My first trip out of the U.S. spawned my passion for travel. At 17, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Finland as part of the Youth for Understanding program. While I’d traveled to Disney World and lots of other road trips growing up, my trip to Finland was not only my first time traveling abroad but also my very first time on an airplane.
In Finland, I was initially out of my comfort zone because there were not many people who looked or talked like me. However, being fully immersed in a culture that was different from anything I’d been exposed to turned out to be a transformative experience. I was among others who shared a common passion: We all wanted to learn more about the world outside of what we knew.