¡Hola a tod@s l@s glimpsers y familias! T-2 months until we will be in Ecuador!!
My name is Stephanie Desmond (you can call me Steph!) and I am one of your Global Glimpse Leaders (GGLs). I grew up in Southampton, Ma, and I have lived in WesternMass my entire life. I graduated from Westfield State University to originally become a history teacher back in 2012, but I found myself teaching Spanish in 2013 at Westfield High School, and I haven’t looked back since! I have a passion for the Spanish language and culture, which is why I’m so excited about our trip to Ecuador.
Although for some of you this may be your first time on a plane or traveling abroad, it is not my first trip out of the country. In fact, I have been to nearly 20 different countries (and counting!) However, unlike you all, I had not traveled internationally until I was in college. My first time leaving the country was with my family and the U.S.A. Tap Team to compete internationally in Riesa, Germany. This was my first time experiencing a new country and I remember being nervous, yet excited, about all of the changes such as the language, currency, time difference, and food! Aside from meeting people from all over the world, these changes instilled a newfound love for travel in me.
Since then, I have traveled within Europe, the Caribbean, North, Central, and South America, and I have even stepped foot in Africa on a day trip to Morocco. I have to admit, out of all the countries I have seen, my favorites tend to be the Spanish-speaking ones: I have traveled to Spain 3 times with students in the past and returned last summer to stay there for a month on my own. I will also be returning there again this summer to hike the last 100km of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage with my two best friends where I will then continue to explore Europe for a month before we take off to Ecuador!
Aside from travel, I love to spend time outdoors in nature. Every day I try to set time to go for a hike or run with my dog, ride my bike, kayak, garden, ski, and so much more. Some of my favorite hiking views have been from the top of Huayna Picchu in Machu Picchu, Perú, the Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico, Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, the top of the Medellin cable car at Parque Arví, Colombia and Mount Monserrate in Bogotá, Colombia.
My most impactful travel experience though was to Panamá with Global Glimpse in the summer of 2019. Those 16 days made me grow in ways I never imagined: I left with a stronger sense of self, more confidence in my leadership and communication skills, and a better understanding of the world that surrounds us. This being said, the chances to step outside of our comfort zones often prove to be the most rewarding and transformative opportunities of our life!
Despite the many mixed emotions, you feel as we lead up to our trip abroad, rest assured that Ingrid (your other GGL) and I will make sure you feel welcomed and safe, all while having fun! We will be using this blog to show your supporters back home the global citizens you are becoming! This is your chance to write your own story filled with adventure, excitement, and inspiration. So now I leave you with my favorite quote, “El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.” Translation: He who reads a lot and walks a lot, sees a lot and knows a lot”.
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha.
The countdown has officially begun – we will see you soon!