Victoria Vesce is a model, an influencer, and – perhaps most importantly – a brain tumor survivor. She’ll share her story of courage and how that battle has changed her mindset forever. Plus, she’ll tell us why it’s so important to travel – especially if you do it alone.

On why she started travelling the world:

“After I got diagnosed with my brain tumor and I went through all of that, it gave me a new perspective on life. The only thing I could think of when I was laying in the hospital bed not being able to move was, ‘I haven’t seen the world.’ So, that was step one of my ‘I want to travel’ process. But after that I went to law school, so I never really acted upon it. And then when my mom passed away suddenly from COVID – my mom was my best friend and we had planned to do so much together – I was like, ‘You know what, I’m not waiting any longer. Enough of the waiting, I want to go travel.”

What travelling has taught her:

“Travelling has given me this whole new perspective on life. You see how beautiful the earth is created. I was in Halong Bay in Vietnam just looking at all these crazy rock formations, and then I’m in Jamaica at the waterfalls, and I’m in St. Lucia just swimming in the water, and you just realize the beauty of life.”

The benefit of solo traveling:

“I’ll go with friends sometimes, but I really do enjoy going solo because it’s just kind of like reaching deep inside of me and figuring out who I am as a person. Even though I’m 31 now, there’s still a lot to learn. You never stop learning about yourself.”

Making yourself a priority:

“People have a lot of thoughts about grief, but in my opinion, it’s never ending, it’s just how you manage it. And I was managing it completely wrong by having an attachment and having the need for validation from everyone. I could see myself just not being who Victoria is and was anymore. So, really finding that balance and just healing myself and putting myself as a priority. I thought that was a bad thing – making yourself a priority over everyone else. But it’s not.”

Her brain tumor and misdiagnosis:

“I remember, I was very healthy. Like at the peak of my fitness levels. Running like seven miles a day. I was crazy. And I was just slowly fading. And my hearing, which was like the first symptom I noticed, was going away. And my ear was bleeding. Little things were just adding up. Of course, for someone who is extremely healthy my mind did not go to, ‘Oh, I have a tumor.’  … And the doctor would just say, ‘Oh, you have an ear infection.’ They said it was an ear infection that lasted for months on end. Probably seven months of misdiagnoses.”

The highs and lows of her medical journey:

“It’s been seven years now. It’s crazy to think about it, since everything. … I’m a lot better, but it was just very traumatic to be a 23, 24-year-old at the time going through all of that. … A lot of people don’t know this but there was a period of time when I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself, and I had an infection coming out of my scar, and I felt like not even human anymore. I didn’t feel like Victoria, and it was very, very dark. And I just remember the only thing that got me through it was telling myself every morning, ‘I’m going to beat this. I’m going to tell this tumor who’s who!’”