Isaiah Mosteller: making travel both a personal hobby and profession:
While I grew up on the plains of Oklahoma, the seeds of curiosity for the larger world were planted in me via my family and an otherwise nondescript surrounding landscaped, which nudged me by its scarcity of geo-variety rather than its abundance. In college, I earned a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Masters in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, but apart from the formal degrees, that’s where I found open doors into the global education of travel and cultural exchange. My experiences abroad include working in the UK, Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands, recreation work in Japan, and cultural explorations of Latin America. These unique experiences have inspired me to both plan and guide relevant travel experiences for others. In addition to leading trips in Eastern US over the last 18 years, I have also led trips around Europe and South America. I currently serve as the Director of Education with Academic Expeditions, a custom travel company specializing in educational and experiential student travel. I live in Asheville, NC with my wife Kim and our human and canine children, where we enjoy our time at home being outdoors, playing music with friends, and partaking in all the local Asheville eccentricities.
The name “ItchyFootPrints” reflects my travel motivation and the purpose of this blog. “Itchy Feet” as the expression goes, refers to that classic motivation for travel as the urge to NOT stay still in one place. While “Foot Prints” refers to the marks and impressions we leave behind, particularly in this case of the “printed” word.
The purpose of this travel blog is not just as a forum for me to archive and describe my own travel experiences, but also to connect to my career work in educational travel. While most of the journeys documented here are not likely to be places that I’ll ever plan or lead a group to, it is important that we “travel professionals” show our clients that we are travelers ourselves, and not just educators, guides and logistics escorts for the same destinations over and over. I consider myself an “ambassador” of curiosity for the world. From a business perspective, I am happy that Academic Expeditions has grown via schools and organizations that travel with us on repeat trips year after year, but I will be all the more happy if the individuals among thousands of young people I’ve worked with through the years grow up to be independent travelers and explorers themselves.
Educational and Experiential Travel:
Building on my personal travel experiences, I’ve grown a career of travel planning and guiding. I have 18 years experience leading student travels with various companies to various destinations. I now work exclusively with a team of travel professionals in an employee-owned travel company. The two wings of our company are:
Academic Expeditions: Customized travel for students designed to meet the educational and experiential goals of each group. My role hops around between history teacher, tour guide, logistics planner, camp counselor, and entertainer in order to provide exceptional travel experiences for teachers and students.
Discovery Expeditions: The wing of Academic Expeditions that designs group travel that is for adults to unique destinations. Public registration means anyone can sign up and they do not have to be affiliated with a specific group.