Super Organizer
  • Hiking gear works for me
  • Just enough
  • Just throw it all in a bag

What an interesting remote job! How did you get started as a traveling optometrist?

I had owned 2 different practices, sold both of them, and then was free to do what I wanted. I had always loved travel and decided I would try to make that part of my job. I googled and searched on job sites and Facebook for "mobile optometry," "traveling optometrist," and first the job traveling to Alaska to provide eyecare for bush natives came up. After I got back from Alaska, the nursing home job came up.

Tell me a little about the books you’ve written

I have written 2 books, both self-published so far. One was a guidebook for optometrists on building your own creative practice, from design to social media, called The Unique Technique. The other was a collection of letters from my grandmother (who died before I was born) and her brother stationed overseas in WWII. They were recently uncovered in the attic of his house after he passed. This one is called Toots and Gibbs.

What is the hardest part about traveling?

dog travel companion solo travel hiking friend must have travel item gear for wanderersThe hardest part about traveling for me is when I cannot take my dog. I dislike having to leave her behind and to arrange for someone to watch her. She likes to come along, but that is not always possible.

Also, eating right. For my job, I usually travel for 2 days at a time, so I usually pack all my food. I have an easy portable cooler and a backpack of food that travels easily. That takes some planning. Recently I have been hooked on Chia Seed Pudding, where you just add almond milk.

Do you require internet while you’re traveling and working? How do you deal with low connection areas while you’re working & traveling?

YES!! I am an information junky and love having internet access. My phone can substitute for my computer for short periods of time. I use hotel and Starbucks internet most frequently. If I remember, I will bring my Mifi unit. I also really enjoy being in places where internet is not possible. I always need a notebook and a pen. I feel like can't think without a way to write it down. If I am without internet, I will write my blog post notes just in a notebook and organize it once I am back online.

traveling in the bush alaska wild travel travel with dog female solo explorer

What hobbies do you bring on the road with you? 

I always bring a jump rope to at least get a little cardio done if there is no fitness room. I bring noise canceling headphones always, for relaxation and entertainment and a soundtrack to work out.
I bring knitting. I am not good at it and can only knit square or rectangular things (scarves, blankets, dishtowels.) But, I love to knit for its meditative qualities.
I bring paper books, as I cannot yet embrace electronic reading devices. 

What advice would you give to a new traveler?

female solo travel independent work remotely from anywhere while travelingRelax. Look for coincidence and the magic will happen. Don’t be afraid to go by yourself, the widest experience is had when alone.

To learn more about Dr. Maria Higgins take a look at her website at or follow her on instagram.





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