Hometown: Pleasanton, CA
Adventure is something we hear about in fairytales; it’s the stuff dreams are made of. But for Megan Snyder, adventure is her life; it’s what she lives for. Her mission is to visit twenty-five countries by age twenty-five. She already has ten checked off of her list and she has a marked map of the world hanging in her room to prove it.
“It has been my goal since I was ten to go to twenty-five countries. My dad has been to fifty-five countries, and I am at ten now. He wants me to reach my goal, so him and I are going to all seven countries in Central America together in November. I will finish off my eight in South America,” stated Snyder.
Snyder volunteered last summer in Thailand at a children’s home for Burmese refugees. She spent her time doing labor intensive work including painting houses, building fences, and planting crops. Snyder believes “the best way to immerse yourself in a culture is to volunteer; this way, the people see you helping and not just as a tourist. It’s so interesting to see how other people live and all the things we take for granted in America like shoes. [The Burmese children refugees] had to travel over mountains to reach safety in Thailand without shoes and it was so dangerous most of them lost brothers and sisters along the way. They didn’t even know their birthdays, and that’s just not right. It gives you such an unsettling feeling.”
Aside from traveling, Snyder recently discovered a new passion for Camp Kesem, a week long summer camp for children with parents who have or had cancer. “I love kids and their personalities. Camp Kesem gives them a chance to rediscover childhood. It feels good to be apart of something bigger than myself. It gives the kids a chance to discuss what they are dealing with and to be around other kids going through the same thing, so they know they are not alone,” describes Snyder who understands the importance of sharing common experiences. Snyder shared, “My dad has Parkinson’s disease, so I understand how it effects your life as a kid. I understand the added stress and what it’s like to have a parent whose capabilities become limited.”
“I just feel like I should help. We are in such a bubble here, and I just want to get out of it. We are so spoiled in America compared to how bad it is in other places,” tells Snyder as she explains her hopes for her life after UC Davis. She is currently in the process of applying for the Peace Corps, and if accepted, she plans to be serving by April of next year. “I have always wanted to work for a non-profit and volunteer. The Peace Corps would be a good way to challenge myself and it can only make me stronger,” expressed Snyder.
It is no surprise that a truly selfless and adventuress collegiette™ like Snyder would commit her life to embracing the people and cultures of the world. She will carry with her a desire to make the world a better place wherever her travels may take her.
Edited by: Brianna Frisch