Letter from our Founder:
More than anything, I struggle with the feeling of what I should do and throughout my career, I have learned that it often prevented me from what I could do.
My student 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 should, I graduated and went on to a 4-year state college because I should. I took out loans to pay for school because I was told to. I studied Finance, International Business and Chinese because they all interested me and were supposed to make me competitive in the job market. I had a summer internship. I studied abroad twice. I graduated with honors and went on to work for a multinational corporation in finance after graduation. Happy ending, right?
I quickly realized in the workforce that although I was successful in college and although I was raised in an environment that held college as the only ticket for success in this world, I was unhappy. Sure I could pay my bills, I was living on my own, traveling, having fun but can you be truly successful while unhappy? I took steps to move into an industry I was passionate about – Meaningful Travel. Travel has always invigorated me. It puts me in a head space where I am inspired to try new things, eat strange foods, learn about others and experience incredible personal growth (often in a short amount of time). For years I helped international students pursue their dream of interning in the United States and was privileged to travel with purpose all over the world recruiting, marketing, & thriving. I was successful.
This led me to create AdventureEXP. I believe that the American higher education system is broken. College can be great but it just isn’t for everyone:
It is outrageously expensive.
Degrees don’t always translate to the appropriate skill set in the workforce.
When you’re 18 you probably haven’t had enough life experience to know what you want to be ‘when you grow up’.
And most importantly, not everyone excels in an environment of memorization, test taking and grades.
I created AdventureEXP to offer young people meaningful, experiential learning through a structured & guided, paid working gap year program that makes stepping out of your comfort zone easier, tangible and affordable for everyone.
Through AdventureEXP, you can travel all around the United States, gain professional skills, experience a real-world work environment, apply your talents & develop new ones, have fun, form lifelong friendships, all while earning money to help offset the cost of your travel. You get to travel with purpose and better yourself – personally & professionally.
My vision is not to replace college. Just like college, AdventureEXP isn’t the perfect solution for everyone. AdventureEXP can be a short-term supplement between high school and college, it can be a worthwhile internship or working semester during college or for a professional in their career looking for something new.
Thank you for letting me share my story. Get out there. Forge your path. Be you. Do what makes you happy. Travel & Thrive.