Mission & History
Backed by over 15 years of experience in experiential education and the travel industry, we are a global network of travel professionals, international educators, fervent adventurers, mentors, and friends.
We are on a mission to elevate the independent travel experience. We do so by curating unique, self-guided trips for independently-minded travelers, ranging from gap year and university students to young professionals and beyond.
Our Vision & Values
BACK&PACK envisions a world where travel is a force for good, does no harm, and is accessible to all. We see our place in this world as a primary source of information and inspiration for independent travelers – and a connection point between people and communities.
Underlying our mission and vision is a sincere devotion to our core values – we seek travel that’s responsible, intentional, authentic, challenging, and affordable. We invite you to learn more about our travel philosophy at:
Get To Know Our Founder
At the age of 22, I embarked on my first trip abroad. With no set itinerary, I packed a small weekend-style backpack with a few clothes, ripped some key sections from a couple of Lonely Planets, then flew to Europe for four months to experience adventures unknown.
My first experience abroad was unusual in its spontaneity, yet that was entirely the point. After the structure of work and college, I wanted to experience life “on the open road.” Young, idealistic, and inspired by books like The Alchemist, I had grand visions of being a bold, adventurous, globe-trottin’ backpacker.
It wasn’t long after landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport that I learned I was in over my head. Within hours I was the target of petty theft and had collapsed in a complete stupor while failing to navigate Paris’s metro system. That day was the first of many “What am I doing here!?” kind of days.
Yet those moments were also a turning point. For the past 15 years, I have been privileged to oversee global programming that has collectively sent 2,200+ travelers to 10+ countries, contributed 195,000+ service hours to at-risk communities and causes around the world, and generated countless stories and memories. I have also had the personal pleasure of leading dozens of multi-week programs in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Peru, India, China, Thailand, and more.
It is truly a privilege to serve you too as you embark on your own journey of discovery. Our goal at BACK&PACK is to set you up for spectacular success. We will shoulder much of the burden of designing and planning your trip – and lend our expertise in delivering a rich educational experience in the process – so that you can focus on the things that matter most.
I wish for you profound growth during your journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure.
Founder & Director
M.S. Experiential Education