Imke Baumann, director of custom and open enrollment programs in the Office of Executive Education at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, recently checked off a major item on her bucket list: she has traveled to 50 different countries, all before her 30th birthday!
In our earlier post, Baumann shared why travel is important and what she has learned. Now, she recounts some of her experiences in Peru, Bolivia, and Mozambique. She also discusses her plans to travel to Antarctica, which would make her a visitor of all seven continents:
I love traveling to iconic or well-known parts of the world. During a recent trip to Peru and Bolivia, we went to Machu Picchu. We got to hike one of its highest peaks. I remember looking down at the ancient civilization from thousands of years ago that I had always seen in photos and saying, ‘Wow! Now I’m one of those people who has seen Machu Picchu.’ These moments make me realize that I’m very fortunate; I have been to places that many people dream of seeing, but often never see.
On that same trip, I went to a couple places in Bolivia that were very remote. I went to the Uyuni Salt Flats, which are deserts made out of salt. Until you’ve been there, you can’t picture what they look like. If you went, you’d see miles and miles of white desert salt and cacti growing from underneath. I was driving in big jeep vehicles, and I had the surreal feeling in which I felt like I was on a different planet. We all drove around for the day and went to lagoons to see different wildlife. We were at such a high altitude, and it almost felt extraterrestrial. Sometimes, you just have to pinch yourself when you have these experiences.
On another trip, I remember going to a little remote island in Mozambique called Ibo Island. We went diving one day, and on the way back, my scuba diving instructor said, ‘Oh, there are dolphins right there. Do you guys want to go swimming with them?’ I got to see 10 or 15 dolphins swimming underneath me for the rest of the trip back home. Those kind of experiences make it difficult to put into words how breathtaking traveling is.
And I still have so many places to go! I’ve been to all of the continents except for Antarctica, but it’s on the list for next year! The more you travel, the more you have these running lists of places you want to go. At first, you go to countries, and then it’s the big world cities like London, Rio, or Sydney, and then suddenly it’s the natural wonders of the world. And then you throw in Antarctica. I really want to get my passport stamped at the South Pole. There are cruises that go there from Argentina or Chile, and there’s a research station where you can get your passport stamped, which I have always found fascinating. I’m already saving up for that trip!