I was fourteen years old the first time I traveled abroad. I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua, and it became one of the best experiences of my life. We stayed in a house in a quaint neighborhood where we interacted with local people, ate local dishes, and explored the landscape. I think that trip set the standard for all of my future travels; we didn’t stay in a fancy hotel. We didn’t partake in excursions geared towards tourists. We strayed from the beaten path, soaked up the culture and the true ambiance of the country, and truly experienced Nicaragua.
Since that first trip ten years ago, I have traveled to eight more countries and counting. And with each country, I have tried to immerse myself in each culture. During each trip, I’m committed to trying the food, learning some of the language to converse with the local people, and getting as close to the authentic life in that country as possible. I’ve found that committing myself to obtaining an authentic experience has taught me so much. I’ve broadened my horizons by learning languages, learning recipes from local women, and making friends from all over the globe. Now it’s safe to say that I’m addicted! I’m always looking forward to the next adventure, and that anticipation of the unknown continues to fuel my love for travel and my desire to leave my footprints all over this world.