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.

One of Emily's photos from the Galapagos.

One of Emily’s photos from the Galapagos.

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.

Emily (bottom right) with some of the students from her trip.

Emily (bottom right) with some of the students from her trip.

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.

Emily working at a zoo in Australia.

Emily working at a zoo in Australia.


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.