A Southern California kid by birth, Kyle’s first experience with culture shock was a 3,000-mile cross country move with his family. “I was only 8 years old, so it was a big change. I had never seen snow before,” he explains.
But it didn’t take long for the family to adjust and dive into east coast explorations or for Kyle to develop a taste for travel. They’d pack into the family car and drive to Niagara Falls, road trip to Washington, DC or venture through picturesque mountain towns in Vermont.
“I wanted to visit the UK for a long time,” he recalls. “On this trip, I saw London and all the major historical places I had read about. But the coolest part was seeing all the places I didn’t know I wanted to see. Bath, Yorkshire and Edinburgh especially. These unexpected experiences were transformative.”
From these eye-opening days in the UK – stumbling upon small shops, swapping stories with locals, eating traditional foods – Kyle’s personal approach to travel began to take shape.
“There’s so much more to seeing the world than checking off all the boxes of the places you’re told you need to go,” he says.
Fast forward to 2011 when Kyle arrived in Boston with a college degree in hand and only a vague notion of how to put his history, economics and French studies to use. He submitted applications here and there, searching for his next step.
It wasn’t until he was sitting across from his interviewer for a temp job at EF Education First that it all clicked.
That high school trip to Edinburgh, the one that stoked his passion for off-the-beaten path travel, it was an EF Educational Tour. The rest is history.
Today, Kyle has turned his temp job on the EF College Study Tours sales team into a seven-year career that has landed him a Business Analyst role with EF Educational Tours and has challenged him to step outside of his comfort zone.
“I’ve always been able to find my next step at EF. There’s always been a way for me to grow here, either by taking on responsibilities through my own initiative, or through my manger’s mentorship. And I think that’s unique. Right now, for instance, I’m teaching myself SQL (Structured Query Language).
Kyle also describes EF as an ideal place for avid travelers to build a career while still meeting their goals to see the world. “I’m able to strike a very healthy balance between work goals and life goals,” he explains.
In fact, Kyle credits EF with opening up travel opportunities that he otherwise wouldn’t have access to – and riding the L’Etape du Tour de France stands out as a once-in-a-lifetime case in point. Cycling a mountain stage portion of the legendary Tour de France route, Kyle and a group of exhilarated nonprofessional cyclists tackled the same climbs, same conditions, and reveled in the same breathtaking views as the professional riders he admires so much.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without EF. I rode an EF team bike on this world-famous course. As a cyclist, it was an absolute dream.”
With his passion for cycling, traveling, and growing his career at EF – and his impressive track record of carving out new roles for himself – it seems like only a matter of time before we see Kyle trailing off the beaten path once again and landing exactly where he belongs.