Local woman combines devotion to travel volunteerism at elephant reserve

first_img• Meet Crystal Steinmueller at the 2 Hands 7 Continents booth at the Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Esther Short Park, 301 W. Eighth St.• On the Web:2 Hands 7 ContinentsFacebook: 2 Hands 7 ContinentsElephants WorldCrystal Steinmueller spent her summer vacation feeding and bathing rescued elephants in Thailand. That’s not such an unusual adventure for the 30-year-old world traveler who has visited 33 countries. This summer in Bangkok she had her left foot tattooed with a globe and the words “Carpe Diem,” or seize the day.Steinmueller was bitten by the travel bug during her first trip abroad in 2004, when she visited Paris, London and Dublin with her twin sister, Jennifer. Four months later, her sister died.“My passion for travel and volunteering started after I lost my sister,” she said.Over the next 18 months, Steinmueller backpacked extensively throughout Europe and Egypt, but never stayed put for very long. After the trip she realized that she wanted to continue traveling, but wanted to plant some roots by volunteering during her travels.So when she traveled to Peru, she saw the sites, but she also arranged to volunteer at a boys’ orphanage at the base of the Andes. That life-changing experience made herlast_img read more

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