As Thanksgiving draws closer the TFT family has been reflecting on everything we are thankful for. Travel has become an integral part of each of our lives, and it has given us lifelong moments and memories we will always cherish and appreciate. In honor of this and to celebrate the holiday season we would like to share with you our favorite travel experience that we are thankful for.

Ned Clark, Vice President

I am thankful for museums in Europe. Art can be incredibly interesting if presented in the context. I am very lucky that the museums of Europe are my classroom and I can inspire young adults to get excited and appreciate art in a hands on setting. The appreciation they gain and the history they learn inside the museums will forever change the landscape of how they view art in their life.


Nic Emery, Director of Operations

I am thankful for the five seaside villages in the Cinque Terre. They are called Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, and these perfectly pastel colored towns have carved out a precarious existence nestled between the mountains and the sea. There is a lot to love in the Cinque Terre, from the fresh seafood to the stunning views from the hiking trail linking the towns together – but ultimately the people who live there are the heart and soul of the place, and our friends there are what make it so special.

Giulia Laveto Emery, International Logistics Manager

I’m thankful for food in Italy. Growing up in Italy, the food culture has been a part of my life since childhood: fresh ingredients, simple and delicious recipes, unforgettable flavors, that’s what makes Italian food so special! Once you taste pasta in Italy, you will never be able to go back.


Tori van Sambeck, Trip Specialist

I am thankful for spending time with elephants in Thailand. Having the opportunity to spend a day with these majestic animals and ride, bathe, feed and play with them was an experience I’ll never forget!photo 1

Tony Benger, Director of International Programming

“I’m thankful for giving back to the community in Fiji. The bonds I have formed with the students and teachers of the school we volunteer at have grown stronger each year and I genuinely look forward to returning to see their smiling faces. Knowing that we are having such a positive effect on the community makes me appreciate what I have at home that much more. It really is a humbling and rewarding experience for me and the teens.”IMG_5452

Jessica Paholsky, International Logistics Coordinator

I am thankful for the Alps in Switzerland. Nothing beats waking up to the peaceful sounds of nature, the crisp morning air, the spectacular mountain panoramas, and the endless adventures in the the Swiss Alps. I feel blessed to be able to experience all of those things and to create memories there with students and co-workers. It is places like the Alps that remind us to pause and reflect on the beauty of the world.jlp switzerland

Marco Naranjo, Central and South America Program Manager

I’m thankful for surfing in Costa Rica. Getting the chance to surf both the Pacific coast and Caribbean coast makes me feel very lucky! I love surfing the crystal clear waves in the Caribbean and watching amazing sunsets after a surf session on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Pura vida!IMG_6994

Katie ZinkhamDirector of Ops

I’m thankful to have stood in the same places where famous historical figures once stood. For example, In Barcelona I climbed the same steps Christopher Columbus climbed to see King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella after returning from discovering the Americas!photo (5)

 Keith Richardson, Recruitment Specialist

I’m thankful for the friends I have made through travel.  Knowing that wherever in the world I go, there are people who want to share their lives and stories with me makes me appreciate my travels even more!10561634_10102131352235002_638142249785413994_n

What travel experiences are you thankful for? Feel free to comment and share with us!