Cultural connections are the most important thing about traveling, and I’m here to help you remove any barriers between you and the culture of your destination.
We all crave that which is different from us, even if we don’t know it.
Growing up, I lived in a community that was not diverse, but that promoted diversity, cultural acceptance, and humanity above all.
At an early age, I was already seeking out the diversity that was lacking in my daily life.
Language was the most accessible cultural difference at the time. I spent nights in my room belting out Gloria Estefan and Selena songs in Spanish and Celine Dion songs in French, even though I didn’t know what they were saying, yet.
I somehow felt more connected to these bilingual singers than anyone else in my life.
In middle and high school, I began my bilingual journey, studying French and Italian. Language was the only thing I liked. It was the only class I didn’t skip and the only one I always did all my homework for. I was a very introverted teen with low self esteem and no social life.
It was odd, then, that I elected to participate in a six-week exchange program where I would live with a family in Paris. This was the first extra curricular activity I’d ever done, and also the first time I’d ever be away from home.
After the French exchange, I repeated the experience in Florence, Italy, and made true friends and family.
The desire to travel can never be fully satiated, as we are always thinking of the next destination, the next adventure, the next cultural code we can crack.
I chased the dragon for years, returning to Italy multiple times and living there for a year in college.
Eyes were opened, profound experiences were made, and humanity was connected. My students made life-long friends and slow-traveled their way through cultural immersion. Instead of visiting three countries and ten cities in ten days, we stayed in the same place for two weeks.
Fast travel is not real travel. It is not eye opening, it is not profound, it is not humanitarian. It was time to make a huge change in the way I shuffled my students around countries. It was time to make an exchange program.
We were in Rome, at our umpteenth tourist attraction. My students were being shuffled around like game board pieces, and we were visiting so many cities that we weren’t really getting any opportunities for cultural connections. It was just too fast.
Post-grad, I landed an Italian teacher job and began mimicking my cultural immersion experiences in the classroom. It was hard. Really freaking hard. Impossible, actually. So, I started to take my students abroad on tours.
Here you can find all the tools you need to be able to connect with the culture of your destination and live like a local.
Travel is about your ability to create authentic experiences with natives as well as for locals to trust you enough to share those experiences with you.
After a decade of teaching and only being able to have one culturally immersive experience per year as a public school teacher, I decided that all I wanted to do was help people culturally immerse themselves through slow travel and love themselves through wander.
Creating a close connection with my clients is essential in my traveling coaching business. They can always entrust me with their vision and share my resources to experience the trip of their dreams.
Culture brings an integral part in The Wander Word. My services teach my clients how to immerse themselves in the places they will be traveling to. It's a sign of respect, and locals will appreciate them.
My clients are curious to know what else is out there in the world and are ambitious to learn more about other cultures they don't know much. They want to expand their knowledge and understand others' way of living.
I have no tolerance for discrimination and racism. It is my firm belief that everyone should be treated equally no matter who you are or where you come from and not be afraid to show your truest self without barriers and shame.