As a youngster, Alison spent her summers exploring the lakes and backwoods of Maine, racing down hills on skis at terrifying speeds, and absorbing the sounds of Czech and Hungarian at the dinner table over generous helpings of her grandmother’s chicken paprikas. Early on, her family’s multiculturalism and tales of finding roots in America instilled in her a curiosity for language and a connection to distant lands. As soon as she earned her high school degree, Alison embarked on her own path to learn of the world, spending her gap year teaching in Tanzania and exploring her roots along Prague’s cobblestone streets.
In college at the University of Vermont, Alison gained leadership experience and deepened her connection with the natural world. In the Green Mountains she learned about survivalism with a naturalist adventure program, led peers on hiking trips with the Outing Club, and fell in love with backcountry skiing. Her major in linguistics allowed for a broad study of human communication that included courses in literature, Spanish, philosophy of language, and psychology, and most importantly, a full year overseas.
During her junior year abroad, Alison dove into a meticulous study of the Spanish language in Uruguay, trekked in Patagonia, and investigated indigenous relations in the Sacred Valley of Peru. She lived with a healer in the Amazon to study the sacred songs of a language with less than 500 living speakers. Since graduating in 2013, she has led international service-exchange programs in Peru, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, as well as Carpe Diem’s East Africa program in Fall 2015. She has also developed programs for Global Routes, the company responsible for her initial addiction to international exchange.
Alison has lived with host families in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Peru, the Czech Republic and Tanzania, and planned solo travels throughout Europe and Latin America. She is in close contact with her friends and host family in Tanzania, and went back to visit them in late 2012. She maintains a mentorship with one of her former students there, Herman, whom she assisted in attending summer camp in the US on full scholarship and finding a path to university in Tanzania, where he is studying computer science.
One of her favorite aspects of travel is the people she meets along the way, all of whom she considers her teachers. A deep believer in experiential learning, Alison is enchanted by the novel sights, smells, tastes, and words she comes across in her travels. She can’t turn down a taco truck, a used book store, or live music on the street, and she is in constant pursuit of dance classes, good coffee, and a place to roll out her yoga mat. Alison has made a commitment to a life of learning, and she is exuberant to be called to Carpe Diem on her path to self-mastery, interpersonal communication, and incorporation of the world’s teachings.