09.19.11 / Category: Volunteer Spotlights

Global Adventure Changes Perspective

Zanatta during her visit to South Africa in 2006

Why did I join the Circle of Sisterhood Board of Trustees? First reason, the founder of the organization, Ginny Carroll asked me, and people have a hard time saying no to her.

Secondly, in 2006 I quit my job and spent eight months on an adventure of a lifetime. The idea for the trip came from a conversation at a dinner party with a couple who had just returned home from their yearlong adventure. I was inspired by their stories, photos and lessons learned and knew, from that brief interaction, I wanted to do the same thing!

I backpacked (only three pairs of shoes) and limited myself to one 14 kg backpack. I traversed 25 countries on four continents that included:

  • 25 flights
  • 46 bus rides
  • 12 boat trips
  • 11 trains
  • and multiple other modes of transportation including a pedicab peddled by my travel partner in India and a donkey in Petra

My journey allowed an opportunity to see parts of the world many don’t ever have the opportunity to see. It’s hard to put into words the different ways in which this adventure changed me. I returned with an extreme amount of patriotism after witnessing firsthand the amount of ingenuity and resources individuals in our country have contributed to the world’s development. As Americans we must appreciate that there are millions of people who would switch places with us in a heartbeat to have our quality of life.

As a woman I am so thankful to have been born in the United States. I believe that now more than ever, as I had the opportunity to meet several women on my adventure who would do “anything” to come to America. We have a global responsibility as educated women to ensure women in other parts of the world have some of the advantages we have been afforded. The Circle of Sisterhood is leveraging resources to make education a reality for women across the World. I am excited to be part of the team making it happen!

It has been almost five years since my adventure and transitioning back into the “real world.” I live my life with more purpose than I did before the trip and realize life is too short to spend time in situations that make you unhappy. Our lives are full of choices and it is up to us to be intentional with our choices. I’ve chosen to support women and girls through the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, will you choose to do the same?

This blog was written by Rebecca Zanatta is a fundraiser for the Pacific Science Center and a member of the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation’s Board of Trustees. She is a member of Alpha Phi.