Jennifer credits the impact of travel as one of the reasons she’s at UC Berkeley.
She was drawn to the school because she knew it had many international students and a lot of diversity. Now, she has a roommate from Nepal, a best friend from Palestine, and a dorm full of students from Asia.
“It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I am surrounded by people with different cultures,” she says. “I learn every day.”
Beyond opening her worldview, Jennifer feels the benefits travel has had on her mental well-being.
“One of the most important things that travel brought into my life was a purpose and a safe space. The idea of traveling the world gave a purpose to my life. Knowing that I can travel and see the world while creating long-lasting memories gives me something to look forward to, especially on hard days,” says Jennifer.
“When I am having a hard day, I think back to all the places I have been to, whether they are near or far, international or domestic. I remember all the exhilarating memories with all the attached emotions and feelings. I think about the days I spent in Iceland. I remember breathing in the cold, windy air, seeing the icy blue water at the Blue Lagoon, the day that my tour guide made us close our eyes and take in the moment after hiking and encouraged us to just be present…”
Jennifer is grateful for that initial opportunity to travel and for all the possibilities her eyes were opened to. “EF and Ms. Mendoza opened the door and the possibility for me to travel,” she says. “I never once thought that I would actually be able to travel. Yes, I thought about it. But I never actually thought that I CAN. EF said yes you can, and I did.”
And she’s got no plans to stop now. Recently, Jennifer returned from 17 days in Europe on an EF Ultimate Break trip and she’s currently in the process of applying to study abroad for the upcoming school year. The future only gets bigger from there. But she also knows to enjoy the detours when they inevitably pop up. “I understand that life is not a straight path, and I can change my mind at any moment, but as of now, my plan for after college is to join the Peace Corps.”
The idea that travel would only ever be a dream feels like a distant memory. Jennifer’s travels have led her to the life she leads today and they shape her plans for the future.
“EF Tours has made a huge impact on my life and has influenced me in so many ways,” Jennifer says. “Thank you EF—thank you for all the opportunities you have given me. Thank you for making EF more inclusive and diverse. Thank you for instilling the travel bug within me.”