Some of the core values of AdventureWomen include stepping outside of what’s familiar and exploring new paths. Recently, our team has embarked on a special kind of adventure ourselves: we’ve taken a new leadership direction. Judi, Nicole, Erica, and Eliza are the new faces of AdventureWomen, and you’ll want to hear each of their amazing stories about what brought them here.
By AdventureWomen Director of Guest Services, Eliza Hatch
I caught the travel bug early. As an undergrad, I signed up for an International Relations and Anthropology class that included a spring break trip to Ghana – not your typical college spring break! My senior year, the same two professors offered a similar class on Tanzania, so I jumped on board immediately. After those two amazing experiences, I was hooked on travel, particularly in the developing world.
After graduation, I spent six months and traveled all the way around the world solo, visiting eleven countries. Six months on my own, staying in two to four nights in each location taught me many things. First, I LOVE to travel. I love being surprised by sights, smells, sounds, and traditions. I love immersing myself in new cultures. I love meeting and learning about other people. Everything about travel resonates with me.
I learned that I also love coming home, particularly after traveling solo. Meeting people all over the world, learning about their families, and making new friends helps me appreciate my family and friends more every time I travel. As I learn more about myself through travel, my relationships at home become richer.
Most importantly, I learned that I gain more from travel experiences when traveling with other people, particularly with other women. Traveling with other women gives me additional lenses through which to look at cultures, places, and concepts. A good travel group provides a supportive environment in which I am able to challenge myself, learn my limits, and gain a better understanding of who I am, and more importantly, who I want to be.
I have been fortunate enough to work in travel for the last nine years, but I still carve out time to try new and different travel experiences – I try to travel solo at least once a year; I plan trips to places I know little about to stretch my comfort zone; and next year, I’ll go on my first AdventureWomen trip!
One of my favorite quotes is “Why do you go away? So that you can come back… Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” I try to live by this: leave. Challenge yourself. Learn. Meet people, especially people different from yourself. When you come back, you’ll return having seen beautiful places, having met wonderful people, and you’ll have a deeper understanding and connection to the world around you.