Sophia Gligorevic

As much as writer Sophia Gligorevic genuinely loves being in Bakersfield, she loves adventuring out of it just as much.

I’ll be the first to tell you, as much as I genuinely love being in Bakersfield, I love adventuring out of it just as much.

I am a proud first-generation American who was born to be a citizen of the world. Both of my parents are globetrotters from different countries, so venturing off from home every chance I got was never a foreign concept to me. I never even had a particular dream trip because I dreamt of a lifetime of travel and I’ve always been determined to go everywhere and do everything.

The moment I graduated from college, I had my sights set on working aboard cruise ships and traveling the world full time. I packed up my dorm room, sold everything I owned, quit my job, and left everything and everyone I knew and loved behind to embark on the journey of a lifetime.

I sailed my way throughout the Caribbean islands, the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, Australia, Alaska, Fiji, Tahiti, French Polynesia and everywhere in between. I explored the port cities of New Orleans, Seattle, Long Beach and Sydney and trekked my way through Thailand, Japan, Europe and Australia during my vacation time. Through all of these adventures, I realized more and more every day how much travel can teach you and change you for the better.

I noticed myself becoming more patient, embracing humility and fully immersing myself in every moment. I learned to believe in the goodness of people — I was overwhelmed repeatedly with kindness and generosity from every corner of the globe. I learned that gratitude creates happiness and that experiences are forever more valuable than things. As I made new friends from different places, I learned time and time again that we are all not so different. Once you travel, you fully realize that the entire globe is striving toward the same goal: happiness.

During my travels, I met the love of my life, and he is a home and an adventure all at once. We chose to make Bakersfield our home base because there is so much adventure within and around this city. We love that we are never too far away from the beach or the mountains, and we never take for granted all the beauty we have in our own backyard. No matter where we go or where we’ve been, there’s nothing quite like coming home – and no place feels more like home than Bakersfield.

I encourage you to go out into the world. Grow, expand and bring newfound life lessons and perspectives back home to change our community for the better. It is imperative to value your roots just as much as you value your wings – to have pride in where you come from while venturing out into the world and becoming your best self while you’re out there. You never know what amazing experiences, escapades or love stories await you. Let life take you to unexpected places and let love bring you home.

Be adventurous in Bakersfield. 

Sophia is the marketing and research coordinator for the Kern Economic Development Corporation. She and her husband, Rado, are proud adventurers and world travelers with big hearts for Bakersfield. The views expressed are her own.

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