Friday, July 19, 2024

Global Explorations – A Life Shaped by Travel

HomeLifestyleGlobal Explorations - A Life Shaped by Travel

Hester Clark, owner of the Hester Group, began her journey in Virginia, but her heart has always been in farflung corners of the globe. Growing up as an Army brat, Clark’s first taste of international travel came at the tender age of six, when her family relocated to Stuttgart, Germany, for three years.

During the 1960s, traveling throughout Europe was an extraordinary experience for a young African American girl, setting the stage for a lifelong passion for exploration.

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Hester, standing at the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.

Clark’s wanderlust has taken her to over twenty-five countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ecuador, Brazil, Panama, Cuba, Chile, and Australia. “I am happiest visiting countries and experiencing the culture. I love to travel solo – to have the freedom to wander aimlessly in a foreign country is the best feeling ever!” she exclaims.

Yet, she also appreciates the convenience of group tours organized by World Next Door. “Group travel is the best because all of the major decisions have been made, and all we have to do is show up! Tour guides provide history and point out areas of interest. It is a great way to explore an area,” Clark adds.

Riding camelback in Morocco through the sands of the Sahara Desert.
Riding camelback in Morocco through the sands of the Sahara Desert.

Travel has always been a family affair for Clark. She made it a priority to expose her two children, Jonathan and Rebekah, to the joys of travel from an early age. The teachers at Greenland Pines Elementary School in Jacksonville, Florida even provided lesson plans for Jonathan and Rebekah to continue their studies while traveling abroad.

This early exposure instilled a deep love of travel in her children, who now journey extensively with their own families. Rebekah’s two-year stint in the Peace Corps further exemplifies the family’s commitment to global exploration.

Clark’s most recent adventure was a spontaneous trip to Brazil, where she seized the opportunity to stay in a relative’s apartment in Rio de Janeiro. “It was magical to shop locally, spend time on the sand, and walk the streets in Rio,” she recounts. Clark immersed herself in the vibrant culture of the city.

Despite her extensive international travels, Clark has not forgotten her home country. With only six states left to visit, she is close to achieving her goal of traveling to all fifty states..

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