I am an Admissions Advisor and have been a part of the ITA team since June of 2023.
Inspired as a child by the National Geographic and Ernest Hemingway novels, I knew that the world was my oyster and that I had to explore as much of it as possible! Mexico was my first travel destination and where I was bitten by the wanderlust travel bug. It remains my favorite place on this planet. Inspired by trips south of the border while in my late teens, I applied to study abroad in Spain, where I attended two universities; the University of Alicante and the University of Sevilla. I stayed and traveled throughout Europe during that time. Since, I have traveled to Scandinavia, Central America, and the Caribbean. South America, The Faroe Islands, India, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are on my travel bucket list, among so many other places. A life without these experiences seems unimaginable to me. Travel represents to me an opportunity to learn, grow, experience new cultures, art, music, food, and make friends and connections that last a lifetime!
I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and attended Northern Illinois University (study abroad, University of Alicante and Seville), and received my Masters in Education from St. Xavier University in Chicago.
My first travel experience was the most enlightening, awe inspiring event of my life up to that point. I hook, line, and sinker fell in love with Mexico, the Mexican Riviera, white sand beaches, smiling, beautiful people, and a life pace that seemed happy, serene, and relaxed. Everything looked, sounded, smelled, and tasted so different. From that point forward my goal was to travel the world as much as possible.
Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Ireland, UK, Cyprus, Sweden, Iceland, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
Spain, Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe.
While dragging my young daughter all over the south of Spain one summer, we missed our bus due to a “cash only” policy at the bus station, and of course, no ATM. Finally, we arrived in Cadiz as the sun was setting, a place unfamiliar to me, where I had no contacts. This was before cell phones and the internet, I should mention. Our taxi driver told us there was no train to Seville that night, which was our destination to visit my former host family. We went into the station, and he was right. I exited the train station with my hungry little girl, our baggage, tears in my eyes, having no idea where we were going to stay that night. The taxi driver, anticipating my predicament, was waiting for me with another fare in the backseat, and he drove slowly alongside us as we walked, dragging our suitcases, to a hostel a block or so away that he recommended that had a restaurant downstairs where we could have dinner. The hostel was great, but I had 9 Euro to my name for dinner for the two of us, as the only ATM in the area was not working. The waiter kindly told us to order anything we wanted on the menu and to not worry about money. As usual, the food and people dining outside on the street that summer evening were wonderful! We were treated like a queen and a princess. My love for Spain and its people grew more than ever that evening, and I will never forget the kind hearted people who took care of us that night. ¡Viva España!
Anything Mexican of course!
I am excited to be working at ITA because I get to interact daily with extraordinary people who love to travel, dream about living in exotic, far away places, and are endeavoring to embark upon the life-changing journey of living abroad and teaching!
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