|The Pyramids of Giza|
After years of exploring the mountains of Colorado, I had the urge to travel internationally and experience cultures beyond those that I already knew. As a junior at the University of Colorado, I made the random and spontaneous decision (filled out the paperwork the night before it was due!) to study abroad in Alicante, Spain. I spent six months living with a host family, perfecting my Spanish skills, and getting into all kinds of trouble in Europe. I trekked the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain and got into serious mischief on a train in France. I slept on a beach when hostels were full and hiked the extra miles when I couldn’t find a bus to take me where I wanted to go. I lived life the way it should be done, and loved every minute.
The problem? Once I came home to Colorado, the travel bug was insatiable. Not only had living abroad not “gotten it out of my system,” but instead, it had fueled the exploration fire! How did I solve this problem?
|Riding an elephant in Northern Thailand|
Naturally, I took off again! I spent months traversing the United States via my Trek bicycle, living out of a Mountain Hardwear tent and checking out people and places in my own backyard. I then followed that up with a year in South and Central America where we did nothing other than explore the continent, its people, its peaks, and its valleys. I got pick pocketed and abandoned in the Ecuadorian Amazon for New Year’s Eve and ate a rotten guinea pig (cuy), but it was all part of the adventure!
|Piranha fishing in the Ecuadorian Amazon|
I arrived home after 13+ months of living out of a backpack….and promptly left four months later. Yes, again! This time I headed to South East Asia where I wandered around Thailand, Cambodia, and Tokyo, comparing the eastern part of the world to the Latin cultures I had left behind. The traveling was different this time because I was traveling with my parents, but it was equally amazing and eye-opening. Of course, the shenanigans didn’t cease just because I was on the other side of the world! My favorite story describes the time when I had to bribe a Cambodian official to allow me into the country… but that’s a story for a later date 🙂
|Mountain biking the “World’s Most Dangerous Road” in Bolivia|
After returning home, I finally decided to settle down *a bit.* The travel bug is not gone, but I do enjoy having a home base to return to once I’ve worn out my backpack and traveling shoes. Our company closes in the winter so I have three months every year where I can travel or go wherever I want. My last adventure was to Egypt to visit the pyramids, but who knows where my next adventure will take me!