Moments on tour

EF staff reflects on 2021 summer travel

Throughout the summer of 2021, EF staff joined several of our first student groups back on the road. In addition to several international summer travel destinations, they traveled all over the U.S.—from culture-filled cities like Washington, D.C. and NYC, to the breathtaking National Parks. We were able to catch up with some of our staff members after they returned and the overall feeling was unanimous: travel with EF is back and it’s never felt more worthwhile. To give you a taste of what to expect and what you’ll experience on an EF Explore America tour, read their reflections below. 

Small moments lead to big change 

“A few students were nervous about going to The Edge in Hudson Yards because of their fear of heights. Our Group Leader Shanda explained to them that if they are brave for just a few minutes, it would be a memory they would treasure for the rest of their lives—and if they overcame their fear of heights then, they could overcome everything.”

–Hayley M., Tour Consultant


“One of my favorite moments was seeing a student tackle our hike at the Grand Canyon. Despite being behind the rest of the pack, she was determined to do the whole thing. She persevered through the heat, carefully passing big horned sheep (they’re pretty intimidating!), and trudged up the trail until we reached the rim. It was awesome to see how proud and satisfied she felt once she finished.”

–Katie C., Senior Product Manager


“The Vietnam Memorial was a really nice moment. Our Tour Director looked up the names of soldiers from the group’s hometown for them to etch onto paper from the memorial.”

–Katie P., Tour Consultant

History lessons and lasting connections  

“The best part was easily the 9/11 Tribute Museum. Hearing stories from a survivor and family member of a fallen FDNY first responder was incredibly touching. Each of the students saw videos and pictures and felt the gravity of what happened. There were even some moments where tears were shed. It was an incredible learning opportunity.”

–Alyssa J., Tour Consultant


“At Mount Vernon, we heard a historical reenactment speech from an actor about his life as an enslaved man on the property. It was an incredible way to learn and connect with history!”

–Madeleine S., Finance Team


“The best part of the day was checking out Harlem with our local tour guide. He was incredible, knowledgeable, and super engaging with the kids. He cared a lot about the history and connecting us to where we were.”

–Haley M., Tour Consultant

Compelling itineraries for curious learners 

“The best part of the day was touring Arlington National Cemetery, it was so beautiful and the ceremonies were amazing to watch. The kids were all very respectful and were very engaged. They wanted to learn more about some of the soldiers and memorials there.”

–Maggie P., Tour Consultant


“I loved Ellis Island and the digital audio component because it really brought to life what happened. As you walk through, you hear from the people who lived through it. They describe in detail how crowded it was, how confusing it was for them at such a young age, and how difficult it was.”

–Maddie B., Tour Consultant 


“During the Colorado River Float Trip, the scenery was stunning. Our guide was knowledgeable, easy-going, and great at navigating the raft down the river. We also stopped at a beach halfway through and the kids were able to jump in the river! This will be one of my my go-to summer travel destinations from now on!”

–Katie C., Senior Product Manager


The biggest takeaway from our staff? Travel may look different, but it’s still just as impactful. With new-and-improved safety measures and innovative ways of seeing new places, our travelers continue to experience personal growth and gain new perspectives while on tour with EF. Hear more transformative travel stories and browse our tours to make the dream of getting back out into the world a reality. 

Kate Nolan

Kate is a Content Creator at EF. She’s loves searching for the perfect playlist, being outdoors, and enjoying the views from the window seat.

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