I Believe in Nashville

In S.O.L.O. Stories, S.O.L.O. Travel by Laura Brown

Laura Brown is a thirty-something sign language interpreter living in Nashville. Food and wine are her love languages, and her dog, Maisie, is her ride or die. Follow along as she walks, stumbles, and laughs her way through life with her heart on her sleeve, and feel free to share your own stories with her. 

I believe in taking huge risks.

I believe in community- the type of people who take care of perfect strangers as much as they do their own.

I believe in the creative, build it yourself, salt of the earth people that Nashville is full of. The dreamers who make their lives what they want, instead of making excuses.

I believe in bushwhackers and BBQ.

I believe in four seasons.

I believe in festivals every weekend. 

I believe in being happy. Not the everyday-is-perfect kind of happy; the kind of happy where you cry when you need to. The kind that makes you appreciate the hard work and the lows you endured to get there. The kind that makes you know without a doubt that everything is going to be just fine. The kind that makes you savor the beautiful, simple moments.

I believe in Nashville.

But most of all, I believe in myself.

I’m not an impulsive person by any means; I enjoy my routine and research everything inside out before making a decision. So when Trishna asked me to become an ambassador to SOLO, a travel brand that may be typically associated with free-spirited, extremely adventurous women, I was admittedly nervous. 

But then again, maybe most women feel the same way. Maybe I wasn’t giving myself enough credit, and that we’ve all had moments where we stepped out of our comfort zones into the world of bravery.

I rolled into Nashville three and a half years ago, knowing two people in the city: my brother and one acquaintance from LA. Don’t get me wrong, I did plenty of research before moving. But it really all came down to a feeling. And sometimes, that’s the best thing we have to go on. 

I had hitched my wagon to a feeling once before. I was playing the struggling actor game in Los Angeles for four years when I met a sign language interpreter while bartending. My curiosity got the best of me, and I asked about a million questions, as I tend to do. After wrestling with the decision to go back to school (which I didn’t want to do) to see if I enjoyed ASL, I broke my own heart by pursuing a new career, thinking I was leaving my dreams behind. Oh, how wrong I was. If I could talk to that girl now, I would tell her that her dreams were only beginning. That dreams are allowed to change and evolve. 

Fast forward a few years and I am a full-time sign language interpreter, happily living in Nashville, honing that intuition that once scared me so. That feeling led me to France this year on my first solo adventure, another box I never expected to check. And now that feeling is leading me to new opportunities I never saw coming. One of which is writing a series for SOLO. 

I don’t have it all figured out. I’m still a skeptic by nature, who will try to debunk her own gut feeling just to make sure everything checks out. But I’ve learned— and this is key— that it’s that feeling, whatever you want to call it— your gut, your intuition, God, your heart, your soul, you— that is what leads us to greatness. 

But it’s important to understand that we get to define our greatness. Risks don’t always come in the form of huge change, like a new career or moving to a new city. Sometimes it feels like a huge risk to just go to a restaurant alone in your own city, or take a day off work, or ask a friend for help. Those choices are sometimes the hardest to make, and contribute to our stories just as much as the big ones do. 

It’s a constant tug-of-war between my over-analytical mind and that voice within me. The victor depends on the day, but my hope is that the latter continues to speak up and hold her own.

I’ll be sharing what that looks like for me in my SOLO series, “I Believe”. Thank you for coming on this journey. 

SHE ONLY LIVES ONCE is a collection of photos + short stories empowering women of all ages to travel S.O.L.O. in pursuit of adventure and self-discovery. This part of the blog is committed to building a strong and resourceful community of female travelers who share their memorable lessons, from their most delicious adventures to their most awkward of moments . Interested in contributing a short story or photo? Please contact the Trishlist and/or hashtag #trishlist and #sheonlylivesonces for a chance to be featured.