How a Unique Upbringing Instilled a Love for Travel

How a Unique Upbringing Instilled a Love for Travel

I’m so excited and lucky to be working here at Greenheart Travel, a company that revolves around one of my greatest passions. I grew up moving around every couple years due to my dad’s job, so traveling has become second nature to me. I was born in Houston, Texas where I lived for a couple years before my first overseas move to Saudi Arabia. After that I packed up every couple years and moved wherever my dad’s job took us, which turned out to be all over the world.

Growing up in different countries where I didn’t always know the language, customs, and culture was definitely hard and scary at times. It was often difficult to pack up my things and move away from friends, schools, and homes.  However, I found that I grew accustomed to adapting to new places. I began to love the “culture shock” feeling. I loved learning the customs and culture of the countries I was living in.

After graduating high school I felt I needed a break and decided to put college on hold for a year. During that year my family was living in England so I decided to volunteer at my brother’s school where I worked with and helped tutor 3rd grade students who spoke English as a second language. I enjoyed working at the school, but I knew that I needed to do something that would truly impact my life and force me out of my comfort zone.

A couple months later I was on a plane to Quito, Ecuador. I, along with seven other kids my age, spent about three months traveling and volunteering around the country.  We stopped in the Andes, along the coast, and in the Amazon working with local communities along the way. We helped build classrooms, homes, and worked on any other projects they needed help with. I stayed with local host families, which challenged me to work around language barriers and to fully immerse myself in the native Ecuadorian culture. Even though communication often turned into a charades-like challenge, by the end of my trip they felt like family. I was truly lucky to have met such amazing people during my time in Ecuador. It was the longest I’d been away from home, but I found that it was easy to make connections with people around the world despite cultural differences.

I’m now a senior at DePaul University, working toward my bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Until arriving at DePaul, I had never lived in one place for more than a few years at a time. It’s been a new experience but I couldn’t be happier where I am. My unique upbringing has instilled in me the value of world travel. I hope to help others find the same experiences and personal growth that only new places, people, and cultures can create.

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