Donor Spotlight: Nicole
FLYTE is more than a non-profit organization. It is a community built by supporters and donors who want to empower students to change their lives – and the world – through travel.
Nicole is a force – making her mark on the world in so many different ways. She’s an ICU nurse, podcast host, runs self-care retreats for nurses and is a FLYTE Crew monthly donor.
We’re so lucky to have her as part of our FLYTE Community!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m from Seattle, WA, where I live with my husband, two cats, and a dog. My daytime job is ICU nursing but outside of my work life, I podcast and travel. I’m a co-host of the Meltdown City Podcast which is all about self-exploration and discovery. Like many fans of the Nomadic Matt empire, I am obsessed with travel. I’m always planning something, dreaming of where to go next. Seattle summers are amazing, so normally we stay put to take its glory.
How has travel impacted your life?
Travel has greatly opened my mind to other cultures and other ways of life. It can challenge your mind about your own culture. It has given me the inspiration to learn other languages creating experiences of amazing cultural exchange. For example, by learning just a few phrases of Khmer, created long-lasting memories of my young, Cambodian tuk-tuk driver.
What’s your favorite travel memory?
I didn’t travel outside of the US and Canada until I was 20 when I participated in a study abroad program in Poitiers, France. At the end, I spent a week in Paris, staying with a family friend. I remember spending one day all by myself, riding the subway, going all over Paris, seeing the sights and stopping at Pere La Chaise. I was amazed at being able to navigate the city alone. I have a very vivid memory thinking about all the cultures, cities, and countries that had been thriving all of the world while I had been home, having never really thought about it before. Mind blown.
Why did you choose to support FLYTE?
I choose to support FLYTE because travel opens your mind and gives you inspiration. It challenges your thinking and makes you a better citizen of the world. Traveling has had such a positive impact on my own life and I love that FYLTE is committed to doing that for youth, especially kids that might not have that same opportunity.
What advice would you give someone who’s about to take their first trip abroad?
My advice for someone’s first time abroad is to go in with an open mind and give yourself to the adventure! Toilets will be different, traffic will be different, and people will be, too! But, that is the beauty of it all. And have fun!
Carmela is FLYTE’s Executive Director. She’s also a non-profit & data science consultant, math enthusiast, remote worker, and self-proclaimed chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. Since 2012, she’s been intentionally creating a life that combines her love for youth empowerment, travel, statistics, and social impact.