Our People

Jennifer Spatz, Founder and CEO

Through living abroad in six countries from a young age, my most powerful memories are from the family vacations we took.  Together, my family experienced many diverse cultures and made new friends, opening our hearts and minds to those we met, and with each other. These travel experiences forged a deep bond among my family members and instilled values that may have been hard to  learn otherwise.

 

Meeting people from all walks of life made me realize that despite different traditions, languages, and customs, at our core, we are all the same,  with the same basic needs.  Through my own world travels, I’ve also come to realize that we don’t just learn about other cultures when we visit new places, we also learn about ourselves. And while we naturally tend to focus more on the physical journey itself, it is through our inward journey that we ultimately come to realize a greater sense of global connectedness and unity.

 

In founding Global Family Travels, I instilled my belief that by investing in the gifts of service and travel, not only do you contribute to the welfare of others, you contribute to your own spiritual transformation and self-discovery, which ultimately makes the world a better place. Author, teacher and spiritual activist Parker Palmer writes,  “When we answer the “Who am I?” question as honestly as we can, we will be more authentically connected to the community around us and will serve more faithfully the people whose lives we touch—for the gift of self is, finally, the only gift we have to give.” This is the essence of Global Family Travels.

Photography – Using my passion to connect with the world

 

Since the age of 15, I have has been passionate about photography.  In addition to taking photos to capture fun, memorable times with family and friends, the camera is a way for me to engage in a world beyond mine and to capture life-changing experiences that help us to remember what an amazing Universe we live in. I believe the camera is a good tool to help bridge cultures and allow people of different backgrounds to collaborate, have fun and learn from each other. 

 

Global Family Travels uses digital photography in many of its tours, not only to capture the scenery and historical sites we visit, but as an educational tool to document the powerful lessons and transformative storytelling of global travel for families.  Many of our tours will involve photo projects that help teach the lessons of living sustainably and what participants learn from each other in the cross-cultural exchanges.

More About Jennifer 

 

Jennifer graduated from High School in Vienna, Austria and received her B.S. in Anthropology and International Political Science from Bates College in Maine, and a M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.  Prior to founding Global Family Travels, she spent her career in international development, trade and finance, traveling extensively for work in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  Jennifer is the mother of two children, and designs Global Family Travels’ tours with immersive activities for kids of all ages in mind.

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Photo credits on home page of Ecuador & Cuba :  

Merrill Images 

©2017 BY GLOBAL FAMILY TRAVELS.