Meet Deidre Mathis, another fabulous traveler who took advantage of the study abroad opportunity. Her story is interesting and inspiring and her pictures are beautiful!1. You’ve studied abroad three times, where did you study and why did you choose those places?
Yes, I studied abroad 3 times between undergrad and graduate school. I studied in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and India. I chose the Spanish speaking countries when I was in undergrad because I was really interested in becoming bilingual. I chose to go to India because I wanted to study the Hindi language.2. How did you find out about the possibilities of studying abroad and how did your family react to your decision to go?
Both of my alma maters had really small study abroad offices so it took a lot of searching on my end to make my study abroad experiences happen. I researched scholarships, locations, etc to make sure I was going to have the best experience. My family, for the most part, was pretty open to me going abroad.
3. Did you get homesick while you were away and how did you deal with it?
Yes, I did get very homesick! Even now when I travel for a certain period of time I get homesick. I usually spend some time calling friends and family and they remind me of what awesome experiences I am taking apart of and I usually bounce back quick. I have also found that finding another solo traveler in whatever destination I am in helps me because we can both share our experiences of our countries together.4. How was your view of America, your family and friends different when you returned home?
Oh my gosh- totally different! I was so appreciative of the luxury of life we have here in America: hot water, mostly! But, I also realized that as Americans, we work so hard to purchase material things to keep up with other people, when abroad spending time with loved ones and appreciating the small things in life were the most important.
5. You currently work for a study abroad program, how long have you done that and what made you choose that as a career?
After I finished my gap year of traveling and writing my travel book, I decided that I wanted a career that would allow me to promote international studying and allow me the chance the travel too, so working at my company was a no brainier. I just started the middle of this year but I will be in my role for at least a couple more years, I am sure!
6. You have several degrees, did travel impact your educational choices?
I am addicted to learning! I loved the classroom setting and I loved reading and doing presentations. I decided to get my master’s because I knew that one day I wanted to be a business owner and I wanted as much “book knowledge” I could have before I went out and got hands on experience. If I wasn’t so passionate about starting my business in the next couple of years, I would have definitely gone to get my PHD.
7. On average, how often do you travel each year?
Since I was 18 years old, I have been out of the country at least twice a year. 2013 I did about 7 countries though and this year I did 9. In 2015 I already have SIX (Dubai just added) countries paid for and planned out!
8. So far what are your top 3 destinations and where do you want to go next?
1) South Africa
Next up: Ireland, Iceland, China, Chile, Dubai, and Bahamas (for the 3rd time)