Seven summers ago I found myself trying to figure out who it was I wanted to be in 70 years. What did I want to be doing? What did I want to accomplish? What about my family? My career? What was I passionate about? It was my sophomore year of college as an Opera Performance major. I knew what I wanted my career to be. It was time to figure out the “life” part of that equation. That summer was my chance to discover my passion, and I wasn’t going to make it easy on myself. I pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone that I changed forever.
And so I ventured into the wilderness. I packed a bag of outdoor gear scavenged from friends (quite a departure from my heels and stage make-up), hugged my parents, signed up for a program, and disappeared into the canyons of Utah. I slept on the ground; I ate powdered food. I didn’t shower for more days than can be counted in one breath and learned to raft the white-waters of the canyon. I learned how to read the river and how to climb on crumbling sandstone. I spent 48 hours in complete solitude and learned how to entertain myself with a book and a stretch of rope.
But that was just the beginning. Those weeks ended and I realized I had found much more than a hobby. I’d found a light inside of myself, a freshness, a new outlook, a lifestyle.
After graduating college, I was accepted to The Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory for Opera Performance. I was eager and honored to get going right away, but I couldn’t let the summer pass without taking the opportunity to once again go down the road less traveled.
I signed up for a bike trip that traversed the United States of America: 4,000 miles, 63 days, Baltimore to San Francisco. It was called the 4K For Cancer and with my teammates I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on August 3rd, 2009. Once again, I was changed forever.
I’ve taken this life of adventure further than I ever imagined with The Road Less Traveled. I am now a PADI certified Rescue Diver and spent three months transplanting farmed coral back into our beautiful wild coral reefs. I traveled to India and trekked the Himalayas. I saw the Taj Mahal, and I spent an afternoon watching an Oracle connect with her higher beings. I lived on a banana plantation and restored an elementary school in the rain forests of Costa Rica, spending my nights lit by candlelight in the lush rain forests of Central America. I smiled a tear-eyed smile watching baby leatherback turtles hatch and make their bold first voyage into the sea and spent an endless night watching a 500 pound leatherback turtle return to the beach on which she was born to lay her eggs. I have seen what the road less traveled has to offer, and it’s a life of wonder, amazement, excitement, marvel, and adventure.
The Road Less Traveled is the company I work for. I found it by taking the road they speak of.
Mary-Lacey received her Masters Degree from The Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory in Opera Performance. After graduating, she accepted a Resident Artist contract with Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis, MN and completed a two year residency in both performance and arts administration. Mary-Lacey has performed in theaters all over the world including England, Scotland, Italy, and Germany. When not performing, Mary-Lacey is an avid explorer and travels the world working for The Road Less Traveled. She is a PADI Rescue Diver, WFR certified, loves chocolate, dogs, and her great big family of seven. Mary-Lacey is the new Executive Director for The Zeiders Center for The Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, VA.