It isn’t uncommon for younger siblings to look up to an older brother or sister. Sure, there may be some disagreements or bickering from time to time, but the bond between siblings tends to be strong. Having a sibling who has already studied, taught or even volunteered abroad oftentimes serves as the perfect example for what’s possible. Today we’re celebrating National Siblings Day at Greenheart Travel by catching up with a few of our sibling travelers.
Erin attended high school in Argentina with Greenheart Travel in 2013. Currently a senior at Niagara University, she’s now organizing a summer service trip to Puerto Rico for her and a few fellow students. It’s safe to say she’s caught the travel bug. Her younger sister, Hannah, is a junior at Bolivar-Richburg Central School, and is very much looking forward to traveling to Spain in September of 2018 to study abroad as well. That travel bug must run in the family.
“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve looked up to my sister, Erin,” says Hannah, “She has made me the person I am today. When I see her travel the world, it influences me to follow her path in that exploration… I can’t help but want to be just like her.”
“Hannah is a lot like me,” Erin admits, “She has the entire world in front of her, and this opportunity to go to Spain will change her entire life. Taking the first leap [to study abroad] is a challenge, but I’m hoping it will make her transition a lot easier knowing her sister did it, too.”
Both Erin and Hannah were positively influenced by hosting various exchange students from all over the world while growing up. This exposure to other cultures and languages from early on is what ultimately inspired Erin to travel abroad, and now Hannah is able to follow in those same adventurous footsteps.
“I think the amazing experiences I’ve had have influenced my younger sister, Hannah,” says Erin, “It’s important to have an experience like this because you get a better understanding of the world and a better grasp of a language.”
“She’s been my role model for as long as I can remember,” shares Hannah, “Knowing I’ll be able to travel the world just like my sister makes me more happy than I can even comprehend… Hopefully I’ll be able to continue this and inspire others to travel as well.”
Jack went to high school in Japan on a Greenheart Travel study abroad program, and two years later his younger sister, Savannah, flew to Italy to have her own study abroad experience. Such adventuresome siblings!
“My older brother, Jack, has always loved languages,” Savannah reveals, “So, it wasn’t really a surprise when he decided to study abroad in Japan for a semester. Hearing about how much he loved his exchange was definitely a major [reason why I chose] to study abroad in Italy just a few years later. I could see how his experience taught him so much about the world and other cultures, and I knew I wanted to experience that for myself.”
Savannah feels like having a brother who had already experienced something similar to what she was doing in Italy was very helpful while she was abroad.
“Jack was very supportive of me when I was abroad. He was always the first person I would ask questions… He gave great advice that came from his personal experiences; something I can now do as well. I’ll always be thankful that my brother inspired me to study abroad because I honestly can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t gone [to Italy].“
Ellie spent a year abroad in Japan for high school. The experience had a profound impact on her life. In fact, she’s currently looking at the possibility of attending universities in Japan and recently went back to visit several of her host families. Because of this, her younger sister, Chloe, has also decided to study abroad in Japan starting in the fall of 2018.
“As far as inspiration on traveling abroad goes,” Chloe begins, “It’s always been one of my interests that I shared more with friends than my sister – although I probably wouldn’t have chosen Japan if I hadn’t seen how much she enjoyed her experience there… I love how respectful the people are and how incredible the country is. Hearing her talk about how much she loved her entire journey really pushed me to swallow my fears and go for it. I hope [my time in Japan] is just as life-changing as Ellie’s was.”
Jared spent a semester in Stockholm with Greenheart Travel’s high school abroad program in Sweden. His younger brother, Jordan, plans to go to high school in Austria for a semester in 2019. Jordan definitely has Jared to thank for that extra inspiration to travel overseas.
“The idea of studying abroad is something that’s been exciting me for a while now,” he exclaims, “But, if it wasn’t for my older brother, Jared, I don’t know if I’d be considering going abroad today.“
According to Jared, “Jordan had only been out of the country once before I went abroad,” he continues, “At the end of my seven months in Sweden, my brother and dad came to visit… It was amazing to be able to share all my experiences with them… I was able to show them my school, my neighborhood, my home, and introduce them to my Swedish friends and host family…”
Visiting Jared in Sweden was when Jordan realized how much he also wanted to have a study abroad experience.
“This was the point when my view changed the most,” he admits, “By seeing my brother in a new environment and how welcoming his host family was, nothing anymore could stop me from studying abroad in the future. All of the ‘what ifs’ went away and I’m proud to say my brother gave me the biggest leap to study abroad.”
“It’s certainly an honor to have influenced him in going abroad,” says Jared, “I’m ecstatic that his ambitions have brought him to Greenheart Travel.”