Hi, I’m Amber.  Maybe we’ve just met or we’ve known each other for a while. Regardless of our relationship status, I wanted to properly introduce myself and tell you a bit about me.  And, why not start with 15 random things.

While I love working with businesses to help them grow and develop, I also have a lot of different passions and quirks that you might not know about.  I’ve been able to live a full life…full of unique experiences that have made me who I am and lead me to this moment right here.  

Thanks, Universe.

15 random things

Here are 15 Random Things About Me:

I’m a scuba diver.

I got Open Water certified in Thailand in 2015 and am almost to my 100th dive!  (I’m an Advanced Diver now too!) I’ve been diving in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.  I also served as a citizen scientist in Madagascar on a coral reef conservation project. So cool!  My next diving goal is to get my Rescue Diver certification. 

Amber Monaco, You Need An Amber, Scuba Diving

I’m a certified paralegal.

For around 6 years I worked as a paralegal.  Crazy huh.  I worked in a few areas of law, but I really liked criminal defense.  And, sadly, my time spent getting my paralegal certification was nothing like Legally Blonde.

I’m the 2nd of 7 siblings.

Let’s just say my parents really like each other.  I come from a blended family, where I was the baby for a long time, so despite having 5 more siblings after me I refuse to give up the title.  Although, I do have strong 2nd child energy with some baby-of-the-family traits.

I’ve been to 44 countries.

I love to travel, even when I’m not scuba diving.  When I’m in another country I spend most of my time on art and culture stuff.  My partner, Andrew, goes straight for the food.  It’s a good balance.  

I used to live and work in Washington DC.

Life in DC is very different from life in Kansas City.  DC is overflowing with culture and history and people and traffic. I worked at the Department of Homeland Security, but my favorite memories are playing softball on the Washington Monument or on the South Lawn of the White House.  It was always a pain when Obama would go to dinner and Marine One made us stand off to the side so they could take off.  #DCProblems

I have a hobby farm.

I live in suburbia on a ½ acre with chickens and a compost pile and enough tomatoes to feed a small army.  I love being more sustainable and growing my own food.   My summer harvest lasts me through the winter once I can, dehydrate, or freeze my food.  You can actually follow what I’m doing with my hobby farm at my sporadically-updated blog, DirtySkirtFarm.com.

hobby farm, Dirty Skirt Farm, You Need An Amber

I’m left-handed.  

All the good ones are.  Not only have the majority of Presidents of the United States been left-handed, but so is Oprah.  All hail, Mama O.  If that doesn’t convince you all the best people, including myself, are left-handed, I don’t know what will.

I was in the Navy for 6 years.

I lived and worked on the USS Mount Whitney LLC-20, stationed in Gaeta, Italy for 3 years.  Then, I was stationed on the Washington Naval Yard in Washington DC for another 3 years.  During my time in DC, I deployed to Iraq for 6 months.  Being in the military was not for me, but I appreciate that it paid for a lot of my education.

I am a huge advocate for coworking spaces.

Since 2013, I have been a member at a coworking space; I even ran a space for 3 years before pursuing my own company.  Being a part of a coworking space has given me community and friendship and support I wouldn’t have been able to create otherwise.  It allows for a different type of collaboration between members that I love and work to be a part of.  Plus, the extrovert in me really craves being around other humans.

I’m a certified life coach.

Yep, it’s true.  Life Coaching always helps me to stay focused on the future and where I’m going next.  This is also what I help my clients do.  It’s magical to see them grow and achieve their dreams, knowing I played a small role.

I traveled the world as a digital nomad for 2 years.  

Digital nomads spend their time traveling the world and running their businesses from their laptops.  That’s what I did from 2015-2017.  I spent the majority of my time in Bali, Thailand, and London. I mostly hopped from coworking space to coworking space getting work done and meeting new people.  (And then going scuba diving, of course.) 

You Need An Amber, digital nomad, Bali, Ubud

I’m a grad school dropout.

I’m the one who dropped out of The Johns Hopkins University to go digital nomading. Zero regrets.  Dropping out led me to create some of my greatest memories.  Plus, I lived in a world without real obligations, which was nice.  It was a liberating experience to gift myself the time to travel the world and pursue my dreams.

I’m a cat person.

My rescue cat, Purrnest Hemingway (who prefers “Hemi” is amazing.  He may be a….large gentleman, coming in around 22 pounds, but he’s living his best life.  He’s the sweetest, most affectionate cat you’ll ever meet.  And he loves a belly rub.  I mean, who doesn’t.

You Need An Amber

I am currently writing a book.

I got a book deal!  Can you believe it!?  In January 2020, my book deal was finalized with a UK publisher. I’m writing about my digital nomad experience. Let me just say, writing a book is really hard.  My English Literature degree did not prepare me to write a book.

I would follow Oprah into the depths of Hell.

Remember when I said, All hail, Mama O.  I meant it.  Oprah raised me.  I remember coming home to her after school and watching her while I ate my after-school ice cream.  In high school, I thought I would join the swim team.  Not only did the coach think I would spend every morning of Christmas break in the pool (#nothappening), the practices was right after school.  I genuinely missed going home and spending my afternoon with her, so I  made the only logical decision I could: quit the swim team. 

I hope you enjoyed this fun blog, learning 15 random things about me. 

In the comments, tell me ONE random thing about you.  Make it a juicy one!