The Day I Interviewed Mrs. Obama About Travel

Feng Li/Getty Images

Feng Li/Getty Images

What? You didn’t know the First Lady and I were like best buds?

Yeah, so a few days ago in China, after all of her press appearances, we were enjoying some tea….

Ok, so what really happened was… A few Fridays ago I received an email from CNN iReport team requesting a video question for the First Lady about educational exchange. From those submitted, a few would be selected for Mrs. Obama to personally answer during her visit to China to talk education and promote the 100k Strong initiatives for educational exchanges.

After battling power cuts (I’m still in Accra, Ghana), a screaming baby in the apartment above me, the noise of the generator and challenges with lighting, I filmed a couple of takes of 2 questions that came to mind. (You can see my full submission and others here.) I uploaded my 2 video questions, photos of my study abroad experience in South Africa almost 8 years ago and a quick summary of what that experience meant to me.

Well, out of over 300 video submissions, I’m TOTALLY excited to learn that I was one of the THREE that made it into the final interview!!! *insert happy dance*

Check out the video below:

I LOVE this video (and not just because I’m in it). Travel is truly transformational. It’s really helped to shape the person I have become and I’m soo grateful for those experiences from 2 years old moving to the Philippines up to now. I love the 100k strong initiatives and hope they exceed their goal of increasing the number AND diversity of students studying abroad. I’ll continue to do my part and hope you will too! Mrs. Obama answered my question, but what about you?

Where did you receive your first passport stamp and how has that impacted the person you are today?


P.S. — In between exploring Ghana, I’ve been working on some cool new projects aligned with my mission of helping YOU get out there and see the world. If you’re ready to stop stop travel dreaming and start travel doing, sign up for updates here!

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  • Brian Dennis says...

    That was great April! Such a great topic to hear discussed by the First Lady too! I met you at a Meet. Plan. Go. in Miami. A lot has changed for me since that time. I am back in the U.S. now, but had my career break in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for just under 6 months. I even started a blog too and hope to be out traveling again by early 2015. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thanks Brian! So happy to hear about your career break and your blog. Will have to check it out! Keep living life on your terms! You’re so very welcome! :-)

  • Tina says...

    That is so cool, Congratulations!!

  • Karen R says...

    Hi April,
    glad to see you are doing well in Ghana, despite the light issues. As for me, my firt passport stamp was to the USA when I migrated here. Had gotten the opportunity to travel to Mexico and China before that (being an only child my Mother would not let me travel so far away from home as a teengager, oh well). As an adult I’ve travelled to several Caribbean countries, Mexico several times and to Europe. On my wish list right now are Hong Kong, Switzerland and Greece.
    Take care Karen

    • Thanks Karen. The power, etc are just minor bumps along the road of a very interesting and fun journey. I totally understand moms being protective. My mom and aunt were both protective of what I did and where I went. Hong Kong, Switzerland and Greece are on my list too! All the best and hope you make it sooner than later!

  • Maia says...

    Very cool! My first passport stamp was for The Bahamas when I married my husband. While there, I really soaked in the laid back culture. Sometimes things in the US are so rushed, being there reminded me that it’s okay (and important) to take it easy and pamper myself.

    • I love the Bahamas, well almost anything in the Caribbean really and that’s a big part of the reason why. It feels great to just slow it down a bit. Self care is key. PS I love destination weddings. Will definitely be having one when that time comes.

  • Suzi says...

    Shana – totally agree. You can never start too young teaching them to explore the world!

  • Suzi says...

    Omg such a great video AND posting! Travel is such an important learning tool. Plus it fosters empathy for others who be so different from “us.” My first passport stamp btw was Vietnam. Amazing place. Amazing people! ~ suzi:)

    • Thanks for stopping by Suzi. Always love connecting with travel advocates! My great uncle is heading back to Vietnam for the first time since he fought in the war. I can’t imagine the emotion and memories it will bring up. I’ve never been, but hope to make it there one day soon.

  • Shana Manuel says...

    This is such a great opportunity! You asked a great question that gives us great insight into The First Lady’s life experiences. I’m encouraged by her traveling during her sophomore year in high school I’m assuming. Let me get my little one ready for travel abroad at a young age!

    • Thanks Shana! So happy to hear you are encouraged by her response. Yes! It’s never to late to expose your children to the world!

  • I saw this video last week with First Lady Obama answering the question, but missed the video that led up to it with you asking the question. Awesome!! Glad you’re doing well in Ghana, and wish you happy, slow travels!!

    • Thanks Sharee. I am doing well here in Ghana. I think I’m getting closer to departure, but will enjoy every moment of it. Wish the same to you!

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