For Mary Cecchini from Portland living big is about giving others to opportunity to get the best travel experience of their lives. She hosts trips around the U.S. and all across globe for females who don’t want to go on a journey alone.
Her goal is to bring such women together and help them connect and embark on an authentic adventure.
“I’m so inspired by the women I travel with. Because of them, the lens I use to view the world is so much bigger, more empathetic, patient, and kind.” Mary said to Brit+Co.
The idea of “Living Big” came to Mary when she returned from a five-month sabbatical she spent travelling around Europe. Mary used to work in corporate marketing, but in 2013 she faced burnout and almost lost a family member. Traveling helped her recover.
“I needed to reassess what it meant to ‘live big,’ which is all about living with intention and purpose and being mindful of the path you’re on,” Mary told Misadventures.
During that time she wrote a blog about her adventures. Her travel stories inspired women, but many readers noted they’d never be able to do something like that themselves.
Some couldn’t imagine all the planning, others were afraid to end up in a foreign country alone.
Inspired by the feedback she got, Mary decided to organize a trip to Costa Rica for 10 women in 2014. Together they trekked in the mountains, learned to cook traditional dishes and zip lined through the jungle.
The adventure was a success, and Mary understood that was what she wanted to do full-time.
“The feeling I got from watching the women bond, share insecurities, stories and laughter, watching people do something outside their comfort zone (and succeed!) and hearing everyone talk about their travel dreams and bucket lists filled me up in a way that past “jobs” just couldn’t do,” Mary said.
“Living Big” contacts each woman individually to discuss their wishes and make sure they are physically able to engage in every part of the trip.
This individual approach has won Mary a loyal client base.
All of her international adventures planned for 2018, which include rafting in Canadian Rockies, bathing in geothermal springs of Iceland and tasting wines and cheeses in Italy, are already sold out. The initiative also encouraged domestic trips and one-day adventures in Oregon, Mary’s home state.
Mary wants every woman to dream big and live big.