Former DIS Student Blogger, Videographer Wins Contest to Travel the Globe

DIS alumna Denae McGaha, Pacific Lutheran University, was selected as the StudentUniverse Snap Gap Contest winner, and will spend the summer documenting her travels across 10 countries and five continents.

The Snap Gap Contest is StudentUniverse’s effort to promote traveling between college graduation and full-time employment by funding one recent grad’s three-month trip across the world. Denae created her own itinerary and will use Homestay.com to stay with hosts as well as the networking app Flypside to meet new people in each city.

Denae hoped that her post-graduation plans would involve some kind of travel. To her, traveling builds confidence and a clearer perspective, so when the opportunity arose to apply for the StudentUniverse Snap Gap contest, she knew this could be the perfect path. When Denae found that her application was chosen, she launched into planning, strategizing, and preparing to be back abroad, which she had not been since the fall of 2015 when she studied with DIS.

Denae attributes her love for travel to her semester at DIS, saying, “The first time I branched out into solo travel was the final travel break of my DIS semester, and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had to date. Applying for this contest was a way to take that new experience further.”

Denae will cover 10 countries and five continents over three months, with locations ranging as far as Macchu Pichu, to her home soil. The complete itinerary includes Japan, Australia, New Zealand, U.S., Peru, Denmark, Hungary, France, Spain, and Portugal.

“As I’m required to document my travels over the duration of the trip, I get to use my degree in Communications  and continue to develop the travel writing skills I established as a blogger and videographer at DIS. I hope to end the summer with a glowing portfolio, which will open opportunities to continue in the travel writing industry. I also want to end the summer with new and dear friends from all around the world. I hope I leave each city a better place.

My semester with DIS also taught me there’s no harm in trying — whether that’s taking the plunge and deciding to live in a Homestay, selecting a core course in an unfamiliar subject, or learning to speak the difficult Danish language (all of which turned out well). DIS inspired me to apply for this opportunity, regardless of the odds, and that turned out pretty well, too!”

Follow Denae’s travels on the StudentUniverse blog and social media.

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