Wrapping up 2010

By Emlyn Lee, Founder

The end of the year always fills me with a mix of emotions. I am bewildered that yet another twelve months have past, as each year seems to fly by faster than the previous one. I’m also confused of what season it is, as I just spent the past 10 days in Guatemala in tank top and shorts, and returned last night to mid-70s weather. (This native Maryland girl doesn’t consider it to be ‘winter’ without a wool coat.) And then I’m discouraged that that I didn’t get to accomplish everything off of my 2010’s goals list, yet trying to stay optimistic and eager to ring in the new year with a fresh outlook and new and revised goals.

There are always things to do, and more to achieve when you own a business, particularly in the service and travel fields. So my aim for 2011 is to eliminate the mile-long resolutions list, and pick just a few realistic goals and set two or three strategies to effectively execute them. Seeing my goals get completed and met are a lot more motivating (to do more) than running on the endless trail, trying to find the finish line.

So as I reflect on Cultural Embrace’s year-end accomplishments, it has been a busy 2010, and I can understand why it’s flown by. We sent over 210 individual and group travelers to embrace their world as well as their own passion. We sent 7 participants to work as a nanny/au pair in Europe, 23 professional internship placements from Argentina to South Africa in a wide variety of fields, 33 teach placements (mostly paid) throughout Asia, Latin America, and Europe, 107 volunteers with 78% in Latin America, 12% in Africa, 6% in Asia, and 4% in the Oceania. 23 participants lived and worked in hospitality, non-technical jobs throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Spain. And we had 23 travelers that embraced Costa Rica, Mexico, and France through cultural language classes. Additionally, we tailored our travelers’ (individuals and groups) requests for excursions, housing, and ground transportation.

We also launched our H.U.G. projects, designed as a personal and corporate commitment to partner with select non-profits and provide additional financial, emotional, and logistical support to their causes. We will continue to tailor our programs and services to meet your goals and requests with the availability and needs of the local community; but Cultural Embrace will work together in the under-served communities of Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa, and Austin to improve their living conditions in five key areas: 1) Education, 2) Diversity & Leadership, 3) Environmental Conservation & Awareness, 4) Healthy and Balanced Living, and 5) Creativity.

“The Social Network” not only hit Hollywood on the big screen, but served as a mean for us to stay connected to others. We have embraced social media via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Blogs. We granted partial and full scholarships to 7 participants travel on our programs and serve as Travel Advisers in the destination and to share their adventure and photos to our social media community. I highly encourage that you read and view their blogs, as it exemplifies a day in the life abroad, and is an inspiration for all of us to live each moment to its fullest.

And isn’t that the best outlook on life…to live it to its fullest and seize the day?! I hope you have a wonderful, safe, and peaceful 2011!

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  1. SChisnell says

    >So happy to be even a marginal part of the important work you do! CE and Emlyn, you are admired from near and far!

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