Who I Am


Stout Grove, Redwood State Forest, California. Photo by J.L. DeAngelis


I am Jessana, self-proclaimed Hippsy, a combination of hippy and gypsy. I am in my mid-40s and have lived quite the adventurous life, overcoming a variety of curveballs in the shape of life experiences. I have lived in 3 states, raised my son as a single mom, traveled solo both in and out of the United States, plus I went back to school at the age of 40, earning my Entertainment Business Bachelor of Science degree in 2012. Now I am working towards my Masters degree in New Media Journalism. I have had both my share of difficulties and accomplishments, but have always turned them into opportunities to learn and grow.

I have a passion for travel, whether it is on my own or with a group of people, and I have found it helps shapes who I am, and how I continue to navigate life with an open heart and an open mind. In 2005, due to circumstances beyond my control, I landed in Aruba and spent 7 days in the honeymoon capital of the world…by myself. It was my first solo travel experience, and one that I will never forget, as it opened my eyes to the amazing possibilities and unusual experiences of traveling alone. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy traveling with people, whether it is family and friends, or even a group of strangers on a tour, I am willing to travel whenever and wherever you want to go. Day trip, weekend away, road trip, grand adventure that spans several states and a few weeks, I’m there! I find it exciting and highly entertaining to get to know the people in the place I am visiting, so I will start up a conversation with strangers wherever I go. I now have friends in Australia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Alaska that I met while on my travels, plus I have some great stories to tell of acts of kindness, moments of joy, and outright craziness from my interactions with random citizens and fellow travelers while on my wanderings.

I have a mind for conservation, and love to attend local events that supports the preservation of our environment, plus provides some kind of learning experience, whether for my mind or spirit. I have been a volunteer with two major local art festivals, and have had the pleasure to meet people like John Waite, Beverly McClellan and the guys from Georgia Satellites while a part of the Melbourne Art Festival’s Entertainment Committee. Anything to do with music makes me happy, I love to dance and sing. I am also an amateur aromatherapist, and tell everyone I know that they must have a bottle of lavender essential oil on hand at all times for cuts, scrapes, bug bites, and burns, amongst many other things. My house usually smells of essential oils and incense, as I love (good) smelly things, and create many of my own products and potions,  I also love to paint, color, refurnish vintage furniture, craft, just being artsy in general.

In the end, who I am all comes down to this. I believe life is meant to be lived, and I live it. That is who I am: Jessana, but so much more.

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO. Photo by Lyndsay Ortega