Stephanie Linder - Chief Experience Officer

Have you ever felt stuck? Like there was more out there that you weren’t taking advantage of? Or you were doing things because you were supposed to and not because you wanted to?

Well I did. In April 2017, I officially quit my corporate job, sold most of my things, and began a new adventure to chase a dream. I will start my journey traveling to Medellin, Colombia with plans to travel long term volunteering, networking and building my own business.

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois USA and until recently have lived in the heart of downtown. I am truly a city girl and love my Chicago Bulls and Cubs. All I want when I grow up is a baby grand piano, going to hip-hop dance class is my favorite thing to do, and I've always been an entrepreneur at heart.

My love for travel didn't explode until my mid-20s. My perspective officially shifted when I took my first solo trip to Bali, Indonesia in 2013. Once I traveled solo, I was hooked on the idea of someday living abroad. I had been amazed at how easy and freeing it was to meet different people with unique perspectives, surrounded by new cultures and customs.

From 2013 until today, there were a series of small steps that propelled me to take the leap. I made friends who taught me that traveling abroad was not as scary as it seemed.

I took free webinars to learn WordPress, Google Analytics and Digital Marketing to start my own blog. I started working for my aunt's marketing company on the side, so I could save a few extra hundred dollars a month. I froze my eggs to have the freedom not to worry about the kid-thing for a while and extend my fertility years. I watched documentaries and learned everything I could about different countries around the world. All of these tiny steps led to my breaking point.

I knew I could no longer wait to travel. If I didn't do it today, at 32 years old, I knew it would continually become more challenging to leave the comforts I had built. I bought my one way ticket in February and quit my job. I stared at the computer screen, I had done it. The anxiety quickly melted away and now all I can think about is the beautiful, bright future and I've never been more excited.

My first stop will be Medellin, Colombia - a city long known for it’s treacherous history, but in recent years has thrived off being named one of the most “Innovative Cities” in South America. I will start there but I certainly won't end there. I hope to make my way to many different cities and countries throughout South America and possibly the world. This blog will be my outlet and I hope you will come get lost with me as I navigate this big, beautiful world.