Travel + Leisure Editors Share The Trips That Changed Their Lives

Travel + Leisure Editors Share The Trips That Changed Their Lives

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Ready for something amazing this year? These trips changed our staff’s lives; maybe they’ll do the same for you.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone in Rural El Salvador

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On the verge of graduating from college with no concrete plans for the following months, I decided to sign up for a two-week trip to Suchitoto, El Salvador, to volunteer at a community center for in-need children. I had never traveled to Latin America before and didn’t speak a single word of Spanish, so it was an opportunity to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I figured that a two-week trip was better than nothing, until another opportunity came up.

Just before leaving, I met with a former professor who was in the process of writing a book about the country, and I offered to extend my stay and assist with any research needs (selfishly capitalizing on a longer stay). I spent the summer traveling through rural El Salvador and southern Guatemala, eating delicious pupusas, living with locals, and practicing my (still) cringe-worthy Spanish. I had no idea when I hopped on the first of my three flights to San Salvador that it would be the start of my journalism career and obsession with travel.  Nearly ten years later I’ve traveled through the majority of Latin America, with only Nicaragua and Panama to check off my list. This year I’m hoping to make that happen.—Sean Flynn, senior editorial producer

Travel + Leisure Editors Share The Trips That Changed Their Lives

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone in Rural El Salvador

On the verge of graduating from college with no concrete plans for the following months, I decided to sign up for a two-week trip to Suchitoto, El Salvador, to volunteer at a community center for in-need children. I had never traveled to Latin America before and didn’t speak a single word of Spanish, so it was an opportunity to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I figured that a two-week trip was better than nothing, until another opportunity came up.

Just before leaving, I met with a former professor who was in the process of writing a book about the country, and I offered to extend my stay and assist with any research needs (selfishly capitalizing on a longer stay). I spent the summer traveling through rural El Salvador and southern Guatemala, eating delicious pupusas, living with locals, and practicing my (still) cringe-worthy Spanish. I had no idea when I hopped on the first of my three flights to San Salvador that it would be the start of my journalism career and obsession with travel.  Nearly ten years later I’ve traveled through the majority of Latin America, with only Nicaragua and Panama to check off my list. This year I’m hoping to make that happen.—Sean Flynn, senior editorial producer

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