Anne is one of The Travel Women Ambassadors who just returned from a year-long trip around the world. Her work in international relations has helped her travel to nearly 70 countries. READ MORE ABOUT OUR AMBASSADORS HERE.
1. Why do you travel?
I travel because it’s my greatest teacher. In two decades of international travel, I find that I learn something new each time — my most formative experiences happened on overseas trips. Travel has allowed me to connect with those who are different than me, and I found that I have become a more empathetic and understanding individual.
2. What do you think of when you think of a woman traveler?
I think of bravery when I think of women travelers. I still think there’s a lot of societal pressure on women to look, act, speak, and live a certain way — I love it when women defy convention and do what they want without apologizing for it. When I took time off of work to take a trip around the world, I was met with both encouragement and criticism. I got a lot of comments about how I should be married, start a family, and buy a house instead of taking time to travel, even though those things weren’t the right thing for my life at that time. My hope is that by chasing my dreams, I may inspire other women to chase theirs, too.
3. What was your favorite travel experience?
This is a tough question! Releasing baby sea turtles into the water in Oman and swimming with whale sharks in Mozambique are high up on the list, but I think my favorite travel experiences were the first few dates my boyfriend and I had in South America. We grew up only a few miles from each other in Florida but never met until a few years ago. I took a gamble and invited him to meet in Buenos Aires for our second date. Somehow that worked out, and we continued going on “dates” in South America – the third one hiking the Inca Trail in Peru followed by exploring the Galapagos. We fell for each other over shared travel experiences, seeing each other as we really were, and for that, those few weeks in South America will always hold a dear place in my heart.
4. Which place(s) do you want to go next, why?
Antarctica! I am determined to make it to all 7 continents. Although I am very interested in exploring Central Asia and would love to visit Bhutan. I’d love to make it to Cuba soon, too.
5. When did you start traveling?
Growing up, my family frequently traveled around the US for hiking or beach trips, but my first overseas trip was to Germany when I was 10. As I became more independent, I became an ardent traveler. I studied abroad in London and Spain during undergrad and went to Russia and Hong Kong for grad school. When I moved to Washington, DC to begin my career, my job took me to far-flung corners of the globe.
6. Who do you prefer traveling with?
I like to mix it up, but my boyfriend is a pretty good travel companion. We recently completed a year-long trip around the world and managed not to smack each other!
7. Why do you enjoy photographing/writing about travel?
I love reading, telling stories, and having a creative outlet. I have been a prolific journaler since I was young and documenting trips helps keep these memories alive.
8. What is your favorite souvenir?
I am not much of a collector of trinkets, so I guess my favorite souvenirs are my photos. I love having visual reminders of my experiences.