Friday, February 17, 2012

the travel bug: pack me in your suitcase!

I get the travel bug a lot. Ever since I was a kid, my parents would take us camping for 2-3 weeks every summer and down to our Nanny & Grandad's once a year. And, I'm a Sagittarius. I'm not one for believing horoscopes but when it comes to signs, mine is scarily accurate. Here's a bio, if I've made you curious. Basically,  adventurous, hard-time settling down and likes variety. Yes, yes and yes.

The whole point of me telling you this, is that I live for the excitement of traveling. I like exploring and I LOVE airports. It's the energy: people coming and going, adventures starting and ending. My coworker went home to Tanzania a couple of weeks ago and I begged her to take me with her. How amazing would that have been? You know, minus no one being left in the office...

So, travel right now (at least the kind of travel I'm itching for) is not feasible. Instead of actually traveling, I figured I would share two special trips that I've experienced.

Bayahibe beach in the Dominican Republic (2007)

My entire extended family (minus 1 cousin + 1 uncle) went to Casa Del Mar all-inclusive resort (which is now Dreams). What a wild time this was. All of my relatives were so relaxed. It was such a great experience to be surrounded by family in such a beautiful place.

Months before the trip we solicited donations from local businesses. Thanks to their generosity, we were able to donate a dozen laptops, suitcases full of school supplies, sporting equipment, clothes and toys.We visited a school one morning to drop off the items. That day was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

And later on, I tried windsurfing...

We went on a guided day-trip to the capital for some shopping and sightseeing. I bought a ring here  in the nations stone, Larimar, which is only found in the DR. I never take it off.

There were always games and activities put on by the staff.

And I was in a pageant. How hilarious is that? I ended up in second place. The first place prize was a trip back to the resort for 4 people. My prize? A lobster dinner. 

Global Brigades MTA, Honduras (2009)

In my 3rd year at Mount A I joined the university's first Global Medical Brigades group. I was excited by the possibility of visiting a Spanish-speaking country and practicing my newly developed language skills. What I actually experienced was way beyond what I expected. This trip was truly transformative.

The mission of the brigade was to visit remote areas in Honduras in order to provide medical services to people who did not have the means to access permanent clinics. Our brigade also participated in 2 days of public health brigades where we worked on building 2 outhouses, 2 chimney cooking stoves, laying concrete floor and building a water reservoir.

Geared up and ready to board.

Our mobile clinics served about 500 people per day. People would line up hours in advance to be seen by the doctors, dentists & nurses who were part of the brigade. For both days I served as a translator. Using my trusty Spanish-English dictionary as a guide, I communicated symptoms, outstanding health issues, questions and instructions from patient to doctor to patient.

What was once a new program at MTA has continued to expand. This years brigade is heading down to Honduras today! Good luck & safe travels.

I hope this doesn't come across as "Look what i've done! I'm so humanitarian!" because I really don't mean it in that way. I was simply fortunate enough to have been given these opportunities which have turned out to be amazing experiences. I'll always remember and cherish what I've learned from these trips.

Have you had any memorable trips? Will you be taking any soon? Leave me some stories in the comments!

*If you want to know more about Global Brigades Honduras, click here.


  1. Those sound like two very awesome trips, and so full of kindness as well. I have yet to leave the country, unfortunately, but I would love to travel to my Canada and Mexico neighbors as well as the Dominican Republic, Italy, India, and basically anywhere else I could. :)


  2. Sarah, seriously if you come to Eastern Canada let me know! It's beautiful out here in the Atlantic provinces.


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