Melli grew up on the edge of St. Louis, Missouri, where the city meets the countryside. As a young girl, while playing tag, Melli became hopelessly lost in a tall corn field for at least several minutes. Fear enveloped her; death was certainly near. She began to contemplate her short life. Had she made the most of it? Was this all there was? Thankfully, at the last moment, she was saved by her older brother who showed her that home was a mere 5 minutes away. Safe- for now- this terrifying event convinced Melli that life was short, and so all moments must be filled with greatness. Thus her quest for adventures, glories, and failures began.Melli successfully obtained employment in a traveling circus as a lion trainer and traveled the world for several years. However, after writing a best selling tell all book about the dirty side of the circus, she was fired from her position. In retaliation, she accidentally released several of her lions on the streets of Chicago and fled to LA. There she leads a more grounded existence. She focuses on smaller adventures like running very, very slowly in marathons, entering swimming races through shark infested waters (last place was fed to a shark), selling mouthwash on tv, printing maps off Google, breaking faces using her sweet Muay Thai skills, and reading quietly on her couch. Her hobbies include novice level surfing, beginner level snowboarding, terrible karaoke, embarrassing dancing, and expert dragon slaying. She likes diet coke and getting stuck in the rain. She is not into yoga. And yes, she has half a brain- just half though. She is thrilled to be working with people living their lives to the fullest, pursuing their dreams of world travel. For Melli, working for USA Hostels is like traveling while standing still: all the joy of travel without lugging around a suitcase.