Instead of heading straight to grad school, fourth-year student Chloe Saulnier is headed on a worldwide trip to pursue her dreams of working in tourism.
Saulnier will be travelling to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Peru before moving on to China, Laos, Thailand and India. She’s travelling with the Pure Exploration Expedition Leader program.
Pure Exploration is a business offering two programs in tourism training. The Expedition Leader program travels across the world, giving members qualifications in tourism management and travel logistics. The Adventure Guide program gives members qualifications in tourism and outdoor industries. This program is based in Patagonia and Queenstown, New Zealand.
The criminology and human rights major originally planned on going to law school for humanitarian law, but she realized before her fourth year it wasn’t what she wanted.
“The idea of doing that for grad school was really stressing me out and I started realizing that was because that wasn’t what I wanted to do,” said Saulnier, who’s always been passionate about the outdoors.
She started looking into tourism programs and found one at Royal Roads University in British Columbia. The Tourism Management program focuses on eco-tourism.
“It’s something that I’m super interested in and it kind of combines my passion for the outdoors with it as well.”
Saulnier then found out about Pure Exploration through a friend who participated in the Adventure Guide program.
Through Pure Exploration, she’s able to combine her love of the outdoors and travelling while earning qualifications. The program also focuses on some environmental conservation efforts.
The program requires participants to be in good fitness. This was no problem for Saulnier, who spent much of this past summer biking around New Brunswick.
She was a part of the Great Cycling Challenge, a fundraiser for the SickKids hospital in Toronto. Participants set a distance to bike and amount of money to raise. Saulnier pledged to bike 900 kilometres and raise $500 in June 2018, but she surpassed both goals by biking almost 1,400 kilometres and raising $750.
Saulnier, a Bathurst native, said her family always enjoyed being outdoors and going on adventures.
“I’ve always been super passionate about the outdoors. It’s something that we’ve always kind of done with my family, as well. My parents love to bike, they love to be outside, so it’s something that I grew up with.”
Saulnier is most excited about spending 12 weeks travelling with her group.
“I’ve gone to Europe in the past, but I’ve never been to Latin America or Asia so this is all new for me,” she said.
Everyone in the group is aged 18 to 35, making it easy for them to connect with one another.
“I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be cool people since they’re all doing that program, so I’m sure I’ll make some lifelong friends throughout the program.”
After completing the 12-week program, Saulnier plans to take a year off school and then pursue her Master of Arts in Tourism Management at Royal Roads University. She hopes to own her own business one day.
“The ultimate dream for me, which might not be feasible, it would be to definitely either work or own an expedition company of some sorts.”