We know our FTLO alum are pretty cool, but we wanted to share how cool.
That's why we put together the FTLO Alum Series: Travel + Tell, where our alumni dish out the deets of their travel experiences with FTLO – the good, the wild and the amazing!
Read on to see what these millennial movers and shakers are doing as they explore the world with a new group of friends.
#FTLOALUMNI: Amanda Miller
Photo Cred: Courtesy of Amanda Miller
South Africa, 2019
Current City: Indianapolis, IN
Profession: Digital Marketing Consultant
Horoscope sign: Gemini ♊
FTLO, Travel + Tell
✨ Travel changed my life because...
"Traveling—especially internationally—has changed my understanding of what I’m capable of. Staying home and visiting the same, safe places within the U.S. is easy. Stepping into a country where I don’t speak the language, I’m not familiar with the brands on the grocery shelves, and where I have no choice but to be adventurous and try new foods pushes me in small and large ways out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned I’m more adventurous and can be more flexible than I would have ever known otherwise. And it’s given me a sense of perspective, whether it’s to help me realize what I take for granted at home (like clean tap water) or to humble me when I see a better way of life elsewhere."
✨ Memorable Moments...
"Being on safari in South Africa, staying in cabins and tented camps, was both comfortable and unlike anything I’d done in my life. I loved lying in bed at night and falling asleep to the sounds of night insects and (not too close) hyenas and leopards. One night, as my roommate and I were getting ready for bed, we heard a large rustling noise in the brush outside our door. An elephant who’d been digging for water nearby earlier in the day was less than 20 feet from our doorstep. He’d returned, and we could hear him snapping branches and spraying water. I loved feeling safe but a little on the edge, as it was incredibly clear that WE were the visitors in HIS space."
🍜 Best Food Experiences...
"In both South Africa and Vietnam, my favorite meals were the home-cooked ones that were simple and gave me a real taste of ordinary life. In South Africa, it was a meal cooked on the braai. In Vietnam, a cooking class where we made spring rolls and bánh xèo."
📍 My advice for traveling with a group...
Come ready to make friends
Make an effort to get to know every member of your group
Sit next to a different person at every meal
Resolve to take a break from all social media and work email/notifications while you’re traveling
Be present for a few days, not focused on the world back at home, and you’ll be more rejuvenated when you return
🌎 What you can look forward to while traveling with FTLO...
"Expect to fill your phone with photos, but don’t expect to catch up on all the sleep you’ve been needing. Know that you’ll be on the move every few days and will see a wide variety of places, but you’ll feel relaxed because FTLO has handled the details, and all you have to do is be ready in the lobby. Expect to try new activities and food, but you won’t be pressured to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Know that sometimes it’s good to do the uncomfortable, though, and those moments often make for the best memories when you get home."
💙 What made you decide to book a trip with FTLO?
"I make it a point to travel to somewhere warm and sunny in February to get a break from the gloomy, gray winter of the Midwest. I explored New Zealand with some friends in 2018, and I wanted to make my 2019 trip an international one, as well. The challenge was I’d be doing it solo this time. After a convincing and candid phone call with Makayla, I was invested in the idea of going to South Africa. Traveling with FTLO gave me the flexibility to travel to a far-away place on my own with the security of a guide and group."