Travel has always been an important part of my life. As kids my parents did a great job of taking us all over the US. They also signed me up for my first big international trip independent of the family. My sophomore year of high school I accompanied my chemistry teacher and several other students on a trip to Brazil. We lived with local families and helped out at the local schools. That experience really pushed me outside of my normal daily life and gave me my first real taste of another culture. I caught the bug! Since then it has been one adventure after another. While in university, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Africa conducting Chimpanzee research and in Italy studying the language and culture. After graduation I went back to Italy to participate in an archeological dig.
To fund my next journey and to help pay down my college debt I spent 2 years as a manager for a large corporation. I gained a lot of experience during that time and learned a lot about dealing with people in a professional setting. Even though I am thankful for that time, I am very happy to be through it and on my current path. After quitting my job I was a tour guide/English teacher/Au pair in Rome Italy. Believe me when I say I could write a book about that experience. After being there for 8 months I headed to Taipei, Taiwan. I lived in Taiwan for two years and loved every second of it. Asia has had a huge impact on my view of the world and I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't made the move.
As for now, I have begun my Round the World Trip. It should take me anywhere from 1.5 years to 2. My goals are to learn as much as possible, to meet new people, and to gain a stronger understanding of other cultures. At some point I will return to the US for graduate school, but for now I am content to be learning from the road.
I would love to hear from you! Send me suggestions on places to go or ask me questions if you have any. Happy Travels!
Also, many of you have asked how you can get involved and help me on my journey. I pride myself on working for my trips, and generally feel that money should be given to others more in need. However, for those jumpers and supporters who really do want to lend a hand, I've never been known to turn down a bowl of ramen! I sincerely appreciate everyone's generosity