Feature Friday: Meet Larissa J.

Happy Friday everyone! These past two months have been a whirlwind, hence my long absence from the blogging scene. Today, I want to take the time to re-introduce myself, so this Feature Friday is all about meeting the person behind the blog, Larissa! You would think the easiest post to write would be the one about yourself, but it was more difficult than I originally though. How can I compress my 20-something years of life into a blog post, highlighting the most interesting things about myself? Well, I gave it my best shot! Continue reading to learn more, and please comment and let me know if you relate on any level ­čÖé

Background:

Younger Larissa At Your Service!

Contrary to popular belief [especially those that meet me in person], I was not born in the United States of America. My family comes from the Caribbean island of Haiti. I was born in the capital, Port-au-Prince; however, I did not spend a lot of time in my home country. When I was still very young, my family moved to the United States, and we lived in New York and Utah before ultimately settling down in Georgia. I like to think I’m a bit unique when it comes to my first language because my first spoken language was Creole, but my first written language was English.

My siblings are the best <3

I am the middle child – with an older brother and a younger sister. Although we’re all quite different, we all have a competitive nature. Put on some Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros and it will be a hard fight to the finish. We all engaged in athletics, with me and my sister choosing swimming, while my brother ultimately settled on wrestling.

Graduated with my MPH!
Graduated with my MPH!

This past December, I graduated from my program with my Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion & Behavior. The journey to receive this degree was tough, but fun – and definitely educational. I went a route I was not expecting to go, but that is what life is all about – taking chances and seeing where it leads! Ultimately, my goal is to move to Paris, so if you know any jobs that could put a public health degree to good use, let a girl know ­čÖé

Swimming:

Racing in Georgia

To say that swimming is a large part of my life would definitely be an understatement. When I was 10 years old, I learned how to swim and I fell completely in love with the sport. I joined a competitive year-round team, which led me to swimming for my high school. I even considered taking the sport to the collegiate level, and I was blessed with the opportunity to swim Division I at Campbell University for 4 years.

Representing Haiti in Hangzhou, China
Representing Haiti in Hangzhou, China

After I graduated, I thought that was the end of my swimming career, so I took what I thought was a much deserved break from the 20+ hour weeks of working out. Little did I know an opportunity would present itself to swim for Haiti’s National Swim Team. That, along with missing the water deeply, led me back to the pool and the gym.

Team Cheer at Campbell University

Swimming has taught me so many different life skills that I bring to everything I do. Time management, dedication, determination, and teamwork to name a few. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by women who encourage, support, and push me to be my best self in and out of the water. Even to this day, I keep up with a good number of my teammates on a regular basis!

Travelling:

Let’s Travel the World!

Obviously travelling is also a large part of my life. Travel brings together so many different aspects of life – meeting new people, exploring new places, and tasting new foods. I am passionate about learning, and going to different places allows me to open my mind and experience new things that may not have crossed my radar otherwise.

Hanging by the Infinity Pool at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
Hanging by the Infinity Pool at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

Countries Visited To Date:
Austria | Bahamas | Belgium | China | England | France | Germany | Haiti | Hong Kong | Italy | Japan | Singapore| South Korea | Thailand| Vatican City | Vietnam | United Arab Emirates |

Beautiful Fall Wreaths & Mickey Pumpkins - Disney World
Beautiful Fall Wreaths & Mickey Pumpkins at Disney World

States Visited To Date:
California | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Kentucky | Louisiana | Massachusetts | Mississippi | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Washington D.C. | West Virginia |

I fell in love. Not with a single person at one time, but with multiple people at various times. I fell in love with their cultures, their customs, their traditions. I fell in love with the food, the scenery, the landscape. Travel is the one thing that brings it all together; so therefore, I am in love with travel.

– Larissa Joassaint

Future Plans:

Looking forward to the future in Salzburg, Austria

When I was young, the future was something to look forward to. I knew I would have everything figured out by the time I graduated college, and I would immediately land my dream job, become a billionaire, find the love of my life, and live happily ever after. How else are things supposed to go?

Well, as I’ve grown and seen that this fairy tale ending is not how real life works, it’s easy to get discouraged thinking about the future. Everything seems so uncertain and honestly it can get a bit overwhelming at times. However, sometimes, I have to take a step back and remind myself that the future is still something to look forward to, while making the most of the present.

Currently, I am on a job hunt for a health communications job because I believe relaying health information in an easy to understand way is essential.

Thank You!

Toon Lagoon at Universal Studios
Toon Lagoon at Universal Studios

Enough about me though! If you made it all the way to the end, thank you for taking the time to read this post – as I know it was a long one. I hope you feel you know me a little better now. But…I also want to know a little more about you! Do we have anything in common? Where are you hoping to travel to? What are your New Year’s Resolutions or focus words? What are some of your dreams? Let me know in the comments! I look forward to hearing from you ­čÖé

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