Name: Janel Ascher
City, State/Province: Calgary AB
Why I Love What I Do
Back in 2007, after years of travel knocking exciting items off my bucket list, I finally made my way to Peru. The moment I stepped off the plane in Cusco, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion, a local Shaman was greeting me and I felt like I had arrived home. In that moment, I realized that this trip was going to take me well beyond any forethought adventure and that I was likely about to embark on a soul filled journey that may alter the trajectory of my life. Soon enough I found myself immersed in culture far from the typical tourist stops – participating in ceremonies at sacred sites way off the beaten path and sitting down for meals in remote villages high up in the Andes with locals whom had lived and practiced this way of living for generations. Its difficult to articulate exactly how or why Peru moved me more than any of my previous travel destinations – but I fell in love with these people and this land and felt compelled to give back.
Upon returning home, I co-founded a charity and the following year I returned to deliver school supplies to the children I had met living in the remote villages. The following year I returned again but this time I brought both of my pre-teen children as well as my father and we continued this annual work together for years to come. For me travel is more than taking a break – its about experiencing new cultures, bonding with loved ones and learning about who I am and how I can leave a positive imprint on the world.