This week, we went on a mental vacation to travel the world with Andi Brown, a self proclaimed travel junkie. "I have alway been that way," she tells us.
Andi has been traveling since she was 13: vaccinating villagers in Paraguay, surviving 7.6 earthquakes in Costa Rica, backpacking across Europe and caring for orphans in Mexico. She is also a connection junkie who loves meeting people, seeing new things through their eyes and finding out what it really means to walk in their shoes.
Andi's company, Once in a Lifetime Travel, is the perfect combination of everything she is passionate about: travel and meaningful interactions. She plans trips and tours for her clients that take them beyond being a tourist with a check-list. Andi gives them real experiences that are otherwise missed. Her clients go home with memories that last a lifetime and, sometimes, even change their lives.
Daring Spirits: Tell us about a decision that felt really bold.
Andi: Starting my travel company from nothing but a dream and a heart full of passion. Up until that time I had gone the safe route with my career and traveling was something I loved but could only do when I had enough vacation time built up. One day my dad told me it was time to quit talking and start walking. So I did just that and never looked back.
Daring Spirits: Describe a time when things went "wrong" and then the Universe delivered.
Andi: I went through a very painful divorce 13 years ago that left me shaken to the core, feeling no self-worth and trying to figure out how to raise a newborn on my own. I must have filled a million buckets with my tears. Then an amazing thing happened: I discovered how strong I was. From much pain comes great joy. Now my life is overflowing with love and gratitude; I live in a place I love, run a business that doesn’t feel like work in the least, married my high school sweetheart (thank you Facebook) and added two more kids to the mix. I feel safe in saying the Universe over-delivered!
Daring Spirits: What’s one thing you really want people to know?
Andi: That there is so much value to connection and travel is the perfect medium. When we connect with people, judgement and prejudice fade away. Lines between THEM and US get really blurry. Eyes are opened, hearts are touched and we become better, more well-rounded understanding humans. My passion for my business goes much deeper than just helping my clients have a good time.
Daring Spirits: Beach or Mountains? Sweet or spicy? Window or aisle?
Andi: That’s easy. I’m a Montana girl a heart, give me my mountains and I’m happy.
While I love a little kick sometimes, my sweet tooth definitely wins out.
Window of course, I want to see my adventure as it approaches.
Daring Spirits: Thank you, Andi, for inspiring us! We could not agree more - it's about connecting to people and understanding each other. Keep doing this awesome work.