This spotlight features Angela. Angela is an IT professional and native Houstonian who decided to take a step of faith by resigning her corporate position during the recession to go on sabbatical. In the past 20 months, her sabbatical travels have led her to amazing destinations such as Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Colombia, China, Russia, Japan, Greece, Panama, Mexico, Honduras, and many more exciting places. With a desire to serve, Angela has been involved with projects such as volunteer mission trips and mentoring at a juvenile delinquent center. In addition, she was recently presented with the 2009 WHS Wall of Honor Service and Leadership award. With her sabbatical winding down, Angela is currently working on her Doctor of Education and looking to re-enter the workforce.
Quick Info on Angela
How Often Do I Travel
About 12 times year
Where to Next?
Stateside – Exploring Arizona!
Favorite Travel Gadget
Nikon Camera & a pashmina
Cruised to China, Russian, and Japan. Sightseeing in Park City, Utah.
No…Not going to happen
Go to Outer Space if You Could?
Photography, reading, spending time w/family, and of course traveling.
Connect with Angela
Where have you traveled Internationally? If you describe that location in a single word or phrase, what would it be?Although I have been to more than 30 countries, my sabbatical travels over the past 20 months have led me to amazing destinations. I have been to Italy, Greece, Spain, Egypt, Israel, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, China, Japan, Russia, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Jamaica, Turkey, Costa Rica, Germany, Dominican Republic, and many other exciting locations.
In a word, each place has its own UNIQUENESS. To me, travel is about exploring and experiencing the character of each destination.
- Italy – Love for life
- Nicaragua – Off the beaten path
- Vladivostok, Russia – I’m in Siberia?
- Israel – The Bible come to life!
- Colombia – Amazing beaches
What are the Top 3 destinations on your Bucket List?
Has any trip changed the way you think or act – whether politically, socially or otherwise?I did a mission trip to Recife, Brazil years ago. That trip opened my eyes to see that sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone in order to help and positively impact the lives of others.
Have you ever experienced a problem when traveling (passport, victim of crime, etc.)?Not really. I have encountered some interesting “characters”, but nothing harmful. For example, while on a train in Italy, a young man sat in our car and struck up a conversation with us. In spite of his limited English, he kept pushing me to input my phone number in his cell. I declined and tried to ignore him. He then pulled out a pair of handcuffs. We knew he wasn’t an “officer”. At that point, the train agent approached him for his ticket, which he didn’t have validated. Subsequently, the guy was detained and escorted off the train. Another traveler who witnessed the conversation translated what the guy intended to “do” with the handcuffs. All I can say is thank goodness for timely interruptions.
More recently, I narrowly escaped the earthquake in Japan. We were there the day the smaller earthquake hit Tokyo. Had we extended our plans like we initially wanted to, we would have been in the midst of the disaster. We flew back to the states just hours before the big one shook the area.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten when traveling?I am a very picky eater…did I say PICKY?? Outside of meat patties, escargot, and falafel, I haven’t ventured out too much. Unless it is dessert!!
What was your least favorite travel experience and why?I try to enjoy each destination and make the most of the experience. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, but I take it as an opportunity to experience and see something different.
What kind of vacation do you prefer, adventure, nature, backpacking, luxury getaways, shopping, relaxing, other?I love a mix of cruises, adventure, beach getaways, city stays, and relaxing trips.
What’s the best thing about traveling? What’s the Worst?
- Best – Seeing the beauty of God’s creation & savoring experiences.
- Worst – Unpacking my suitcase. Asking others to take a picture of me.
When you’ve traveled internationally, did you prefer to do things that are familiar (American food/activities) or go outside of the tourists areas and see how the natives live?I mix it up a bit with the familiar and adventure.
Do you look for Americans when you travel? Also, do you try to ‘blend in’ or don’t think about it.I just go and really don’t think about it.
Do you have any travel tips to share?Plan and go! Life is too short to NOT do what you want to do. Life is also bigger than your neighborhood.
Any parting shots or Shout outs?Thank you Jay for the spotlight! Also, thanks to God for an amazing sabbatical experience and for giving me the courage and confidence to step out in faith to make a dream come true. Where will your dreams take you?