Trip leader: Thailand's Best
Rob was born in Warren, PA, but moved to Rhode Island later in his childhood. After spending four years in Scotland for school, he taught English, math, and health and was a basketball coach in Thailand. He then moved back to the States to become a substitute teacher at the Pennfield School in Portsmouth, RI, and continued teaching ESL for an online school. Last summer, he worked for Camp Pinnacle, guiding day and overnight trips for backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. He was also an instructor for Adventure Treks this past fall before moving to Steamboat Springs, CO, to teach ski lessons to children. He loves to travel and has visited more than 30 countries in his life, including Nepal, Turkey, Germany, Colombia, and Laos. He is joining Bold Earth for his first year as a trip leader.
- Education: University of St Andrews (Scotland); bachelor’s degree in financial economics
- Certification: Wilderness first responder
- What was the last big trip you took? This spring, I went on a trip from Cuba to Mexico, traveling through every country in Central America. I intended to build my Spanish skills and scuba dive as much as possible. I completed my scuba courses faster than expected and turned my sights on the numerous volcanoes throughout Central America. I swam in heated volcano water, watched the sunrise over the billowing smoke pillars of the active El Fuego volcano, watched the sunrise over the San Juan volcano on Lake Atitaln (an extinct volcano), peered over the crater of the Santa Ana volcano into a bubbling pit of sulfur water, and tried a new sport: “volcano boarding” down the black slopes of Cerro Negro volcano. Another common thread was salsa dancing. My salsa progressed like my Spanish language skills: I worked hard, conversed with many locals, and made a ton of progress, but I still have some work to go before full fluency.
- What excites you about working for BE this summer? I think a lot about how right now there is a group of students somewhere out there; we don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other. However, within a short amount of time, we will have an incredible bonding experience, they will form lifelong friendships, and we will hold an enduring place in each others’ memories. More than anything, I’m excited by the prospect of meeting my students and building a unique bond during this incredible experience.
- What’s your favorite travel memory? I recently had the chance to swim with dolphins, which was hectic, surreal, totally unexpected, and completely indelible. I was on a scuba diving boat, and in between dives, our captain spotted three dolphins near the boat. We immediately put on fins and goggles and hopped in the water. For about two minutes, the dolphins playfully swam all around us. At some points I was an arm’s length away, and I could see the pupils of their eyes. It was disarming to have something so big shoot past you like a gray torpedo. It was a moment of incredible connection with nature. And as fast as they came, they were gone.