Get to know me!

I'm Virginia, or known to some as Virginia from Virginia. I'm a lifelong traveler, French press enthusiast, and lasagna expert. Thanks to my parent's wanderlust and an RV named Harvey, I went to all 50 states before I turned 20. When most of my friends were scoring jobs after graduation with health care and a 401K, I packed up in 2014 to teach English at a university in Ecuador.

Not having gotten enough encebollado or cheap avocados, I accepted an offer to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in the remote mountain town of Guamote, supporting local English teachers in the public high school. Two years holed away in an Andean pueblo of 2,000 people showed me the side of Ecuador the typical tourist never gets the chance to see. Although I never quite imparted that "touristic" is not a real English word or that the American diet is more than hamburgers and pizza, the real Peace Corps experience came in getting to know Ecuador through my counterparts. I owe them so much for welcoming me into their lives and families (and for making me communicable in Spanish).

Ecuador isn't just colonial streets or blue-footed boobies: Ecuador is the counterpart who teaches you to dry and mill corn grown in her backyard, Ecuador is the stream of parades by locals for locals, Ecuador is waking up to mountain lakes in a frigid tent at 14,000 feet.

Whether you're passing through Quito for a night on the way to the Galapagos or you're already committed to your weekly llapingachos, join me to become a more connected traveler.

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