She got her first taste of travel when she was 12 years old and her friend’s parents invited Cari to to be her friend’s travel partner in Mexico. A monkey also got their first taste of Cari…but that’s another story…and yes, I said first (there would be 2 more in 2 different countries in years to follow)
Her real passion for travel, however, was sparked when she was 21 years old and studied abroad in Italy. There she found herself writing in her journal while traveling on the bus with her classmates to various lands…she wrote “I wish all people could experience this.” She was so elated by this opportunity and now couldn’t imagine a life without getting out and exploring the world. It was obvious there was so much more out there.
Already having an extremely open mind, it didn’t take much to convince Cari that she had to get back on the road soon after her return from Italy. The next summer she went to Germany to work as a Director of a military base day camp. The following year, she did an exchange at Hunter College in New York and interned at Saturday Night Live. Cari then wrapped up her degree with a Bachelor Arts in Psychology at the University of Oregon.
Upon finishing her studies, she packed up her life, with her guitar in the passenger seat and moved to Southern California to live with her best friend. She spent three years in San Diego and L.A. working as a behavioral specialist at a group home for foster kids and later with Autistic kids. She also switched it up and gained experience in marketing and sales working with Anheuser Busch. Always wanting to spice up life and roll around like the ball of life she is, she played around with different gigs…landing a position as a production assistant with National Lampoon’s Comedy Headquarters and assisting the Black Eyed Peas with concert work as well as managing Fergie’s MySpace (before the world of Facebook). However, the itch soon came…and it was time to leave.
She moved to South Korea to teach English for a year, then started working as an International recruiter for a volunteer company where she traveled the world. She lived in Australia for a year and worked on Aboriginal land at an Eco-Wilderness resort in the Outback (where she graciously shared her bathroom with a 3 meter Olive Python). Her next three years were spent program managing volunteer programs in South Africa, Costa Rica, Thailand and Cambodia, for university students, engaging them in cultural immersion and leadership development. The programs focused on community development through construction projects (building classrooms), sea turtle and elephant conservation, and curriculum development.
Her most recent venture has been working as a Women and Youth Program Specialist in Rwanda with Peace Corps Response for a year. Cari supported women and youth living with HIV, by helping to create and manage their new businesses as well as assisting with music therapy in cooperation with Music without Borders.
Some of her adventures abroad took her on a road trip to New Zealand with 7 friends crammed into a car like clowns, on a camel through the deserts of India, trekking the Himalayas to Annapurna Basecamp in Nepal, gallivanting around Central and South America, invited to a local goat feast in Laos, trekking for gorillas in Uganda, chimp trekking in Rwanda, White Water Rafting the Nile, hiking to the largest lava lake in the world on top of a volcano in the Congo, and just recently she summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
With many more stories up her sleeve and an infinite amount more expected in the future, she continues to live her life abundantly and fearless. Cari is extremely passionate about encouraging others to do the same. One of her favorite things to do is laugh.
As of May 2017, Cari’s traveled to 49 countries and lived in 9 of them.
During an internship with the research and writing department at Saturday Night Live, she performed “bear growls,” for voice-over work in the background of a Bear Bar Scene Sketch. Strange…but Ridonkulous? Yes.
Cari used to finish warming up with her High School Varsity Basketball team and then sing the National Anthem before the games.