In this episode of Magical Mornings, we featured Brie Burgett, who is a popular globetrotter, adventure seeker, and US Marine who thrives on chasing the best adventures, breaking the mold, and encouraging others to chase their dreams.
Here’s the interview of Brie Burgett with UnitePod.
Q. You have been doing some fascinating work out there. All our listeners would like to know a bit more about your journey. How did it kick start and reach the point where you are today?
Brie: I got started when I graduated a little bit earlier and I thought that the military would be a great opportunity to serve and gain some excellent experiences. I had only planned to be there for 4 years but I ended up falling in love with my job, the opportunities it offered, also enjoyed the freedom to do unique things and see more of the world. Due to my placement in Japan and then Germany I was able to travel a lot, for both work purposes as well as personally. I joined Instagram to share some of my photos and travel experiences with my friends and family, eventually, other people started getting interested in my journey. So I started capturing some of the practical and useful information from my trips. Social media platforms have given us the opportunity to share our experiences with a lot of people. So I started the travel blog and then I started posting about the things I enjoyed doing, sharing trips, and helping others plan similar types of trips.
Q. You have traveled to 108 countries. So can you tell us your favorite place that you visited while traveling?
Brie: It is a very difficult question to answer but I think different places have different types of things to offer. I enjoy going to beaches and hiking, but what I enjoy most is traveling to more remote places where there are fewer tourists, probably my favorite type of trip. Burma and Myanmar are my favorite. It was one of the coolest trips I took. I visited these beautiful temples; I rented a bicycle, paddled around the place and visited the temples, watched the sunsets, and had one of the most incredible experiences.
Q. You joined US Marine Corps at a very young age and graduated top of your combat engineering class, obtained the highest female physical fitness test levels in your unit, and earned a black belt in hand-to-hand combat. So can you tell us how you manage this?
Brie: I was 19 when I finished college and thought the military would be the first great endeavor to go to. As I went around and interacted with different branches. They were each giving some kind offering and trying to sell me on the great things I could do with them. But when I visited the Marine Corps, they laid down their requirements. It was good to compete with myself and work super hard to do well, to succeed. For the fitness level, I worked very hard to reach where I am and It is very important what we do. I think that if there is an expectation as a leader, you have the opportunity to lead, be responsible for a lot of people and you should be setting the standard and upholding it. That is why I worked so hard on all of these different things. In the black belt, we were all learning martial arts in the basic school which is the first 6 months of the officer training. I was constantly targeted as an easy person that somebody could go on with. So, I spent a lot of extra hours, in the mornings, at lunchtime I would go to the martial arts pit and work with the instructors and practice. I kept going, trying to set examples.
Q: What inspired you to pursue this career?
Brie: I continued to stay in this career because of the high caliber people I get to work with and they are constantly inspiring me to do more and become a better version of myself. I appreciate the challenge that every few years you start completely over. You move to a different place, you get a different type of job but you maintain your expertise, you learn completely new things, and figure to solve different challenges that are coming up. For the travel blog, I have started perusing that more as I am getting great feedback from people, who have read my posts and appreciate my work. It is encouraging and hopefully, I can inspire some more people to go to different countries and try new things.
Q. What are the best resources that have helped you along your way?
Brie: The Marine crew and my travel blog. I think finding like-minded people because they encourage you; they give you new ideas and push you to pursue your passion. Finding strong mentors is extremely important. Having strong connections and meeting new people in any field that you are in, I think is valuable. People were the most important part of what I did, and how I discovered new places.
Q. What is that one myth about your profession that you want to debunk?
Brie: There are societal perceptions about what women can and what women should do. I think it is incredibly important to challenge that status quo and go out to break the mold. For the military, there is still a lot of negative perceptions about women going into certain occupational fields. The positive change comes about when women meet those standards and surpass them. There is often a fear of traveling alone or avoiding going to certain places because of the fear that they might be unsafe. Most of that the negative perception is ungrounded and it’s much safer and there are a lot of opportunities to go after.
Q. If you could step into my shoes, what would you have asked yourself that I didn’t?
Brie: ‘Have you ever wanted to quit? If yes, then why didn’t you?’. I find this question very interesting because no matter how much we may love our jobs and we are grateful for what we can do we all have low points, where we second guess the direction of what we are doing. So, for me the very beginning of my time when I joined I had leaders that I worked for who made me question whether I have made the right decision or not. Multiple times in my career I did succeed and did well on something I would get negative comments made by some of my male peers, saying that I only got it because I am a woman. I think these are both extremely challenging and a primary reason that I stuck around because pointing out problems doesn’t do any good unless we decide to become part of the solution. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned, looking back is how to become a good leader, and learn what type of leader I want to be is by seeing some of the bad leaders got so much to learn from them, and some of the good leaders who help me become successful. And being a female has driven me to work harder and do better. It was because of my hard work, consistency, and not giving up spirit.
Q. Where can all our listeners connect with you?
Brie: My Instagram handles and my travel blog with the same name is The Brie Adventure. I would love to connect. I am always happy to talk about any travel or adventure recommendations, and my career path.
Brie, Thank you so much for joining us. It was great talking to you. And pleasure having you here on UnitePod.
That’s a wrap of another episode of Magical Mornings featuring Brie Burgett, a US Marine Corps, blogger, globetrotter and adventure seeker.
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