Mandi Schmidtt

Volunteer and Travel Blogger

If I had to pinpoint where my extreme wanderlust originated, I would guess from the worn-out pages of The Little House on the Prairie and The Chronicles of Narnia my grandmother gave me. These books instilled in me a sense of adventure, a will to overcome obstacles, and a desire to explore places starkly different than my own. I grew up in a smallish town in Maryland, never venturing very far off the east coast.

It wasn’t until my first study abroad trip to Rome in 2009 that I began to realize how immense the world is and how much I could gain from wandering around it. This study abroad trip led to a second study abroad trip to London in 2010. Between the two I covered quite a bit of European ground, learned a ton about self-sufficiency, and thoroughly whetted my appetite to see more of this ever-expanding globe.

In 2011 I decided to try other parts of the world. I spent a month studying Spanish and living with a host family in Costa Rica. Then it was time for my biggest challenge yet… a three-month volunteer stint in rural southern India. This brief chapter was by far the most jarring, shocking, frustrating, eye-opening, and fruitful of my life. 2012 was mostly spent at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana. I worked a seasonal job in the dining room of a luxury resort-style ranch in the middle of the Gallatin Mountains. It was a wonderful way to explore a new region, meet a ton of awesome people, and get paid.

Resulting from the combined efforts of a long-standing desire to live on the west coast and a complete whim, 2013 led me to sunny San Diego, California. My previous excursions had at least some level of structure, but this time I had complete freedom to shape and ingratiate myself into a new environment in my own way. I got a job, found a place to live, and went about building a life for myself here. My main objective, however, over the nine months I lived there, was to save up for a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia.

In 2014 I awoke in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, ready for the next chapter of my life. I spend my time exploring, volunteering, and always writing. I’m not entirely sure what this East African adventure has in store for me, but I am anxious to attain all this limitless world has to offer. You can follow my adventures at This Limitless World, my Facebook page or Instagram.

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