Melissa Plageman - Stride Destination ExpertEurope, Scandinavia, South East Asia, North America
Study abroad, budget travel, photography, backpacking, millennial travel
Travel has been something Melissa has been passionate about since childhood. Her mother worked for the airlines, based in SFO, so she always found herself in an airport or on a flight headed somewhere.
Having lived in the Bay Area her whole life, she feels strongly about exploring as much of the world and experiencing as many other cultures as she can. Thus far, she has been pretty successful in making that happen.
As a current graduate student at San Francisco State University, she was granted the rewarding opportunity to study abroad for two semesters; one in Aarhus, Denmark, and one in Bangkok, Thailand. Throughout the course of her study abroad journey, she experienced several forms of travel.
She traveled with friends, took solo travel trips, planned self-guided tours, went on group tours and excursions, took cruises, traveled by plane, boat, bus, and train, and the list goes on. She felt very humbled and fulfilled through her travels abroad and plans to continue her adventures in the near future.
Over the summer, she plans to tour the Caribbean Islands and spend a significant amount of time volunteering in Puerto Rico. Also, she plans to finish up her fifty-state tour of the U.S. Thus far, she has been fortunate enough to travel to 6 continents, 37 countries, and 41 U.S. states in her short 27 years and looks forward to the adventures to come!
Although it is difficult to pick just one, the most insightful and personally rewarding trip I have taken was to Chefchaouen, Morocco (more commonly referred to as “The Blue City”).
My trip to Chefchaouen was a solo travel adventure, with the nearest airport being about three hours away. Getting to this magnificent city was not the only obstacle I encountered. Navigating the city and adjusting to its cultural norms definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, but these were aspects that made this amazing adventure even more special.
Aside from the kind people, delicious food, and vibrant community, the most memorable part of the trip was, of course, the blue buildings. When walking through the streets of Chefchaouen, you feel as if you are swimming through a deep blue ocean. This trip was definitely a highlight of all my travels!