I was born in a hospital in outside of Washington, DC but to begin elementary school, my parents moved my sister and I to Carroll County, Maryland and my youngest sister was born shortly thereafter. I lived there for the remainder of my childhood and adolescence until I graduated High School.
Upon graduation, I moved to Pittsburgh where I enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh in the College of Business Administration. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do at that time was study abroad, so I jumped on the first opportunity I got. That opportunity happened to be the life-changing Semester at Sea program in the fall of my sophomore year of college. On that journey, I circumnavigated 29,000 miles around the earth, stopping in port cities in Europe, Africa and Asia. To say that it completely altered the course of my life would be a drastic understatement. The experience showed me that the world has so much to offer and I discovered that I really enjoyed traveling, meeting new people and learning about new and interesting foreign cultures.
The summer between my sophomore and junior years of college, I enrolled in the College of Business Administration’s brand new International Internship Program. As a "guinea pig," I went to São Paulo, Brazil where I absolutely fell in love with the country, the people and the culture. Once I returned to the US, my ultimate goal became returning to Brazil whenever I had the opportunity. Spring Semester of 2011 I was back aboard the MV Explorer after having enrolled on Semester at Sea for a second time. This voyage took me back to Brazil as well as a dozen or so other nations in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Though I had to drop out of the University of Pittsburgh for the semester, I re-enrolled with ease, registering for my classes while in Shanghai, China using an authorized Apple reseller store's free computers and internet.
Immediately following the voyage, I made my way back to Brazil in summer 2011, working for the US Department of Commerce at the United States Embassy in the capital, Brasília. I helped find new business opportunities for American businesses wanting to enter the vast and intricate Brazilian market. Though the internship was short, it was an invaluable experience and showed me the importance of networking. My second Semester at Sea voyage had opened the door for me and I stuck my foot in by introducing myself to one of the diplomats working at the Embassy.
As of March 2013, I've been living and working in São Paulo, Brazil (besides a brief stint in Belo Horizonte before, during and after the World Cup). At the moment, I hold 6 jobs as an independent freelance contractor. I work as an interpreter and translator (ENG<=>PORT) and as an English Teacher, giving private classes to São Paulo's business elite and medical community. I also work with events (host, hostess supervisor, bilingual receptionist, booth greeter) and as a model. Anually since 2014, I have researched and written the Brazilian Consumer Lifestyles report for Euromonitor (the 6th job, market research).
I enjoy watching American football and Brazilian soccer as well as eating strange (to an extent) and foreign foods, but my favorite restaurant style (was) the meat buffet, like those found in Brazilian steakhouses - I became vegetarian in late 2016. I LOVE the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as anything and everything to do with the University of Pittsburgh and the Pitt Panthers. I dislike baseball but I'll go to the occasional game because they are so cheap, but I would much rather enjoy a cold craft beer out on the back porch during a warm summer night than go to a baseball game and pay $10+ for a bottle of nationally produced tasteless "yellow water."
I also LOVE to travel--mostly internationally, but I have traveled all over the United States as well. At the moment, I have been to 25 countries (27 if you include Macau and Hong Kong, which are technically part of China but also technically economically independent) on every inhabited continent besides Australia. My goal is to always have visited one country more than my present age.
Other Fun Facts/Unique Experiences: Circumnavigated the Globe (twice) - Spent at least 2 days of my life in EVERY full-hour time zone on earth Crossed the Equator for the first time at 11:11:11PM Crossed the Equator for the second time at exactly the Prime Meridian (0ºN. 0ºE.) Went cage diving with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa Rode an elephant through the jungle in India Rode in the fastest elevator in the world (In the Taipei 101 building in Taipei, Taiwan) Stood in the 2nd tallest building in the world (Taipei 101) Climbed the Great Wall of China (in the winter and part with the most stairs) The first time I shot a gun was an AK-47 in Vietnam "Petted" (yes, as if it were a domestic cat) an adult cheetah and lion cub Sailed for 5 days on the Amazon River in north Brazil Climbed Table Mountain (in way less than the "normal" amount of time) in Cape Town, South Africa Been to Diego Garcia (Do you know where it's located?!) Played golf at Torrey Pines the same week that Tiger Woods won a major PGA event I've been interviewed for a New York Times article I traveled to 4 cities across 4 regions of Brazil to attend 5 games during the FIFA World Cup in 2014