My love of travel actually began as a love of history! My high school European History teacher had a passion for history that was contagious. At the end of her course she took a group of students to Europe. This was the first time I had traveled abroad. From the moment we drove out into the rolling green hills of Germany I was hooked! I will never forget my teacher saying that her biggest regret of college was not studying abroad. This really stuck with me and I vowed to myself that I would not make the same mistake. I would travel any time I had the opportunity, starting with college!
So my junior year at UNCW I traveled to London for a semester abroad and it was by far the most memorable and profound experience of my college career. I took classes during the week and on the weekends traveled around Europe. It was my first time living in a foreign city, and it allowed me the freedom to explore other places across the continent and observe so many different cultures.
After I graduated from college, with my future wide open, I was really able to devote more time to travel. I decided to volunteer in South Africa. The culture was so unlike anything I had ever seen that it was truly a life changing experience for me. I lived with a local family and worked at a primary school in Cape Town. After that, I really wanted to go back to the city I loved so much in college and immerse myself in the culture again. So on to London! Next, I moved to Ireland and lived in the fun and beautiful town of Galway on the west coast. Towards the end of my time there I traveled to Northern Ireland where I volunteered at a Christian Center for Peace and Reconciliation in Ballycastle. In those years, I was able to meet so many amazing people, and have so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
I finally decided it was time to come back home to the United States to live again. Luckily, I decided to move to Charleston, South Carolina where I started dating the man that became my husband. Because of our love of travel (one of the many things we have in common) we decided to take off on an adventure of our own. We left our jobs, sold the house, put everything in storage and went to Southern Africa for 3 months. It was a major leap of faith, but we had an amazing time! We flew into Cape Town and traveled all the way up the South African coast, through the Drakensberg Mountains, went to Kruger National Park, Botswana, Chobe Park, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Victoria Falls before returning home and deciding to move back to our college town of Wilmington. It was such a special time and an adventure that we will always share and cherish. In 2009, my husband and I had a destination wedding (naturally!) in Costa Rica. We started our married life together there, and planning a trip and a wedding in another country was actually great practice for what was in store for me next!
Through the years, I had gained a lot of experience planning trips, and I realized that I really enjoyed that part! As anyone will tell you, finding something you love and turning it into a job is one of the most rewarding experiences. With the encouragement of my friends, family, and husband (all of whom I had planned trips for!) AwayBug Travel was born. I feel so lucky and grateful to be able to help people have the kind of life-changing and memorable trips I have been able to have through the years.
Chile, Ireland, United Kingdom, Argentina, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Mexico, United States - Alaska
Food & Wine, Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, Independent Tours, River Cruising