“As a child, my parents didn’t buy me ‘things,’ but spent on experiences, such as travel, that allowed me to grow as a person.” A Travel Chat with an International Business Student

by Janis on September 25, 2014

Laura YoungermanTraveler Interview:  Lauren Youngerman


A student at the University of South Florida, Lauren Youngerman is a studying international business with a focus on Spanish and marketing.  She is a member of her school’s sailing team, and also works as a sailing coach at a nearby club.

Lauren is an adventure seeker who has had the opportunity to live abroad in both Brazil and Nicaragua, as well as to being a part of the U.S. Army.

A quote that Lauren aims to live by is “Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyways.” (Webb Chiles).

We wanted to learn more about what drives Lauren’s passion for travel.

The Jones: What inspires you to travel?

Lauren:  Many people are afraid of change.

I’m the opposite of that.  I’m afraid of things not changing.

I love the trill of being immersed into something I know little or nothing about.  I think language is one of the most beautiful things in the world, and I love to see and hear the differences.  I’m not a big fan of photographs, but I love experiencing new places by actually being there.

Have you always enjoyed travel? What contributed to your love of travel?

From a young age I have had the opportunity to travel.  I owe my love of travel to my parents.

Growing up my parents didn’t make a spectacular amount of money, but we were comfortable.  With this comfort, my parents didn’t buy me “things” as a child, but spent on experiences, such as travel, that allowed me to grow as a person.

10394822_10153040689918957_140097303734873066_nYou studied abroad in Brazil while in high school. What were some of the key things you learned from this experience?

In high school I had the opportunity to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student in Recife, in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil.

This experience has shaped who I am today.  It taught me to be patient, adaptable, kind, strong (mentally and physically).  I have learned to get along with all different kinds of people, I have learned to accept, embrace, and learn other cultures and languages.

I also learned that being human, we have the ability to never stop learning, and that’s something I hope to keep with me for the rest of my life.

What is your favorite destination?  Why?  

My favorite destination so far has been Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  I was there for the World Cup in 2010 and I had an amazing time.

I love all that there is to see in Rio.  The culture, the music, the landscape, and the people are all beautiful and friendly.  

What destination has surprised you the most, either good or bad?

The destination that has surprised me the most was my most recent trip to San Jose, Costa Rica.  I had been there when I was younger and absolutely loved it.

This past summer I returned to Costa Rica, and I was disappointed by the trip.

San Jose has become very globalized, and I wasn’t a fan of that.  I enjoy traveling to different places to have different experiences.  I wasn’t thrilled that there were more than two Hooters in the city of San Jose. 

1890991_10152658074248957_698773413_nFrom your travels, do you have a practice or insight that makes your travel experiences more enjoyable?

I don’t have a practice or insight that makes my travel experience more enjoyable.

However, I live my life as positively as possible and try to enjoy every moment.  I’ve been in situations where I haven’t been allowed to do much for months at a time (US Army), and I like to live a life where I refuse to be bored or unhappy.

That’s part of the reason I do travel though, because if I have the time and the money, then why not?

Did you travel in high school or college? How did the experience shape you? Please share in comments below. 

 Check out these other Travel Chats…..

Follow us on Twitter or interact with us on Facebook.

Or, check out our boards on Pinterest and/or our photos on Instagram.

Previous post:

Next post: