Describe your most memorable experience from your trip.
My most memorable moment is probably still one of my favorite experiences from all of my travels- horseback riding in the Andes. I’ve always loved riding and the scenery there was just incredible and unforgettable. I hope to go back someday.
Were you especially proud of something you accomplished on the trip or a lesson you learned while in the field?
I was really proud of some of the photos I took during the trip and all that my trip leader Jes taught me. I still love taking pictures, but my photos from that trip were probably some of the best I’ve ever taken.
How would you describe the community with whom you traveled?
I think that having a small group with the same passions as you allows you to be yourself more easily, especially when you are somewhat introverted like me. My trip leaders were amazing- constantly sharing their knowledge and inspiring me to follow my dreams. Plus, I got to explore an incredible country in a unique way, through the eyes of a professional photographer and a wildlife conservationist. I saw the world differently than I otherwise would have.
What have you been up to since your trip?
After my trip I studied at the University of Vermont and graduated with a degree in Animal Science. While there, I participated in multiple wildlife volunteer trips to South Africa and did my study abroad with Semester at Sea, which allowed me the opportunity to explore 11 new countries! I graduated a semester early and got an internship at Cairns Tropical Zoo in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Since then I’ve had a mix of jobs working with animals and internships at different zoos and sanctuaries. I am now in my final year of getting my vet tech certification and working as a vet tech in the process. My ultimate goal is to be a vet tech in a zoo or to do conservation field work in Africa.
Did traveling with National Geographic influence your studies or career?
Traveling with National Geographic was a great transition from high school to college. It gave me time away from my parents where I had to be responsible for myself. I was in a new environment with people I didn’t know, so was ready when I had the same experience at college.
Have your travels with National Geographic inspired you to take other trips?
I definitely would say I have the travel bug- I’ve been to 20 countries and some more than once! I can’t wait to see more of this amazing world we live in.