Exploring California

Exploring California

Welcome back to Trip 21 as we head off to Las Vegas and the Luxor to see the Strip, the Bellagio Fountain Show, and the Stratosphere. We just left San Diego, but let’s catch you up on everything we’ve been up to since we last spoke. 

We found ourselves in Ventura Beach, California at the end of our first week. We arrived in the afternoon and began setting up camp. The Trip Members helped cook a delicious dinner of chicken, steak, and salmon and made banana boat chocolate bananas for dessert. The next morning, we headed out for a day at the beach. Some people splashed in the waves, some laid out in the sun, and others played football and even learned some kickboxing moves. We ended our day in the sun with a relaxing movie and strawberry shortcake.

Campsite takedown was a breeze the next day as we were off to Keep Reading »

40 Days, 15 States, Countless Memories, and 1 U.S. Explored

40 Days, 15 States, Countless Memories, and 1 U.S. Explored

After five and a half weeks together, our trip has officially come to an end. But before we start reminiscing about all the great times we’ve had traveling across the U.S, we need to tell you about all the things that we’ve been up to since our last update!

Our first stop after San Diego was Los Angeles, the city of Angels, where we got right into the action with a visit to Madame Tussaud’s museum of wax figures to see all the hyper-realistic representations of famous celebrities and fictional characters. Some of the figures were so realistic! Outside of the museum, we walked along the busy strip and saw the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the handprints and signatures left in the concrete at the entrance of the Chinese Theatre.

The next morning, we spent the morning at the L.A. Food Bank where we volunteered to help sort Keep Reading »

Feeling like Stars in Los Angeles

Feeling like Stars in Los Angeles

Hello everyone!

After leaving Lake Tahoe, we made our way to Mann’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. Here, we saw numerous street vendors and performers dressed as superheroes and celebrities. 

Our first full day in L.A. included a guided tour behind Universal Studios where we visited the world’s largest working studio and the famous sets of Jaws, Times Square, Wisteria Lane, and Bates Motel. We learned about the versatility of sets and how special effects like rain and flash flooding work. 

After the tour, everyone was able to enjoy Universal’s rides, like the newly revamped Jurassic World, and classics like The Mummy. We ended our day at the Hard Rock Cafe where we enjoyed a delicious meal and an outdoor concert.

The following day, we made our way to Venice Beach, stopping at Abbot Kinney Blvd on the way. A few of our Trip Members ran into Casey Neistat, a famous Youtuber. The first Keep Reading »

Inspired, Transformed, and Connected

Inspired, Transformed, and Connected

Welcome home!

When we get home from a trip, we tend to have so many things to share with our family and friends that sometimes we forget all the details! With our jam-packed 11 days, we wanted to fill you in on our final two days in Ecuador. 

From Riobamba, we headed to the Amazon River in Baños for whitewater rafting. We split up into two rafts to float down the river. We rafted through the rapids and each of us had an opportunity to sit at the very front of the boat. After a 16-kilometer trip down the river, we made our way to the thermal hot springs. 

In the evening, we had our closing banquet to celebrate our incredible trip. Each trip member was left with a “last will & testament,” which was based off something that happened to them during the trip. Next, each trip member was given a notebook, Keep Reading »

Treating Patients and Building a Home in Ecuador

Treating Patients and Building a Home in Ecuador

Hola one last time! 

Our time in Riobamba was incredible and we can proudly say that we have supported over 180 patients during our clinical care and helped to build a man’s home. 

With MEDLIFE, we supported two new communities with medical care. Program Members had the opportunity to experience each and every station. Through this, they realized the importance of each one and understood how all of the stations were interconnected. 

First, patients were required to check-in at registration and fill out paperwork. Next, they would go to triage where their height, weight and vitals were checked and recorded. They would then go to the education station and given different pamphlets explaining various diseases that are common in the area. Also at this station, Program Members played videos on the projector to educate patients on these potential health issues. The group even took the time to converse and engage with the Ecuadorians, Keep Reading »

Aloha One Last Time

Aloha One Last Time

Honolulu has been nothing short of amazing. Our group began the week with a canoeing excursion. Shortly after, we relaxed and caught some waves on Waikiki beach. The trip members enjoyed the beach and all agreed that this was one of their favorites we had been to thus far on our trip!

The next day, we met our first service partner in Honolulu, Habitat for Humanity. The trip members were eager to start their service in Honolulu! Habitat for Humanity prepared some tasks for us to complete, so we got right to work. We built bookshelves, re-organized items on shelves, and even painted a bathroom. The trip members worked diligently and blew the Habitat for Humanity staff away with the amount of work they accomplished! One of the trip members shared that she loved this service project because it felt like we were giving back directly to the community.

Our second community Keep Reading »

Cruisin’ Around American Voyageur Style

Cruisin’ Around American Voyageur Style

From stargazing in Lake Tahoe to seeing Hollywood stars on the streets, we are truly having the summer of a lifetime! 

Our time spent in Los Angeles was incredible. We had a blast at Universal Studios, where we saw the Bates Motel used in Psycho as well as the set of Whoville from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. Also in L.A, we had the opportunity to visit a food bank. Here, we sorted through carrots and fresh meat for people in the community.

Later, we made our way to Disneyland and went on as many rides as we could. We even rode Space Mountain more than once!

It was time to board our cruise ship. On the first day at sea, we enjoyed a delicious meal at the ship’s buffet and settled into our rooms with beautiful views of the ocean. The first stop on our cruise was Catalina Island, right off the Keep Reading »

Sunny Days in San Fran

Sunny Days in San Fran

Our trip has been off to an incredible start! Let us give you a quick recap of what we’ve been up to!

Everyone landed in San Francisco eager and excited to meet the rest of the group. As we began playing icebreakers and name games, everyone had the chance to introduce themselves and get to know each other. After settling into our beautiful hotel right on the Bay, we made our way to Chinatown for dinner. 

Day two began with a classic cable car ride through the streets of San Fran and our Trip Members learned that the cable cars are said to be the only mobile national monument! From there, we visited the most crooked street, Lombard Street! We then rode on over to Oakland to watch the Oakland Athletics dominate the Texas Rangers 6-5. We ended our day at Pier 39 where we indulged in delicious milkshakes at Ghirardelli Square.

We Keep Reading »

Spectacular Santorini

Spectacular Santorini

It’s hard to imagine that our incredible journey is coming to an end. It feels like we all just started meeting, becoming friends and playing icebreakers at the airport. We have experienced so much together since the trip has begun!

After we finished climbing and learning about the Acropolis of Athens, we headed for our group dinner and had a chance to get some gelato. The next day, we woke up nice and early and made our way to the first day ferry of the trip. As a group, we were heading to the blissful island of Naxos. Once we arrived in Naxos, we headed to the boardwalk and ate lunch by the sea. Throughout the rest of the day, we had a chance to explore the town and stop for ice cream at the world famous Waffle House for dessert. 

On our second day on the island, we experienced one of Keep Reading »

Goodbye Greece

Goodbye Greece

This week, we were exploring the Acropolis and the diverse culture that Athens has to offer, before making our way over to Naxos! Our time in Naxos was full of amazing and exciting adventures. For many of us, we tried scuba diving for the first time! We got all geared up and made our way to the ocean floor. 

Not only did we try our hand at diving but we also had an opportunity to prepare our own delicious Greek meals during a cooking class, and it sure was delicious! Maybe we can even try making these dishes at home! It was one of the best meals that we’ve had, and it was probably because of all the hard work that went into it. 

We loved exploring Naxos by bike and on foot. Over the past couple of days, we really got accustomed to the lifestyle and layout. One of our favorite Keep Reading »