Founded upon many guiding principles that you’ll likely discover through our online presence and probably in travels of your own, AdventureEXP is more than just a company. We have a vision for people to learn and grow in a unique way. We believe in the power of taking a different path than others.
While we recognize the power of achieving your goals, we think it’s important to do so in a new location. These types of experiences, whether short or long, make you a stronger person that understands the world a little better than before. Most importantly, they give you an opportunity to discover yourself.
We have heard many stories – and we’re sure you have too – about people’s goals taking a significant shift after having an ah-ha moment (or sometimes a few). It often takes being in a tough spot in life to spur on these self-discovery moments. A need for change.
Adam, the founder of the company, shares this in his own story. Read below to hear his ah-ha moment and how he began pursuing what really matters most.
A Message From Our Founder:
Have you ever struggled with the feeling of “what should I do about a career” or “what do I want out of life”? Ever have doubt or confusion about these feelings that interfered with honestly assessing your possibilities or prevented you from objectively considering what you want to or realistically can do about it?
You are not alone.
My career followed the “normal” path of many young Americans in the 21st century. I had a part-time job at a restaurant in high school because I was supposed to. After I graduated, I went on to a traditional 4-year (alright, 5-year) state college because that is what you do if you are able. I took out loans to partially pay for school because I had to. I studied Finance, International Business, and Chinese, not only because these topics interested me but because they were supposed to make me competitive in the job market. I studied abroad twice. I mentored international students studying at my college, which I loved. I had a summer internship with my eventual employer. I graduated with honors, went on to work in finance for a major multinational corporation, and moved to a very desirable city.
As I lived on my own, paying my bills, traveling, and having fun, I was convinced that I was living the dream. I surprised myself by coming to the realization I was unhappy. At first, I rationalized that happiness could be sacrificed, at least short-term or temporarily, on the road to success and becoming happy. However, I could not excuse the nagging question of why I couldn’t, or wasn’t, doing both simultaneously.
I decided my best path to happy success was to change direction and have a career that better integrated my passions and skills. Travel has always invigorated and stimulated me, especially immersive, purposeful travel. I am inspired to try new things, eat strange foods, learn about others, experience incredible personal growth (often in short periods). I loved sharing that experience with others. So, meaningful and purposeful travel replaced corporate finance as my chosen career.
For several years I recruited, hired, and locally supervised International students pursuing their dream of interning in the United States. I was able to travel worldwide to interview hundreds. When they arrived, I was their local contact, their mentor, their “American friend.” I was successful and happy doing it.
Sharing their joy led me to found AdventureEXP, the way for Americans to experience their own country the way my International participants had the chance to experience it. I created AdventureEXP to offer young people meaningful, experiential learning through a structured, guided, destination work program that makes the experience tangible and affordable for everyone. Through AdventureEXP, they can travel to exciting destinations in the United States while gaining professional skills, experiencing a real-world work environment, and discovering their talents (and developing new ones). Most importantly, though, participants can have fun and form lifelong friendships while earning money to help offset travel costs. In short, travel with purpose and meaning.
AdventureEXP is not for everyone. Replacing higher education is not the intent. I want it to be a limited-term supplement – whether between high school and college as a seasonal job, a working semester during college, or as an opportunity for someone who desires a break in their career path to experience something new. This experience should occur in a different setting on a specified-time basis and with life and career-influencing possibilities. Providing the opportunity for meaningful travel as the mentor and guide is what makes me feel happy, purposeful, and successful.
Thank you for letting me share my story. Now it is your turn. Get out there. Forge your path. Be you. Do what makes you happy. Travel and Thrive. And, someday, I hope you will be able to share with me your personal story of happiness and success like I have been privileged to share mine with you!
Founder – AdventureEXP