About Jennifer Spatz,
Founder & CEO
A cultural anthropologist at heart, I founded Global Family Travels with the mission to “Learn, Serve and Immerse,” using travel as a means to build cultural bridges and to foster global citizens. Through living abroad in six countries from a young age, my most powerful memories come from the family vacations we took. Together with my parents and two brothers, we experienced many diverse cultures and made new friends, opening our hearts and minds to those we met. These travel encounters 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 from a young age 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.
Since its inception in 2010, when I founded Global Family Travels, I have been blessed to share my passion for connecting people and cultures worldwide, and have expanded my own family circle, working with amazing community partners and friends that have hosted our travelers in countries around the globe. Travel at its most rewarding and fulfilling encourages genuine and meaningful interaction with others that ultimately leads to a deeper understanding and appreciation of yourself and those you meet on the journey. And in doing so, you bring back home perspective, compassion and understanding—surely a gift vastly more precious than any photograph or souvenir.
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.
By understanding what matters most and how little one truly needs to be happy, my hope is to unite families and inspire younger travelers to make a difference in our world who will take responsibility for the challenges and opportunities facing our increasingly inter-connected planet.
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.
Photography – Using my Passion to Connect and tell Powerful Stories
Since the age of 15, I have been passionate about photography! In addition to taking photos to capture fun, memorable times with family and friends, the camera has been a way to capture life-changing experiences that helps me remember what an amazing and magical world we live in.
In many of our local and global experiences, Global Family Travels uses digital photography 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 adventures, including India, Ecuador and Seattle, involve photo projects that help teach the lessons of living sustainably and what participants learn from each other in the cross-cultural exchanges.