My name is Helen Tornquist. I am originally from Minnesota, but graduated three years ago from DePaul University in Chicago with a major in Elementary Education and minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Upon graduating I took on a very unconventional teaching job at Tallgrass Sudbury School in Riverside, IL where I quickly transformed into an advocate for democratic/self-directed education. After working there for two years and coming to the realization that the world can be my classroom, I decided to take the leap of pursuing my lifelong dream of traveling around South America on a motorcycle.

Apart from education and motorcycle riding, some of my other interests include film, international cuisine, Capoeira, skiing, swimming, kayaking, climbing trees, soccer (fútbol) and pretty much anything else outdoors. Although I am an introvert at heart, I love working with and meeting new people. I am very grateful that my family was able to host many exchange students in our house when I was growing up. Those experiences really opened my eyes to the beauty and diversity of people and places around the world and left me with an eternal desire to travel and see the world.

I feel very privileged to be living this incredible adventure and to have met some amazing people along the way. I only hope that I can pass on the kindness once I get back home and get settled in.