Meet Connor Cargill, Greenheart Travel’s High School & Short-Term Programs Coordinator!
While earning his BA in International Business with a minor in Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin, Connor had several international experiences that helped to form his passion for appreciating the importance of challenging oneself. He fell in love with the infinite perspectives and languages we can learn from while studying abroad in Spain, interning for a small NGO in Nicaragua, and living in the highlands of northern Ecuador.
Connor has traveled and hiked across Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Switzerland, Ireland, France, and Spain. He thoroughly enjoys exploring exciting foods, going on long walks while listening to podcasts, learning other people’s stories, and listening/dancing to loud music.
Read on to learn more about Connor and his travel experience:
I grew up in The Woodlands, TX, a suburb of Houston. It’s not the most “happening” place in the world, but I grew up with around 30 animals in my laundry room (Mom is a science teacher) and two older twin brothers to keep it entertaining.
Cuenca, Ecuador is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Imagine cobblestone streets accented by Spanish colonial architecture with a gorgeous mountain river running through the middle of the city, not to mention the historically complex, vibrant surrounding cultures and national parks. It’s dreamy and ridiculous.
I can make a pretty solid/obnoxious Chewbacca sound (don’t ask me to do it, I get nervous). Also, I have impeccable timing when double bouncing anyone on a trampoline.
Oh gosh, my initial reaction is Tex-Mex which I realize is not from a particular country, but I have to follow my heart.
Continue being an open and honest human being. Open in a sense of embracing all that I encounter in the world and avoiding living a life of specificity and entitlement; honesty in self-expression and through how I interact with others.
This isn’t much of a momentary “eureka!” experience, but more so a culmination of things that gradually led to a deep understanding. During my time in Ecuador, I worked with a small NGO as a sort of intercultural guide helping to facilitate group volunteer experiences. Life is full of repetition, and within that, the pattern-recognition part of your brain fires off to help “make sense” of certain human behaviors. These patterns contribute to our view of “normalcy,” and the best way to disrupt this is through travel. Nearly every participant in the 15 groups I led was filled with a passionate intentionality, stoked by the newness of their experiences. Often, we lose this feeling when surrounded by familiarity, turning on autopilot when comfortable. My life was forever changed when I realized that leveraging intentionality is possible wherever you go. Although it’s difficult to challenge yourself when surrounded by things you know well, the sense of feeling grounded and present through being intentional has made life that much more sparkly.
To travel is to be humbled, showing you that every perspective is valuable and complex. To be able to help facilitate a challenging, thoughtful experience for someone is something that is incredibly exciting to me.