It’s voting time! Thanks so much to the dozens of amazing women who applied to be the WITS ’16 Global Ambassador!
The WITS ’16 Planning Team reviewed all applicants and through a voting process chose those with a combination of the highest quality photos and a personal statement that most embodies what being a Wanderful Woman is. Read our five finalists’ statements below, and click on their names to view all of their gorgeous photos!
Remember: We’re looking for a Wanderful Woman who embodies our WITS mission of bringing enthusiastic and inspired female travelers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs together. Good luck!
I didn’t always set out to travel the world or assume the role of a globally-minded individual. I was the opposite. I proclaimed Miami (FL) as the center of the world. I carried my limited world view on my first trip abroad to Spain and that notion dissipated two days after my arrival. Defeated, homesick, and doubtful of my first experience abroad, I wanted to return home. Simply because I had gotten lost in the city and recklessly misjudged Madrid as a second Miami. I was proud and arrogant, and undermined other destinations. Traveling, in this case, introduced a lesson in global awareness and sensitivity. A Wanderful Woman trains herself to consume all travel experiences as tools for personal and professional growth. How am I a Wanderful Woman? Two years after my first encounter abroad, I returned to Madrid. It was the place where difficulty in traveling launched my curiosity, passion, and engagement with the world around me.
The more I see, explore and take in while traveling, the more I am realizing there is nothing else that allows me to experience life as intensely and openly. Each new place expands my mind, heart, soul and love for all that makes us unique and different. Traveling allows you to become so many different versions of yourself. I attended WITS ’15, my first travel blogging summit, and it gave me the confidence I needed. When I returned home I went to work on my vision, resulting in the launch of Adjust Your Focus™ in May 2015.
I’ve been traveling full-time with my husband for just over six months, and while it’s been a huge learning curve for our new marriage, it’s taught me even more about where I fit in the world and how I can make travel part of my life even when this journey is over. What makes me uniquely Wanderful? First of all, travel is and has been my central passion since I was a teenager. Beyond that, I love my husband, but I still love solo travel days. I love flexing my “independence muscles” and my “travel muscles” at the same time. I believe in “educated wandering,” i.e. doing some research before arriving, and then setting myself loose on the city streets to eat, admire, and stroll for awhile. I love meeting other women on the road, whether it’s other travel bloggers or locals. I’m dying to find my tribe of other women who feel that way too, and I can’t wait to join a local Wanderful chapter when I get home.
I’m always curious for new knowledge, new sights, new methods, new friends. And there’s no better way to satiate this inquisitiveness than through travel. I’ve realized that, because of this, the times I’ve been most happy have been the times I’ve been traveling. And knowing this, I endlessly seek out travel – both abroad and domestic. You can always learn. Learning from others means you must be open to them as well. In my travels, I’ve made an effort to meet people where they are: I stay with them at their homes, I use their transportation, I eat what they usually eat. That’s not to say I eschew the popular tourist sites completely, but I feel it’s important to complement them by doing your best to see and understand life as it is. Thanks to my travels, I’ve become a stronger, more adventurous, and more accepting person – of both myself and others. Continuing this growth is something I constantly work on. That is why I am a Wanderful Woman!
The first trip I can remember was when I was 7, my family and I went to Hawaii. I was enamored by the entire experience; the ability to go somewhere completely new, meet interesting people, try local food and be immersed in another culture. I loved it, so much so that since then I’ve been to 75+ countries. My mom is Indian and my dad is Russian, Polish, German and Dutch so I grew up learning a lot about other cultures, speaking 5 languages and spending all my summers traveling. I’ve always had this fervor to go see the world and bring others with me. For a decade, I’ve been hosting three annual 3-day weekend trips with 15+ people. While it originally started out just for fun, now it is about inviting people who normally don’t travel much and opening their eyes’ to new experiences. I’ve always believed traveling makes you a better person, both in business and in life. I teach dance in my spare time so you’ll often find me doing back bends in my photos in various corners of the world. 🙂