So I’ve been trying to hold off on my upcoming travel announcements for as long as possible in hopes of making sure everything is super certain and nailed down, but I can’t hold it in anymore! 2016 is shaping up to be a truly epic year and I’ve been blessed with some amazing opportunities to do the things I love while seeing new places that I’ve never visited. I’m pretty lucky!

First up – my next press trip! Press trips are notoriously last minute, and there is still a (very) slight chance that this one could fall through. You never know! But I’m confident to announce that my next trip will be…drumroll please…to Riga, Latvia for the Lattelcom Riga Marathon and Half Marathon! I’ll be gone May 12-16 and covering all of the events of race weekend, from the Parade of Nations (oh yes, I’ll be bringing the most American gear I can find) and running the half marathon!

Seems like a pretty awesome view to me!

This all is very serendipitous because I’ve been weirdly obsessed with Latvia (and Riga specifically) for a while now for reasons I can’t entirely explain. It’s an up-and-coming European city with a lot of charm that I am ecstatic to explore! Hopefully I’ll have some time to sightsee as well, but I’m just excited to see the city on foot during the race and learn as much as I can while I’m there! I’ll be covering the race for Women’s Running and of course here on my blog as well. I can’t wait! Just two weeks away!

Ok, Latvia, I will visit you. Stop begging.

And now for a trip that I really didn’t expect! As you may know, I am an Environmental Scientist in my real life and I work for an architecture and engineering company. My company has decided to partner with Bridges to Prosperity, an international charitable organization that seeks to end rural isolation by helping communities build footbridges over impassable rivers. The bridges increase the connectivity from rural areas to desperately needed resources like healthcare, schools, and employment.

I hope we get to build an arch, too!

About 2 months ago, my company announced that they would be participating in a two week project in Nicaragua and were accepting applications for the 12 spots on the team. Now, there are about 5,000 people that work for my company and I am no bridge engineer or construction supervisor! I’m just an Environmental Scientist who speaks fairly decent Spanish and has a serious passion for international travel. I guess the essays I wrote in support of my application were pretty compelling, because I was selected as one of the 12 team members from hundreds of applications!

Here’s hoping I develop some engineering skills in the next two months!

So I’ll be traveling to Nicaragua for two weeks in mid-July in support of our project and helping to build a footbridge! We’re going to be seriously roughing it, and I’m so excited and grateful for the opportunity. I’m still pinching myself and can’t believe I was picked! I was selected for the role of “Logistics Coordinator” which means I’m responsible for working out all the travel details and doing all of the research about our area. If you know me, you know that research and planning are some of my favorite things about travel, so I am so excited to be serving in this capacity!

Good thing I’m not afraid of heights

Yes, I’ve got a lot of exciting opportunities coming my way over the next few months and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Fingers crossed that they all will come to fruition and I’ll have lots of exciting things to share with you here very soon! In the mean time, AJ and I are off to Cincinnati this weekend so I can meet up with my friend Patty and run the Flying Pig Half Marathon! Never a dull moment here in T-Rex Runner world.

Have you ever been to Latvia or Nicaragua?

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