Finding Purpose Abroad

Many people only dream of traveling overseas, but Zoey Chumbley is no stranger to seeing the world. A recent DMACC graduate, Chumbley has traveled to over eight countries and plans to see even more.  

On a trip to Malaysia in eighth grade, Chumbley said she discovered her passion for traveling. “I found a love of traveling and different cultures. I knew it was something big that I wanted in my life,” Chumbley said. 

Following her passion, Chumbley traveled to France and Spain with her high school Spanish class and to Costa Rica with her science class. “As I continued through high school and into graduation, one of my big goals looking at colleges was study abroad,” Chumbley said.  

It was this goal that brought Chumbley to DMACC.  “One of the main reasons I chose DMACC was for their study abroad program. It was something that I knew I wanted to do, and DMACC made it possible,” said Chumbley 

Through DMACC, Chumbley traveled to her top location, London, where she said she made many great memories and met new people that she continues to travel with.  

With each new adventure, Chumbley said she develops a greater appreciation for the world around her. “I feel like through traveling you can learn so much more than you ever could in the classroom,” Chumbley said. “It’s so handson when you’re interacting with the people and the culture.”  

For Chumbleythe people she meets along the way are the most rewarding part of her travels. “A huge part of traveling that I enjoy is meeting other people and creating friends abroad. It’s made my life more colorful,” Chumbley said. “I feel like I have a greater purpose.”  

Chumbley said it’s been amazing to have friends from all over the worldrecalling a simple yet memorable night in France, walking around the city. “I had a friend with me from the U.S., a friend from Italy, a friend from Spain and a friend from France. We just thought it was crazy that we all had come together and were somehow traveling the world together,” Chumbley said.  

Chumbley said her friends have taught her that “life is not just a straight line.” From gap years to bartending school, there are so many other paths you can take.  

Chumbley said she hopes to keep focusing on traveling for the rest of her life. “There’s so many different places in the world and every place is unique. I haven’t hit every spot yet,” Chumbley said. “I love going to a new place and comparing it to where I have been and especially to home.”  

While Chumbley compares each new location to her home in Iowa, she said she does not get homesick. “I really don’t miss home. My friends and family will even confess to that. I’ll have to force myself to call home because I’m just so immersed with where I’m at that I don’t even look back,” said Chumbley 

Family friend Emily Bohler said this is very true. “Zoey is a hard worker and she’s motivated by traveling. We miss her when she’s gone, but she’s realizing her dreams. We’re very proud of her,” Bohler said.  

Chumbley has no plans to stop traveling any time soon. “In a couple of years, I’m planning to move to Ireland, and I definitely want to go into tourism professionally,” Chumbley said.  

She encourages everyone to travel, especially when you’re young. “My biggest advice is to have flexibility. Don’t be afraid to go do bizarre things. The best experiences are ones that you just go with,” Chumbley said.  

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