In 2012, Jessica bought a one-way ticket to Thailand to teach English in the rural town of Suwannaphum, Roi Et.
She had a scooter and a traditional Thai-style hut to call home, and she quickly became known around town as “Teacher Jess.”
After teaching high schoolers for one semester in Thailand, she used her savings to spend two months backpacking around Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam before returning home to the States.
As soon as she landed on U.S. soil, she knew she’d left her heart in Asia and that her homecoming was premature. So, after helping with the family wheat harvest — her summer job for 20 years and counting — she bought another one-way ticket abroad.
This time to China, where she taught freshmen university students in a tiny village outside of Guangzhou, Guangdong. She spent weekends exploring Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Yangshuo and more.
For Chinese New Year, she traveled to India for six weeks to explore yet another side of Asia. Afterward, she returned to Thailand for some downtime on the beach. She had ideas that needed mulling around and time to sit and ponder.
In 2014, she founded globalU (originally as Teach English: ESL) to help others have the same incredible experiences that she had.
In her words, “I get to combine my passions for both travel and education and help some of the coolest people around the globe get started on their own world-changing adventures.”