Jade Beall, top left, Jackie Gadziala, top right, and Samantha Schwann, bottom, talk about why traveling is important to them. 

This story was created by #ThisIsTucson and underwritten by Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, offering girls the opportunity for national and international travel. Thank you for supporting the local organizations that support us!


Summer is here, and with it comes the itch to travel. 

We're all about loving the place where you live, but sometimes it's nice to get out and see the world. 

If you didn't already have at least a little wanderlust, you will after hearing from these women. 

Samantha Schwann, 41, dives around the world to photograph marine life and advocate for its protection. 

Jackie Gadziala, 19, spent nine weeks volunteering in Mexico at a World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centre. 

And Jade Beall, 39, spent some time in Greece photographing Syrian refugees and in Turkey and Israel photographing women. 

Editor's note: These answers have been edited for length and clarity. 

Meet Samantha Schwann

The first time Samantha Schwann swam with a tiger shark, it made her heart stop. Now? No big deal. 

Where have you traveled? 

Canada, USA, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Costa Rica, England, France...

What compels you to go abroad? 

New experiences! I get to dive in some of the most incredible locations in the world to be in the water with sharks, dolphins, whales, manta rays and turtles. It is amazing to see these incredible animals in the wild, but then I get to come back and share images and stories with people so that we can help protect their environment.

Why is traveling important to you and your work? 

My work as an underwater photographer focuses on ecologically unique areas of the ocean, especially those which serve as important habitat for sharks. It is important to me to go to locations where the sharks are — either feeding or nursery grounds or stopping points upon migration corridors. As shark populations are declining by up to 95 percent in some species, it is really important to bring awareness to protecting them and critical habitats.

What have you learned by going abroad? 

I really love learning about different cultures! Although we may be different in so many respects, there are also so many similarities. And I really love trying new food. :)

What would you say to other girls and women interested in traveling? 

Traveling is an incredibly rewarding experience that will teach you a lot about the world and yourself. It is always so worth the money, and the memories last a lifetime. You will meet incredible people and have experiences that you simply can't at home.

Meet Jackie Gadziala

Jackie Gadziala volunteered with Nuestra Cabaña — one of the five world centers for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Where have you traveled? 

With the Girl Scouts, I have visited Washington, D.C., England, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Mexico. This year I traveled to Panama, and I've also traveled a bit with my family!

What compels you to go abroad? 

To learn something new! I am a firm believer in avoiding boredom. Granted, relaxing on the couch is sometimes called for, I love trying new things. Traveling encapsulates this attitude because new foods, activities and friendships are just waiting to be snatched when abroad. I am incredibly grateful for the experiences I've had — I have truly been shaped by them.

Why is traveling important to you and your work? 

Being challenged makes me a stronger volunteer and a better person. Language barriers and differing backgrounds can be difficult in group settings but they add depth to the experience. When I volunteered in Mexico for nine weeks, I had to live with six strangers, and when it came time for me to leave, I had to say goodbye to what became numerous close friends. I leave a part of me behind when I travel, but it's nothing compared to everything I gain. Seeing a new country or doing volunteer work may not be directly related to my career goals, but regardless of anyone's position, service (abroad) provides new insights that can be used every day.

What have you learned by going abroad? 

Everything! That may sound cheesy, but going abroad has taught me patience, kindness, hard work and friendship — what else do I need?

What would you say to other girls and women interested in traveling? 

Know your priorities and be dedicated. I'm blessed to have traveled this much at my age but I also worked really hard for these opportunities. If you are interested in traveling, find out what you need to do to get there, and then work your butt off to make it happen. The fundraising I did and the applications I filled out not only took me where I wanted, they made me proud. Keep striving towards your goals, and if you have to take a detour at any point, that's okay!! Priorities are important because they shape how and when you travel. Although I just ranted on how much I love trying new things, "there's no place like home." Depending on what you want, try to find that balance between being present and looking towards the future. Buena suerte!

Meet Jade Beall

Jade Beall has traveled all around the world. 

Where have you traveled? 

Mexico, all of central Africa, Canada, Tahiti, north and east Africa, France, Germany, England, Palestine/Israel, Turkey and Greece.

What compels you to go abroad? 

To learn about different cultures and how other people live, to photograph and share stories that need a voice.

Why is traveling important to you and your work? 

I think we can be better people and be more compassionate if we travel and see how others live and find joy and how they deal with the hard that life throws at us. When I travel I like to make art while giving those that don't have a voice a chance to tell their story like the Syrian refugees in Greece that I met.

What have you learned by going abroad? 

That I am a very lucky and privileged person and that the world is so very beautiful.

What would you say to other girls and women interested in traveling? 

I drove to Central America when I was 17. I was just a kid, but it changed my life forever. I think ALL girls should find a way to travel or live abroad and learn how others live and laugh! I have never been rich, but I have always found ways to get myself around the world.

Got a girl with wanderlust? Here are a few easy ways you can help her appreciate other cultures. 

The Loft Kids Fest is showing "Okko's Inn" Monday, July 22 at 10 a.m. The film is about a young Japanese girl who moves to a traditional Japanese inn to help her grandmother. Or catch "Disneynature: Born in China" Wednesday, July 24 10 a.m. The follows several animal families in the wilds of China. The Loft, 3233 E. Speedway, is showing both films for free. Go here for more information. 

Sign your girl up for Mexican folklorico or mariachi lessons at the Viva Performing Arts Center, 4563 S. Park Ave.  She can make friends and learn something new. Go here for more information. 

Tucson Meet Yourself must be mentioned. The annual food festival downtown brings cuisines and cultures from around the world to one spot. You'll have to wait until October 11-13, but it is so worth it. Go here for more information. 


Girl Scouts travel the country — and the world!

Girl Scouts love to travel—from the field trips they take as Brownies to the global adventures they go on as teens! Girls can "blast off" at space camp in Alabama, go kayaking off the coast of California, take in a Broadway show in New York City, or even travel internationally to countries like Costa Rica, India, Japan, and beyond, with other girls who share their love of adventure.