Meet Allison Yates, Greenheart Travel’s High School and Short-Term Abroad Programs Coordinator!
Allison was 16 year-old when she took her first trip abroad, where she participated in a mini-exchange with a high school in Billericay, England. She graduated from Indiana University with degrees in International Studies, Spanish and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
She studied for a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina; taught English and was an au pair in Ibiza, Spain; and worked in Melbourne and Darwin, Australia, which explains why she has the habit of drinking mate, eating dinner late and signing off emails with “cheers.”
She’s traveled to over 30 countries and hopes to soon visit Brazil, India and South Africa. She also writes freelance about travel, women and society and in her free time loves listening to podcasts, belting her favorite reggaeton songs, reading anything fascinating, and trying to learn social Latin dances.
Read on to learn a bit more about Allison’s favorite cuisine, aha moments while traveling and which spirit animal she resonates with most.
I grew up in Fishers, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. It was a very quaint childhood, something my foreign (or even sometimes East Coast/West Coast) friends tend to laugh at – it was the stereotypical “American” high school experience.
I feel like I’m cheating on Buenos Aires (one of my most favorite cities in the whole world) by saying this, but Istanbul is a place I was so impressed by. I only got to stay for five days, but it would take five years to see all of it! I loved the food, the river, the colors, the diversity and the goofy people I met.
Some people in the office have participated in eating competitions and aren’t aware I also have a competitive spirit when it comes to food. I once ate an entire watermelon in a matter of minutes and won a medal (it was on a cruise, but let’s say it still counts as a legit competition!).
Spanish food! While in Spain I lived with a host family and never tired of some of their favorites. First, the ultimate charcuterie board: dates, olives, cheese, breads and sausages (I’m a big fan of chorizo, and a special sausage from Ibiza called sobrasada). Plus, mussels in garlic sauce, tortilla española, and every version of a rice dish you could imagine. Maybe I could sneak in more avocados and then I’d be really happy.
Be an expert in a certain part(s) of the world, and be sent there to write (or “report on”) about it.
Based on my tendencies to be startled easily and jerk my head at sudden noises, I think I’m most connected to the murcat.
This is hard one to choose, but one moment I’m grateful I witnessed was a pre-wedding hammam ceremony in Fez, Morocco. I happened to visit a hammam on the same day of the ceremony. As the only non-wedding party person there, they invited to join in all the festivities. I was singing and dancing with a bunch of strangers and really had no idea what was happening – but it was amazing!
Everyone at the office has a great sense of humor. Besides that, the office itself has a warm atmosphere. It’s decorated with world maps and “wanderlusty” posters, so I feel right at home.