They braved months of an extensive application process. They beat out thousands of fellow travelers and competitors to hold the coveted title of World Traveler Intern. They've never met. Let's check them out.
It's no mystery why I'm intrigued by these two travelers. And especially since they'll be taking off tomorrow, all the more perfect is our timing in getting to know them! Once again, this series of Interview a Traveler is about people worth mentioning because of their amazing character and ambition that spans continents for the purpose of learning and doing something they can stand behind. And be sure to check out the video portion of this feature!
His Bio: Once accused of being a spy in Bern, Switzerland, Casey Hudetz is not afraid of adventure. This DePaul graduate and Chicago native has traveled around the world, including a summer backpacking around Europe and a stint with the Peace Corps. Leveraging his experience teaching technology at the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago and this internship, Hudetz plans to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking.
*Note to fellow SASers: Casey is also a Semester at Sea alum.
Her Bio: From leading groups of fellow students on a service trip to South Africa or as the current director of Freshman Leadership at the University of Georgia in Athens, where she earned her degree, Natalie Webb is a natural born leader. Counting kayaking in Portugal as one of her favorite experiences, Webb plans to use the World Traveler Internship to pursue a career in writing, producing or starring in her own travel-themed television show.
Are you nervous to travel with a complete stranger? What has been your philosophy with travel partners thus far?
NW: I think the extrovert in me gets an adrenaline rush from meeting new people, so I am beyond excited to travel with a complete stranger! I am a lot more laidback than I may appear on camera, and I love adapting to almost all kinds of situations. Unless Casey keeps jumping and knocking me over.. then we could have some problems.
CH: At first I was a little apprehensive. "What if we don't get along? What if my jokes don't go over? What if....? What if....?" But since we've spoken, I am very excited to travel with Natalie. For me, I travel best with people that like to travel (and know how to be present). When I'm in a new place, I move as quick as possible to see as much as possible. "How often am I in _______?" I ask myself as I sprint to catch a bus. If I have to explain this sentiment to the person I'm with, it can get difficult.
What's the most thrilling aspect of this experience to you:
The free travel part to # countries
Having a wide audience with the potential to impact the student travel community
This potentially being a step toward a career in the same industry
NW: I would say for me that it is "4: The fact that I get to be a part of 1, 2, and 3." I mean who doesn't love traveling for free right? So 1 is a given. With 2, I really enjoy communicating in various capacities to students (mainly because that has been my job for the past two years!), so I am thrilled to get this opportunity to live out my passion. In regards to 3, I have dreamed of being in the travel production industry since age 10, so I am honored and excited to get to work on building my portfolio with our projects throughout the summer.
CH: 2. Having a wide audience with the potential to impact the student travel community
What do you anticipate being the hardest aspect of this internship?
CH: The ending. And getting enough sleep!
NW: Having enough room in my bag to pack all the costumes I want to bring for the summer!! I think it may get tough bouncing around from country to country having very little stability and time to rest and focus on our production content. I hope both Casey and I find the balance of putting forth solid material and enjoying the continents in the process!
Have you two discussed your plan yet for the unscripted European portion? Dare to give us a clue?
CH: We've got our plans. You'll know when the time comes!
NW: Yes...Oh how we have discussed this delightful finale to our trip! Although it is still a work in progress, we are attempting to make it to Italy to witness the epic event of Palio di Siena...kind of the Italian version of the Kentucky Derby. We may enjoy the Swiss Alps region and end our trip in Paris...eating crepes, my favorite food!
*I love that I got two differing answers for that question.
If the WTI was like Project Runway and the Tim Gunn of STA Travel told you at the last minute, "Plan an additional side trip from your trip route to any country neighboring those on your itinerary...to happen at any point in the schedule," where would that side trip fit in, what would be the destination, and what would you two do?
NW: I would choose to hop on over to the south island of New Zealand. I have a family friend there who owns a sheep farm and he could teach Casey and I the art of sheep herding and wool weaving. And then. We of course must go on the Lord of the Rings tour!
CH: After speaking with friends and seeing your footage, Lindsay, I think Fiji would be a real treat. Also, I'd love to go back to Paraguay to see friends I made years ago.
What on Earth are you going to do when you get home?
NW: 1) Sleep. 2) Unpack my life. 3) Probably a little laundry. 4) Start looking for other awesome ways to travel the world.
CH: Luckily, I work at a great school and I plan on resuming right where I left off. And after that? Who knows.
The 2010 Itinerary
Casey and Natalie will be heading off tomorrow to STA Travel Headquarters in Lewisville, Texas. Soon after, they're flying to Peru to volunteer near Machu Picchu, traveling through Brazil and Argentina, Australia, Tasmania, Japan, Thailand, Turkey, Egypt, and a self-propelled Euro-trip through Western Europe before heading back home to complete the loop. To see their trip in a little more detail, check out the full itinerary.
Follow the Internship
They meet tomorrow (May 26th), so be sure to keep up with the entire experience by:
and checking out their personal sites...
Congratulations, Casey and Natalie! You're about to have one wild experience. Pack your melatonin, stay healthy, create constantly, and, above all, enjoy the nature of the job. For me, that was the most thrilling part.