ICE CREAM IGNITES TRAVEL AND A BUSINESS
Ice cream always seems to create happy moments. Remember running for the ice cream truck when you heard the magical song playing? Or walking around the lake, ice cream in one hand and your date’s hand in the other, loading up on toppings at the midnight soft-serve bar at your college cafeteria? Or catching your child sharing his ice cream cone with the family dog? Most people can think of plenty of joyous ice cream related moments.
While studying abroad during college in St. Petersburg, Russia, I bought a carton of ice cream hoping to have a similar brief moment of familiarity and joy while being such a long way from home.
That single ice cream purchase lead to a six-week travel adventure and the start of a business.
Another American student in the foreign students’ dorm wanted to try some of the ice cream too. The two of us sat sharing it. She was reading a Lonely Planet travel guide and telling me about a trip she had planned to take around Eastern Europe before returning home to the States. I had previously planned on returning directly home.
Instead, over ice cream, we hatched a plan to travel together and take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Lake Baikal, then fly to Egypt, then Turkey, and finally bus northward through Eastern Europe. Prior to this adventure, I had traveled to a few foreign countries, but had never experienced the wonders of long-term and spontaneous travel.
I fell in love with traveling. Since that Russian ice cream purchase, I have visited more than 30 countries and taken several extensive trips. My passion for travel led me to start a travel-related business. Most important, that simple scoop of ice cream has given me a diverse and global perspective.
Now, I never pass up the chance to buy ice cream, as I don’t know what opportunities it might lead to or whom I might meet.