I've heard many people say that travel is the greatest teacher, and I couldn't agree more. Over the past year, I've had the privilege of traveling around the world. From Latin America to Eastern Europe, I've visited places I dreamed of visiting as a little girl. Before I embarked on this journey, I had high expectations, but my experiences were beyond anything I could've ever imagined for myself. I've built wonderful friendships with strangers across the globe, eaten foods I never knew existed, and gotten lost in unlikely places. The lessons I learned from traveling to 12 countries have been invaluable.
Even though I had high hopes, I really had no idea what to expect when I began navigating the world solo — I just knew that I wanted to try new foods, meet new people, and visit far-flung destinations.I lived with a local family in Guatemala, and learned Spanish through full immersion. I was able to check off dancing in the streets of Cuba from my bucket list, along with spending four days trekking to Machu Picchu in Peru. I swam under sparkling waterfalls in Croatia, and made lifelong friends in Bosnia.
I'm now a huge advocate for travel. I believe stepping out of your comfort zone and into the world can lead to the most extraordinary experiences you can't learn in a classroom. I gained so much in such a short period of time, and I'll carry those lessons with me for the rest of my life.