Stories from Fearless Global Citizens

Fearless Global Citizens are found all over the world from all walks of life. Their stories are unique to their own personal journey and can be anything from exciting to inspirational to funny to thought-provoking to bittersweet and beyond.

At the heart of each story however, is an undeniable humanity and the desire to live fearlessly.

View more stories or share your own.

Where to begin?

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with the British culture and all things British. All throughout my high school career and through college, I would save a bit of each paycheck and put it into my study abroad funds. I knew where I was going, what I would be doing and I had it all planned out. I had lists of countries and cities to visit, foods to try and wonders to see. Before I knew it, I was boarding my plane in January 2017. FINALLY, the day had come for me to embark on this life-long dream of mine to live in London, United Kingdom.

Little did I know, that I was not as prepared as I had thought. Once I arrived, my anxiety creeped back into my life and I was unable to control it. I dont know how many times those first few weeks I almost bought plane tickets back home to Minnesota. But I knew that I couldnt just give up that easy, it was my dream after all. I took charge and asked for the help that I needed. I used the resources that were available to me on campus, I reached out to my resident directors, and without them I most definitely would not have survived the long five months. They gave me endless encouragement and support throughout my time in London and I do not think I will ever be more grateful for them.

Fast forward to May, I did it. I stuck it out and completed my time studying abroad in London. I may not have completed/visited/done everything on that list that I made throughout the years, but I proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. I may not have gone to Germany to visit my roots , but I found my place in London. I may not have seen the Cliffs of Moher, but I learned how to adapt to situations that I cannot control. I may not have been able to implement my Spanish in Spain but I was able to make friends with locals that I will continue to contact throughout my lifetime. I may not have made a dent in that list, but I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible and what I AM capable of. Persevering through all of these challenges has made me realize that I am not invincible, yet I am capable.

Being abroad led me to finding my favorite 350 acres on the planet, Hyde Park. It helped me realize how important me time was for my well being. It led me to meeting Louis Tomlinson of One Direction one block from my University. Need I say more?! It led me to realize that what you see on peoples social media does not actually depict what there life is like. Just because people travel to a new country every single weekend while I stayed in London doesnt make me any less of a cool person. I still traveled all around England, big cities and small villages alike, really immersing myself into the British culture. Which is what 10 year old me loved in the beginning anyway.

A take-away from all of this is: you are capable. Dont let yourself talk you out of anything. You can do anything you set your mind to and reach places you never thought were possible. Be invincible and do what your heart set out to do. ~ Rachel from the United States, #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"Where to begin?

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with the British culture and all things British. All throughout my high school career and through college, I would save a bit of each paycheck and put it into my study abroad funds. I knew where I was going, what I would be doing and I had it all planned out. I had lists of countries and cities to visit, foods to try and wonders to see. Before I knew it, I was boarding my plane in January 2017. FINALLY, the day had come for me to embark on this life-long dream of mine to live in London, United Kingdom.

Little did I know, that I was not as prepared as I had thought. Once I arrived, my anxiety creeped back into my life and I was unable to control it. I don't know how many times those first few weeks I almost bought plane tickets back home to Minnesota. But I knew that I couldn't just give up that easy, it was my dream after all. I took charge and asked for the help that I needed. I used the resources that were available to me on campus, I reached out to my resident directors, and without them I most definitely would not have survived the long five months. They gave me endless encouragement and support throughout my time in London and I do not think I will ever be more grateful for them.

Fast forward to May, I did it. I stuck it out and completed my time studying abroad in London. I may not have completed/visited/done everything on that list that I made throughout the years, but I proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. I may not have gone to Germany to visit my roots , but I found my place in London. I may not have seen the Cliffs of Moher, but I learned how to adapt to situations that I cannot control. I may not have been able to implement my Spanish in Spain but I was able to make friends with locals that I will continue to contact throughout my lifetime. I may not have made a dent in that list, but I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible and what I AM capable of. Persevering through all of these challenges has made me realize that I am not invincible, yet I am capable.

Being abroad led me to finding my favorite 350 acres on the planet, Hyde Park. It helped me realize how important "me time" was for my well being. It led me to meeting Louis Tomlinson of One Direction one block from my University. Need I say more?! It led me to realize that what you see on people's social media does not actually depict what there life is like. Just because people travel to a new country every single weekend while I stayed in London doesn't make me any less of a "cool" person. I still traveled all around England, big cities and small villages alike, really immersing myself into the British culture. Which is what 10 year old me loved in the beginning anyway.

A take-away from all of this is: you are capable. Don't let yourself talk you out of anything. You can do anything you set your mind to and reach places you never thought were possible. Be invincible and do what your heart set out to do." ~ Rachel from the United States, #FearlessGlobalCitizen
... See MoreSee Less

If your friends jumped off a bridge would you? - My mom multiple times during my high school years. Well, mom, unfortunately I did watch my friends jump off a bridge, and, after a few moments of complete panic, I followed.

It was the Fall of 2016, and I had been studying abroad in Costa Rica for about two months when we traveled to a zipline park deep in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Costa Rica. Ziplining I was cool with, as my dad and I had gone through the Redwood trees in California the summer before. What I was not so cool with, however, was the infamous Tarzan Swing which involves an individual being strapped on to a rope and dropped approximately 148 feet to the forest floor. I am not scared of heights, however I hate the feeling in your stomach of dropping multiple feet to the ground. Furthermore, I, unlike a lot of young people I know, am very aware of my own mortality. So I really was not planning on braving the Tarzan swing that day.

Fast forward several ziplines later and there I was watching my friends jump off a teeny platform into a green abyss. All I could hear from the top was their screams as they plummeted down. I couldnt feel my legs, my ears were ringing, and yet I kept telling myself - when am I ever going to have an opportunity to jump off a bridge in Costa Rica again? So, I took the longest walk of my life to the edge of the bridge and took a complete leap of faith. To be honest, I have no memory of my jump; I think my brain turned itself off to protect me from how terrifying it is to fall 148 feet to the ground. Theres video proof of me doing it, but if I didnt have that I dont think I would have believed it happened.

Would I do it again? Nope. But am I glad I did it? Absolutely.
So, my fellow travelers, my best advice from this experience is: take a leap of faith. But do make sure youre strapped in. ~ Courtney from the United States #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"'If your friends jumped off a bridge would you?' - My mom multiple times during my high school years. Well, mom, unfortunately I did watch my friends jump off a bridge, and, after a few moments of complete panic, I followed.

It was the Fall of 2016, and I had been studying abroad in Costa Rica for about two months when we traveled to a zipline park deep in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Costa Rica. Ziplining I was cool with, as my dad and I had gone through the Redwood trees in California the summer before. What I was not so cool with, however, was the infamous 'Tarzan Swing' which involves an individual being strapped on to a rope and dropped approximately 148 feet to the forest floor. I am not scared of heights, however I hate the feeling in your stomach of dropping multiple feet to the ground. Furthermore, I, unlike a lot of young people I know, am very aware of my own mortality. So I really was not planning on braving the Tarzan swing that day.

Fast forward several ziplines later and there I was watching my friends jump off a teeny platform into a green abyss. All I could hear from the top was their screams as they plummeted down. I couldn't feel my legs, my ears were ringing, and yet I kept telling myself - when am I ever going to have an opportunity to jump off a bridge in Costa Rica again? So, I took the longest walk of my life to the edge of the bridge and took a complete leap of faith. To be honest, I have no memory of my jump; I think my brain turned itself off to protect me from how terrifying it is to fall 148 feet to the ground. There's video proof of me doing it, but if I didn't have that I don't think I would have believed it happened.

Would I do it again? Nope. But am I glad I did it? Absolutely.
So, my fellow travelers, my best advice from this experience is: take a leap of faith. But do make sure you're strapped in." ~ Courtney from the United States #FearlessGlobalCitizen
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Karla Carballo 😘

In December 2015, I probably made the biggest step in my life so far. I left Germany to go to another country to work as an au pair in the United States of America. I live there with totally new people, and I didnt know what would happen. Its a strange feeling to leave the place that youve known your whole life. Its hard to step out of your comfort zone and to start a new chapter in your life. For myself, I can say it was the best decision Ive ever made!

Im living here in a suburb of San Francisco, California, for almost twenty months now. My first year was so amazing that I decided to stay here for another year, and I dont regret my choice. Its amazing how strangers become family and a new place becomes a second home. I cant really describe the feeling you have when youre actually here, because I wouldnt find the perfect words for it. 

Ive seen so many amazing places I never imagined Id ever see in my life such as Grand Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Yosemite National Park and many others. Ive also seen a lot of great cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Portland—but I definitely left my heart in San Francisco, which is the most beautiful city I have seen so far!

I cant believe that I have just four months left until my second year will be also over. Time is flying by so fast! Leaving Germany and stepping out of my comfort zone was definitely the best decision Ive ever made. I got to know knew people from all over the world. I found a second home and family. I changed so much as a person, and I gained so many new experiences that no one could ever take away from me! 

Im not saying it was always easy, because there will be a time where its getting hard and youll ask yourself why you ever left your home country to live abroad. In these moments just think about all the positive things youve done and seen so far, all the friends you made and all the support youre getting from your family and friends at home and from your host family! 

Making the decision to live abroad will definitely change your life, at least it changed mine, and Im more than thankful for getting the possibility to live my dream here in San Francisco. ~ Janine from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"In December 2015, I probably made the biggest step in my life so far. I left Germany to go to another country to work as an au pair in the United States of America. I live there with totally new people, and I didn't know what would happen. It's a strange feeling to leave the place that you've known your whole life. It's hard to step out of your comfort zone and to start a new chapter in your life. For myself, I can say it was the best decision I've ever made!

I'm living here in a suburb of San Francisco, California, for almost twenty months now. My first year was so amazing that I decided to stay here for another year, and I don't regret my choice. It's amazing how strangers become family and a new place becomes a second home. I can't really describe the feeling you have when you're actually here, because I wouldn't find the perfect words for it.

I've seen so many amazing places I never imagined I'd ever see in my life such as Grand Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Yosemite National Park and many others. I've also seen a lot of great cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Portland—but I definitely left my heart in San Francisco, which is the most beautiful city I have seen so far!

I can't believe that I have just four months left until my second year will be also over. Time is flying by so fast! Leaving Germany and stepping out of my comfort zone was definitely the best decision I've ever made. I got to know knew people from all over the world. I found a second home and family. I changed so much as a person, and I gained so many new experiences that no one could ever take away from me!

I'm not saying it was always easy, because there will be a time where it's getting hard and you'll ask yourself why you ever left your home country to live abroad. In these moments just think about all the positive things you've done and seen so far, all the friends you made and all the support you're getting from your family and friends at home and from your host family!

Making the decision to live abroad will definitely change your life, at least it changed mine, and I'm more than thankful for getting the possibility to live my dream here in San Francisco." ~ Janine from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen
... See MoreSee Less

I lived in the United States as an au pair for one year. Actually, I am in my travel month now and just enjoy traveling! Even though I lived on a little island in Hawaii, Ive seen so many different places. 

I love traveling, exploring and all these little adventures. I can say, that you really dont have to be afraid about something—this year is the most amazing year in my life. Even though I have a boyfriend back in Germany, I dont give up on my dreams and continue traveling. 

Ill go to Australia next, to explore a new country and culture, until I know what to do back in Germany. If you want to see my experience, you can see a lot pictures on my Instagram account: monja_x3. You don´t have to like or follow. I just want to inspire you! ~ Monja from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"I lived in the United States as an au pair for one year. Actually, I am in my travel month now and just enjoy traveling! Even though I lived on a little island in Hawaii, I've seen so many different places.

I love traveling, exploring and all these little adventures. I can say, that you really don't have to be afraid about something—this year is the most amazing year in my life. Even though I have a boyfriend back in Germany, I don't give up on my dreams and continue traveling.

I'll go to Australia next, to explore a new country and culture, until I know what to do back in Germany. If you want to see my experience, you can see a lot pictures on my Instagram account: monja_x3. You don´t have to like or follow. I just want to inspire you!" ~ Monja from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen
... See MoreSee Less

I was an au pair in Alexandria, Virginia. I lived together with my host parents, their two kids and a dog. It was a wonderful year.

During summer break, they let me take the kids on vacation with their grandparents out in Seattle, Washington, which meant I was taking the kids by plane. I was at first scared and worried about the flight and the time at a different home in a new city. But I have to say, I now have two families and one of them lives in America which means a lot to me. We still are in touch, and we go on vacation together. 

I know after spending a year with them and a lot of traveling at the end of my year as an au pair that it is worth leaving all the things and people you love. Distance makes it possible to differentiate if you really belong to each other. ~ Caroline from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"I was an au pair in Alexandria, Virginia. I lived together with my host parents, their two kids and a dog. It was a wonderful year.

During summer break, they let me take the kids on vacation with their grandparents out in Seattle, Washington, which meant I was taking the kids by plane. I was at first scared and worried about the flight and the time at a different home in a new city. But I have to say, I now have two families and one of them lives in America which means a lot to me. We still are in touch, and we go on vacation together.

I know after spending a year with them and a lot of traveling at the end of my year as an au pair that it is worth leaving all the things and people you love. Distance makes it possible to differentiate if you really belong to each other." ~ Caroline from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen
... See MoreSee Less

I am proud of my parents diversity. Lebanon and Venezuela are both stricken by social problems, but the people stand up tall and get up to face another day. I traveled to both countries. I saw tanks and military checkpoints in Lebanon and poverty and demonstrations in Caracas, Venezuela, but the people remain strong. Their belief in a better life continues. 

I stand fearless knowing that the unknown will not destroy me. Ive seen how people stand everyday not knowing what is going to happen. 

I live in a world where no one knows what will happen, and I raise my head and face the unknown with strong belief and hope not to fear but to get up and enter its world. I am proud to learn and understand the complicated world around me and continue to be fearless! ~ Gabriella from the United States #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"I am proud of my parents' diversity. Lebanon and Venezuela are both stricken by social problems, but the people stand up tall and get up to face another day. I traveled to both countries. I saw tanks and military checkpoints in Lebanon and poverty and demonstrations in Caracas, Venezuela, but the people remain strong. Their belief in a better life continues.

I stand fearless knowing that the unknown will not destroy me. I've seen how people stand everyday not knowing what is going to happen.

I live in a world where no one knows what will happen, and I raise my head and face the unknown with strong belief and hope not to fear but to get up and enter its world. I am proud to learn and understand the complicated world around me and continue to be fearless!" ~ Gabriella from the United States #FearlessGlobalCitizen
... See MoreSee Less

Im nineteen years old from Germany and live in the U.S. as an au pair. I love to travel around a little, and my journey brought me and my friend to Mexico without any Spanish, but we tried. We decided to see the pyramids, and we did. As we arrived there, my friend said we should climb up. I am crazy afraid of heights and there was nothing that secured you from falling down. You just had to concentrate on walking straight up. As we arrived on top, the view was stunning, and that feeling was the best! ~ Laura from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"I'm nineteen years old from Germany and live in the U.S. as an au pair. I love to travel around a little, and my journey brought me and my friend to Mexico without any Spanish, but we tried. We decided to see the pyramids, and we did. As we arrived there, my friend said we should climb up. I am crazy afraid of heights and there was nothing that secured you from falling down. You just had to concentrate on walking straight up. As we arrived on top, the view was stunning, and that feeling was the best!" ~ Laura from Germany #FearlessGlobalCitizen ... See MoreSee Less

Becoming an au pair in America has been one of the best experiences of my life. It opened the door to a world I didnt know. A world full of adventure, knowledge, diversity, growing opportunities and lots of wonderful memories. I have a special place in my heart for this program, my host family and the friends forever I made from all over the world by participating! ~ Gertsania from Costa Rica #FearlessGlobalCitizen

"Becoming an au pair in America has been one of the best experiences of my life. It opened the door to a world I didn't know. A world full of adventure, knowledge, diversity, growing opportunities and lots of wonderful memories. I have a special place in my heart for this program, my host family and the friends forever I made from all over the world by participating!" ~ Gertsania from Costa Rica #FearlessGlobalCitizen ... See MoreSee Less

Load more stories

Share Your Fearless Story

Are you fearless? Share your story with us so we can share it with the world!
You can either write your story (and attach a headshot photo) or tell it to us with a video.
If we share your story, we’ll send you a free Fearless Global Citizen t-shirt!

#FearlessFoodie

No matter where you are in the world, one of the most important aspects of a culture is food. Have you tried a signature dish somewhere, sampled exotic cuisine while traveling or just proud of your hometown delicacies?

Tag your Instagram photos with #FearlessFoodie to share them with your fellow Citizens.