It Starts with a Desire to Go


Meet our newest Greenheart Travel Ambassador, Kayla Cluff! She shares a bit about her own travel experience and how traveling has become an important piece of her life. 

I have always dreamed about going abroad, everywhere and anywhere, just packing up a bag, saying adios and exploring everything this world has to offer. However, up until last May the furthest I had been away from home was a family vacation to Canada. Then the opportunity arose to go to Israel and South America, all in the same year. It was finally time to go. Just go. Pack a bag, stop the worrying or over-planning and just go.

At the end of May I headed off for Israel for a 12-day trip with some people from my own university and a few schools from Florida. The trip was structured, in that we had a set plan and knew where we were going each day and the day after, but we still got to explore around alone, which was amazing. Israel is such an interesting area with a fusion of so many different cultures and ideals and people, simply walking down the street and observing is so much fun. By far my favorite part of the trip was meeting and traveling with nine Israeli soldiers that joined us about 4 days into our trip, and stayed with us until the last day. These soldiers were my own age and were the best resource on everything from culture and language help, to where to find the best street vender for some shawarma.


From June to November of last year I studied and lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina at a private Argentine university in the Belgrano barrio. One of the things I really wanted to focus on going into my experience was stepping out of my bubble and avoiding the rut that many students studying abroad fall into, mainly surrounding themselves with other US students and avoiding full immersion in the new culture. To try to avoid this I decided to join my university’s volleyball team. What I thought this was going to be a casual volleyball club, turned out to be the university’s varsity team and we played weekly against other universities in the area. It was amazing. Getting the opportunity to meet and hang out with Argentine and international students that all had the common love for volleyball allowed me to really connect with people that I would have never met otherwise. We might have only won one game out of the six we played, but we sure had a lot of fun losing.

At the end of my semester I just couldn’t return home, I had to stay in South America and explore some more. So the day after my finals were completed I jetted of to Peru, where I stayed for 2 weeks doing everything from hiking Machu Picchu, to staying overnight with an indigenous family on a island in Lake Titicaca. Then it was time for Ecuador, where I indulged my adrenaline junkie side and went white water rafting and repelling down waterfalls.

For those of you keeping track at home, I saw ten countries in eight months. Crazy. Amazing. Thrilling. A thesaurus can’t produce enough words to describe the experience I had and it all started with just a desire to go.




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