“Live more in the moment rather than focus on the future. Be open to every opportunity. And remember, you really can do whatever you set your mind to.”
Olivia Pozzan is a vet, travel writer and endurance athlete with a great sense of adventure. She has made the most of her veterinary career by embracing a range of varied and exciting opportunities. Olivia graduated from the University of Queensland, and has since travelled the globe, offering her fascinating insight into the treatment of animals worldwide and a drive for improving their welfare. Olivia’s career journey is a brilliant example of how our veterinary passions and interests evolve with our experiences. Read her fascinating full profile here.
“How you portray yourself to the world is how the world will treat you.”
“I started my career working in outback Australia, known at that time as a misogynistic male-dominated bastion. I also lived and worked in the Emirates, a male-dominated Arab muslim country. At no time did I feel inferior, intimidated or disrespected. I believe how you portray yourself to the world is how the world will treat you. I enjoyed being a young and confident professional woman and I considered my point of difference as being my greatest asset. People subconsciously respond to that. I like standing out and I’ve always appreciated being different to the norm. After all, I grew up in rural Australia the daughter of Italian immigrants. Why would anyone want to be the same as everyone else?”
Lessons from endurance racing
“I’m really proud of my athletic and sporting prowess as being fit has been a huge part of my self-identity. Winning State rowing championships at school started me on the path. After uni, I competed in both strength and endurance competitions, winning bodybuilding titles and international adventure races including the World Peace Games. My sporting highlight was competing in the EcoChallenge Expedition Race – a gruelling 10-day, 500km ultra-endurance multi-disciplinary marathon in Morocco. Known as the world’s toughest expedition race, the EcoChallenge was a true test of mental and physical toughness and most competitors failed to finish the course. When I crossed the finish line I was exhausted, injured and depleted – but elated. Completing that race, and all the suffering and hardship it entailed, filled me with the absolute conviction that I could do anything I set my mind to.
I don’t compete any more but I do love trekking and have hiked mountain ranges in six continents. I exercise and meditate daily, and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of feeling fit and healthy.”
Combining passions; work and travel
“Breaking new ground, I moved to the Middle East to work for an Arabian Prince. Female vets were a rarity in this part of the world and I enjoyed a semi-celebrity status. For nine years I lived in the desert oasis of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates working as a dairy and sheep vet for the Crown Prince. During this time I led a caving expedition for the Prince, competed in international expedition races, and travelled and hiked extensively around the globe.
During my extensive travels I witnessed animals suffering from cruelty and neglect, especially in developing countries. My exposure to this needless suffering inspired a desire to have a greater impact in animal welfare. I volunteer in developing countries de-sexing and treating street dogs and cats. I’ve organised and led vet teams to Cambodia, consult to animal welfare groups in SE Asia, and plan further veterinary outreach projects. I currently work as a contract vet for the RSPCA and other shelters, and speak regularly on ABC radio about global animal welfare issues.
“My veterinary path has taken many twists and turns and fascinating sidetracks (including darting wildlife in South Africa) and I’m fortunate to be able to use my degree to travel and have adventures and live a parallel life as a successful writer.”
Contact / follow Olivia on social:
Instagram: @vet.energy healing @theruggedbikini
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