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Past Crew Members - The World By Road

Past Crew Members

Caki_ShayTeam Member from March 15, 2007 to May 27, 2007 
People call me Caki (Khaki), which is a nickname that my family donned on me as wee lass, short for Catherine. I grew up south of Denver, Colorado with an active imagination and energy to match. Playing down at the creek with the neighborhood boys we would go on make believe safaris and act out wild adventures of traveling to far off places. As I am now an adult and able to embark on these journeys in reality, I have decided to join the two Steves in Australia.

My travels are limited in life so far. I have made a short trip to Puerto Vallarta to enjoy the beaches and play in the jungles there, a beautiful resort town near the bottom of the Baja Peninsula. I have also spent one high school spring break in the Cayman Islands with friends and family, but these nice little vacations hardly count as traveling. Last summer I worked on Rock in Rio-Lisbon as part of the marketing team. That was three glorious weeks of trying to speak and translate Portuguese…not the easiest language to understand. Although a very enlightening and enjoyable trip, it was mostly about the enjoyment of good tunes and delicious feasts in the old part of the city.

Growing up, my first celebrity crush was on ol’ Croc Dundee, so what better time to choose to join Shoppman and Bouey on their round the world expedition. When the idea for this trip was hatched, I never thought it would turn into an awesome reality. I pretty much figured that these boys were all talk and no action (actually that was more of a hope, I really didn’t want my buddies to leave). As it turned out I was in denial, and as I watched them take off in the Toyotas I mentally bought a ticket right then and there. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something so ridiculously cool?

Elena_EvansTeam Member from March 15, 2007 to May 18, 2007
I’ve always been interested in seeking out what adventure life has to offer. Whether it was bungy jumping in Mexico, caving, driving dinosaur bones across the country, or hiking through the woods, I always want to spend time outside participating in some new adventure.

My geology major from Macalester College allowed me to better understand my surroundings while discovering the range of fun and engaging environments the world has to offer.  I used crampons to climb steep ice faces with gps equipment on a glacier in British Colombia and used scuba to explore the depths of the St. Croix river. These research opportunities along with my other travels to Ghana and Mexico, have created a strong desire to more fully explore the world around me.

Macalester is in Minnesota and I was born and raised in Wisconsin. Although I would highly recommend these states, this leaves a large part of the rest of the world for me to explore. As a recent graduate, I feel it is the best time to seek out the adventure of a lifetime! Now is the time to gain a more holistic perspective of where I fit and who I want to be. Traveling with The World by Road will grant me the opportunity to see the gamet of what a country has to offer. I feel this is always more than you tend to catch in your typical tourist treks. I am excited to witness the spectacular array of natural and cultural diversity that can be found throughout the world. Through exchanges with those back home and people I meet along the way, I hope to engage in mutual exchanges of knowledge and experience that will inspire everyone to venture forth and enrich the lives of themselves and those around them.

Brian-Chap Team Member from March 5, 2007 to April 13, 2007
Originally I’m a small town farm boy with a love of the sea. In my early twenties I started scuba diving. At the time I was working as an auto mechanic. In my mid twenties I realized diving could be a fun profession, which lead me to the Caribbean to work in the recreational diving industry as a divemaster and an instructor. After a couple of years I worked my way to a position as a boat Captain.

My interest in commercial diving and emergency medical training progressed into further education at the College of Oceaneering in California. After graduating I worked as a medic and hyperbaric chamber technician. I enjoyed my time in the medical field, but the sea was calling me back. After my additional offshore medical training and an upgrade of my captain’s liscense, I have spent the last 5 years as a captain of various vessels around the Caribbean, Bahamas, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Travel has been an important part of my life for many years both personally and professionally. Almost all of the money I make is spent on either school or travel. Although I would not trade these expeiences for anything, I have realized travel in itself is a form of self gratification. I feel that it is important to not only have these experiences for myself, but share them as much as I can. The ideals of this expedition inspire me because it is an effort to bring joy, understanding, and encouragement not only those less fortunate, but to those who don’t realize how fortunate they are.

As a supporting member of the team, my focus is the humanitarian aspect of the trip. However I feel I can be valuable to many other aspects of the expedition.

Kira-Horvath Team Member from March 17, 2007 to April 13, 2007
I was born and raised in East Brunswick, NJ but left home as soon as I was 18 and it seems like I’ve been moving ever since. I have resided in 9 states in less than 10 years and have traveled extensively through the US, east Africa, Europe and Costa Rica.

My love for far away places and different cultures led me to a degree in Photojournalism from California State University, Fullerton. After graduating in 2002 I worked as a photographer for several newspapers throughout the country and worked freelance in east Africa with the New York based photo agency, World Picture News. My work has been published both nationally and internationally and can be viewed at www.kiraimages.com .

I am a competitive runner and triathlete and I love snowboarding, surfing and any other sport that get’s your adrenaline pumping. Being outdoors, exposing myself to different experiences and meeting new people is what puts a smile on my face and I feel truly blessed to become a part of this expedition. I believe that my participation and love for photography will contribute to the success of this journey and help achieve the trip’s ultimate goal of bringing education and awareness to many cultures including our own.

Jimmy_Swift Team Member from April 6, 2007 to June 20, 2007
I grew up in a place called Florida, for some of you that might not know where that is (that’s that place where Mickey Mouse calls home) and also it’s the retirement capital of the United States. I think the reason for my undying thirst for adventure and new cultures comes from growing up in Florida where it’s not necessary filled with worldly people. Everyone was white, international cuisine was Taco Bell. So before my graduation hat hit the floor I was gone and have been traveling ever since. I moved to Los Angeles “Hollywood” where I have spent the last 10 years of my life producing TV.

Traveling puts me back in that mind set as when I was a kid…. Life was full of adventure… we never looked to far to the future, we just enjoyed the present… It’s a long story how I actually met the Steve’s but needless to say after a few drinks I found myself quitting my job and give my stuff anyway to friends and boarding a plane bound for Australia. This trip is destined to be filled with unforgettable stories and unimaginable obstacles, so let the Journey begin!!!!

Helen_Todd Team Member from July 24, 2007 to August 16, 2007
The start to a travel addiction was injected into my blood in Japan.  My trip’s intention was to climb Mt. Fuji, but a monsoon’s pouring rain prevented the hike.  Backpacking through Europe solidified the addiction and boiling need to travel.  In some cities I stayed with locals at their homes and was given a completely local perspective, forever changing how I view travel.  That fall I studied a semester in a university on the outskirts of London and fell in love with immersing myself into other cultures.

Next, the burning urge to travel came into fruition with an independent study taking me to Thailand to write a paper about marketing opportunities and tourism for the country.  This experience opened up new doors to interact and see a country with a specific objective.  The 2 Steve’s contacted me on couchsurfing.com , an online network of people who host travelers.  Now I am enjoying all the adventures that the road has to offer in S.E. Asia until the end of my trip.

Back in the states, home is in Tennessee at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The South will always have a place in my heart.  I currently live in Boston where I’m pursuing a Masters degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Emerson College.  Through couchsurfing, I stay plugged into the travel community and can often be found entertaining and hosting travelers.  Where my travel addiction will take me in the future is to be determined…

Brandon_Furr Team Member from September 23, 2007 to October 20, 2007
I was born and raised outside of Charlotte, North Carolina in the small town of Harrisburg. My trip to Mexico with my parents in the third grade first attracted me to traveling.  During my sophomore year in college I studied abroad at University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, where realizing I didn’t want to be an engineer and started studying business, eventually graduating from NC State University with a BA in Marketing.

After graduating a friend and I decided to travel Asia.  We spent over 6 months in China, Nepal, India, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.  While in India we volunteered at the Mother Theresa Home in Calcutta.  After returning to the U.S. I decided that I wanted to study Chinese and pursue a career in International Business focused on the Chinese market.

From my time traveling through China I found that Kunming was the best fit for me and choose this as my initial home when first moving to China.  I started out teaching English at a few different schools and doing private tutoring.  After a few months of teaching I became the Marketing Coordinator at EF Kunming, now known as Ying Zhi Fu. Affter living in China for about 2 years, I recently started a consulting firm, Analects Consulting, focused on helping small businesses in the U.S. enter the Chinese market.  My business and new home will be in Hangzhou for the next few years while working on my business and attending graduate school.

I met Steve and Steve when they traveled through Kunming. While studying Chinese at a café, I overheard them talking about traveling through Russia.  At the time I was planning my way back to the U.S. via the Trans-Siberian Railway.  After finding out about The World by Road I decided to joining the crew was a better way to head west toward the states.

Karie_Watts Team Member from October 18, 2007 to November 30, 2007
East Coast born and raised, I left the cozy confines of Wilmington, Delaware and headed for the hills of Virginia Tech for undergraduate study.  One degree, two careers and ten years later, I find myself a team member of The World by Road.

I must give kudos to my family for instilling an early love/hate relationship with the Griswold family road trip.  Countless hours spent on the road between Delaware and all points accessible by station wagon or airstream have cultivated an invaluable capacity to amuse myself as well as an insatiable curiosity for the world outside the window. My family too, is responsible for my love of the outdoors, prompting a move to Denver, Colorado seven years prior.  Now, between hiking, skiing, triathlon training and the like I can be found working as an EMT at Conifer Mountain Family Medicine, honing my skills through Wilderness, Swift Water and High Angle Rescue Training and working towards an advanced medical degree.

Exploration on a larger scale has always piqued my interest but until 2007 had been limited simply to the voracious consumption of books, movies and such.   Several fortuitous encounters later I entered Southeast Asia on my inaugural international experience, June found me in Kenya with Tropical Heights Institute and October, Nepal, with Himalayan Healthcare.

My recent travels have only increased my desire to experience the world as fully as possible, to work towards the greater good and to ultimately offer the most objective and informed opinion possible for both those at home and abroad. To that end, the opportunity to participate as a member of the ultimate road trip, The World by Road, was one I could not allow to pass me by.

brook_silva_braga Team Member from February 7, 2008 to March 27, 2008
My first big trip was a hundred days in Greece with my mom before my second birthday. It’s easy now to say it planted a seed for lifelong travel but it was harder to see a couple years ago. I grew up in residential Rhode Island, then moved to New York so NYU could make me into a journalist.

New York is a fine place to take your job very seriously and I obliged. I covered boxing and (American) football for HBO, which meant lots of weekends in Vegas and the odd overseas shoot. At 24 I had traveled to Asia, Europe, South America and throughout the U.S.A but never spent a night in a hostel dorm or budget guesthouse since those three months in Greece.

That changed in 2004 when HBO foolishly sent me on assignment to Asia and I met a group of backpackers in Ko Samui, Thailand. Within months I had quit my job and set off on a yearlong trip. I brought a video camera and made a documentary—plug, plug—and was lucky enough to sell it and thus not return to the office.

So here I am in Africa riding shotgun in the big Toyotas for a hundred days.

Jen_Caldwell Team Member from March 14, 2008 to June 22, 2008
I spent most of my early childhood in the boonies of Eastern Washington before my family packed up and moved around the west coast for four years, eventually settling in the beautiful North West. My love for travel comes from long road trips and frequent family jaunts across the Mexican border whilst living in Southern California as a kid.
As a recent graduate from the University of Washington in Seattle with degrees in Political Economy and Human Rights, I have no idea what I want to do in life and was lucky enough to be a 2007 recipient of the Bonderman Fellowship, a generous travel grant, to explore the world while getting things sorted. I’ve wandered aimlessly through Central America, Brasil and South Africa for the past five months Scuba diving, trekking, rafting and canyoning when I saw fit. Spontaneously the next step became a plane ticket to Libreville, Gabon where I met the TWBR guysto take advantage of the opportunity to join the team for the rest of the Africa leg of their journey.

I’ve traveled in Europe, India, and Guatemala in the past as well, and continue to hope that all these travel adventures will someday magically prove to give me a direction in life in addition to the hole in my bank account.

Mark_Strauss Team Member from December 3, 2007 to June 10, 2008
My first view of the ocean was in Fiji at 19, while moving to New Zealand for a winter season. This changed me more than I knew. I am a Michigan native, but I have never really been one to stay put for very long, save a four year stint in Jackson Hole Wyoming, where I worked as a freelance ski guide, ski photographer, stone mason and stone sculptor to support my ever intensifying career as a devout ski-bum. I was definitely hooked on the only white powder I care to be addicted to. Although the intensity of my ski-bumming has subsided a bit, I have never been able to shake the travel bug and it does not seem likely in the near future.

When I started selling sandwiches on the streets of Queenstown New Zealand, as the result of no work permit, I realized that anyone can go anywhere and do anything on any budget. It just depends on how badly you want to make it happen. Later I lived in Paris for a year, arriving with only a 10 word French vocabulary, no work permit, no visa and little money. These experiences taught me that all you need is will to accomplish your goals, so an invitation to join a crazy adventure like The World by Road was all it took to get me to fly 10,000 miles to join an expedition that struggles to find its way around the globe each day.

Some other recent endeavors include working as an improvisational comedian with the Improv Alliance in Grand Rapids Michigan and some other beginnings as an actor in Denver Colorado with Big Fish Talent. As part of the crew of The World by Road, it seems like I have been training for this for the last ten years. Now, moving every day, living in meager conditions, constantly trying to crack the perpetual language barrier, never knowing what is around the next bend…there is nothing I would rather be doing with my life. If I can help open the eyes and minds of even a few, to step beyond their comfort levels and explore their world through experiential learning and travel, then I have achieved my goal.

Sarah_Russell Team Member from Feb 2, 2008 to Feb 12, 2007 and again Aug 15, 2008 to Sept 9, 2008
I’m definitely a wanderlust at heart. Growing up in rural Northern Idaho in a logging and farming community, I always knew staying put was not meant for me. As a small child I traveled through Mexico with my parents and attended grade school in Costa Rica. Being bitten by the travel bug early, thanks to my dad, I’ve been restless ever since. The feeling of going just beyond my comfort zone with adventure travel constantly sends me that rush. I’ve lived abroad and traveled in North, Central and South America, Southern Africa, and Europe. My goal is to hit every continent (even Antarctica) before my 30th birthday. Many places in the United States have been my home, but for the last four years I’ve been in love with Denver, Colorado.

My education and background in film, marketing and inter-cultural communication have prepared me for life with The World By Road. With a dream for many years to make travel documentaries, I can’t believe it’s now staring me in the face. The ability to share the beauty of this planet and the wonder of its inhabitants with as many people as possible is incredible.

Beyond my travel and filmmaking obsessions, I’m a certified yoga instructor, mountain biker, camp stove cook extraordinaire, and enjoy playing with fire, running with scissors and pushing the envelope.

Favorite Quote: "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page." ~ St. Augustine

Laura-Sutton Team Member from Aug 18, 2008 to Dec 12, 2008
Born in South Africa, raised in Australia and donning an Irish passport, the stars aligned when I was born to claim me as a wanderer. This may explain my itchy feet syndrome and a lack of ability to stay in one place for any longer than a year or two. Having spent the last several years wandering about the cities and dusty far reaches of Australia and New Zealand, I realized a true dissatisfaction with not knowing how the other 99% of the world lived. With my only knowledge, opinions and beliefs of other cultures based on television constructs and information from books, I craved a deeper understanding of others and the world I live in.

I then started a new journey by working on cruise ships, giving me an even stronger desire to visit roads less traveled. While on the cruise ships I saw the world through the eyes of the ‘tourist’ and the way they perceive traveling, with man-made beaches and cocktail bars (all-inclusive with barbed wire fences keeping the locals away). This all really got me thinking about how much of what we know as westerners is so limited from what our world is really like.

A weekend spent out in the Blue Mountains of Australia in an out-of-the-way campground led me to meeting the two Steves in their rather large Toyota trucks. With the seed planted of adventuring with these two and a thirst for traveling the road less traveled, I find myself a year later joining their epic adventure.

Dareell_Stephenson Team Member from Aug 18, 2008 to Jan 3, 2009
When the clocks finally turned over to 01/01/2000 with no sign of hover-cars, teleporters, or hologram wrist-watches I decided that I may just have to travel the world the exciting way. Two big trucks and two Steve’s later I think I’ve found out how.

It feels like I’ve been moving my entire life. Born in Canada, I grew up on hockey and instant hot chocolate traveling around the prairies training to be an NHL superstar. That was curtailed at the age of 13 when my family up and moved to Suwanee, Georgia. Playing hockey in a town where the general population couldn’t pronounce "Canadian" proved to be difficult until I found solace in the hockey community of ex-pats and transplants making extended trips to tournaments in Canada and the colder regions of the United States. Fully renouncing my attempts to become a pro hockey player I moved to Montreal, Canada to receive an education equal parts Indiana Jones and Frantz Fanon at Concordia University.

Back in Atlanta awaiting dual-citizenship, I promised myself I wouldn’t get stuck in the cubicle Turner Broadcasting had kindly allowed me to write code in. Luckily, they helped me out by removing the cubicle walls along with my entire department. Not content with previous beach getaway trips, I enlisted in The World By Road to experience traveling in a way that few people will ever experience it.

Fernando-Bischof Team Member from Aug 24, 2008 to Dec 5, 2008
Born in Patagonia, and raised moving around Argentina because of my father’s job, my desire for travel started in my early years. I have a degree in business administration from Buenos Aires University, and out of college I moved to New York to work in investment banking. I decided to take a leave of absence to travel around the world, but ended up never returning to New York after the realization that discovering the world and its natural and social diversity should never end.

Being on the move is what excites me the most with the goal of uniting continents traveling by foot, bicycle, road or boat. Single or in groups, I’ve explored four major roads around the world: The Silk Road (EU to Nepal, through Bam), the Trans-Siberian (EU to Bangok x Ulan Bator), Pan African (EU to Capetown x Jerusalem) and the Pan American (Buenos Aires to States, edging Darien gap). Traveling has changed my perception of how I think, feel and interact with people and nature.

I believe that life is about learning and joining The World by Road is a chance for me to learn more and spread this knowledge to as many others as possible.

Melissa_Terry Team Member from Aug 15, 2008 to Mar 27, 2009
There are two places that I call home: Atlanta, Georgia and Montreal, Quebec. Atlanta is where I was raised; Montreal is where I moved for college and, in an entirely different way, also grew up. However it is my time spent traveling that solidified the idea that any "growing up" occurring in my 20s needn’t include any sort of set schedule. That being said, I have had the great pleasure of spending all of my free time and money experiencing nearly 100 cities in over 30 countries worldwide. While either living in, formally studying in or just passing through each of those places I have always tried to fully immerse myself in various local flavor. Some are easier than others, some can be slightly more trying and others just plain odd, but nevertheless each corner of the globe is as fascinating as the next and will always afford the best possible education.

Again realizing that time flies by with zero concern for how one chooses to spend it; I am restless and ready to see more! A few months ago I stumbled upon TWBR website. I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of it and before I could devise some scheme to weasel my way aboard, I found the more legitimate "Join Us" section. Within a few days I submitted the application and the rest is history. Sayonara, suckers…!

Steel_Jones4

Team Member from Jan 20, 2008 to Apr 10, 2009
I could use my bio to brag about my numerous accomplishments—my Nobel prizes, or being named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Year, or my countless hours spent donating my time by touching the lives of blind orphans in the slums of Mumbai. But I don’t want to make everyone else look bad, so here is what I came up with…

I’m way more boring than everyone else here, so my bio will be short. I grew up moving around the United States, eventually ending up in Colorado, where I graduated with a degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado. I like to travel because it’s fun and it helps me to be a less judgmental person.

In my free time I like to breakdance. I would like to become a professional mascot at some point in my life. I like books and skateboarding. I hate mayonnaise and writing bio’s about myself. I also enjoy burritos, aquariums, books, mice, and beards—beards are awesome, even on girls. Go Buffs.