My Journey - Antonia Hiesgen
Colourful beach shed

Often I wonder when my passion for exploring the world began. Thinking about it, it must have been the night I took my blanket, got out of that tiny bunk, climbed the top deck and laid down on the lookout to see the most amazing night sky I had ever seen. That night in 2002, I was 15 years old and had the privilege to explore the Galapagos Islands by boat, seeing the hidden gems of one of the world's most unique places. 

Traveling Australia's West Coast and Outback a year later, my decision was made - after high school I started my BA in Tourism Management. Ever since, I  lived, worked, interned and studied in beautiful places - in Ireland, in Madrid, the Big Apple, an active Augustinian 900 years old monastery in Northern Italy.

My favorite and most memorable backpacking adventure by that time was a girls' trip to the whole of the South of Mexico - D.F. - Veracruz - Campeche - Merida - Playa del Carmen - Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido - Acapulco, 4500km in 5 weeks. Each city, each village, each region was so different, so beautiful, so colourful and lastly so friendly and helpful - precautions considered. 

However, traveling through Chiapas, one of Mexico's poorest regions and living in Peru for half a year, showed me the other site -  the lack of opportunity for many people, based on a wide range of factors. A career in tourism couldn't be all, I needed to progress into something more meaningful.

In 2010 I started my MSc. in Business and Development at Copenhagen Business School and have gained extensive knowledge of aid strategies and global development cooperation between NGO’s, international organizations and the private sector. One key area has been market and private sector driven development aiming at local business development and poverty reduction. In my thesis I have dealt with the rise of social entrepreneurship as a new form of social business that is increasingly known to be an effective tool for poverty reduction.

Having worked at a London-based gap year travel company focused on volunteering programs for the past 2 years, I am excited what the future brings and will capture the most memorable moments with my camera.