our story starts
on the ocean
I grew up in small Rhode Island, where people do not drive more than 15 minutes for anything. My family did not travel, but seeing the ocean everyday, I knew there was a larger world out there. I wanted to see it all.
My first trip outside the USA was to study abroad in Hong Kong for five months. The distance and duration intimidated me, but when I arrived, I felt nothing but sparks. Culture shock, adrenaline, and boundless curiosity filled me for months. Often, we travel to places hoping to learn about them, but we are surprised how much more we learn about ourselves. I arrived thinking my two-degree program and three majors would help me get ahead in this world; I left realizing that having a deeper passion for something is much more rewarding.
With this international experience, I secured a job with Procter & Gamble. My very first assignment was to redesign and relaunch the Herbal Essences beauty brand in Asia. I was only 22 years old, but I was suddenly the only expert who had been there before. I continued traveling to 20+ countries over nine years, growing some of the world’s largest brands. I specialized in brand turnarounds and front-end product innovation (inventing new products and brands), because future-casting our culture excited me most.
One day, it hit me. I was riding on the hood of a Jeep through Zimbabwe when I realized where I was. How the heck did I get here? I never would have made it here had I not left Rhode Island and studied abroad. It was time for me to help others travel. Some people don't have the money, time, or heart to travel, and I can try to help with all three.
Shortly after I returned, I quit my corporate job and founded Crusoe. With Crusoe, I would design travel products (like passport wallets), offer travel services (like trip planning), and donate proceeds to study abroad scholarships, so more students can have the life-changing experience I did.
Eventually I hope I can give one passport stamp to every American. Today, only 9% of students study abroad and only 44% of Americans have a passport. Help me by sharing my story. Help me inspire people to travel and make their bucket list dreams a reality.
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