Kendrick never imagined he would have been to 154 countries in the first 25 years of his life. Here he is in the Faroe Islands in 2018.
Kendrick Sharp participated in Cultural Homestay International’s World Explorers program in 2015. He taught English to a host family in Brazil for a month over his summer vacation. When Kendrick first contacted CHI, he was a 22-year-old college student working part-time at a restaurant in Utah. Three years later, he has traveled to 154 countries.
Prior to traveling with CHI, Kendrick had been to Germany and Mexico as a child when his parents were in the Airforce. The year before he went to Brazil, he traveled with a group to teach English at a school in China for four months.
He came across the World Explorers program while surfing the internet for travel programs. He liked the fact that traveling with CHI allowed him to travel independently while still ensuring a safe place to stay with a host family. He wanted to experience life abroad from a local perspective.
Kendrick with his host family in Brazil in 2015.
As a World Explorer, Kendrick taught his host family English for 15 hours per week. In return, he lived as a true member of the family. Kendrick’s host family lived in the coastal city of Vitoria in Brazil. During his program, Kendrick enjoyed learning Portuguese, going to the beach and traveling to other parts of the country.
Kendrick at Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil.
Once his program with CHI came to an end, Kendrick decided to travel to other parts of South America his own. Later that year, he went to South East Asia by himself for two months.
“Going into it, I did have a lot of personal anxiety about traveling alone. I have no idea how I convinced myself to do it. But after traveling to so many countries on my own, I gained a really big confidence boost.”
In 2017, Kendrick flew down to Brazil to surprise his oldest host brother at his wedding. He spent two weeks reconnecting with his CHI host family. He felt that it was too short of a trip and he was sad to go. He decided that he wanted his next trip to be a long one. He went back home to Utah to start saving money to make his travel dream a reality.
Kendrick found job with a flexible schedule to support his nomadic lifestyle. He started working as a driver. Being an independent contractor allowed him to start and stop working anytime. He no longer needed to take a leave of absence, he could just leave. He enjoyed driving people around and actually met a lot of international tourists that came to Utah for vacation.
Once he had sufficient funds in his savings account, Kendrick set out to do his longest trip yet – basically all of Europe and Southern Africa. He became an expert budget traveler and relied a lot on the Couchsurfing community for free accommodation.
Snow in Bulgaria. Winter 2016.
Kendrick petting a lion in Zimbabwe in 2016.
The long road to nowhere. Africa 2016.
Kendrick in Namibia in 2016.
The following year, Kenrick went to visit his CHI host family in Brazil for the third time. His younger host brother still keeps in touch, and he learned that the older brother that got married the year before just had a baby. After that, he hit up a few more countries in South America before heading over to Asia. The most exotic destination this round was Mongolia.
“Ulan Bator is essentially an island surrounded by these vast plains and sweeping hills which feel almost like an ocean. There is just nothing around the capital city but emptiness.”
Kendrick in a yurt in Mongolia in the fall of 2017.
Kendrick embracing Korean culture in Seoul.
In 2018, his travels continued. In just three-and-a-half-months, he went to 17 countries: Philippines, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papa New Guinea, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, Dubai, Oman, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, and Denmark.
He flew back to the US to meet up with his family in Florida before heading out again before exploring 12 more countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Hungary, Sweden and Iceland.
Kendrick diving with whale sharks in the Philippines.
Kendrick volunteering with elephants in Thailand.
Kendrick experienced the Masai way of life in Kenya.
Kendrick in Iceland, his final destination, before returning home to Utah.
Kendrick returned home to Utah in October 2018. He is working as a driver again to save up for his future travel plans. Madagascar is one destination he said he would really like to visit in 2019.
Are you thinking about traveling on your own? Take Kendrick’s advice!
“Try to copy everybody else. Sit down and people watch. Observe what they wear – if they wear long pants and no caps, try to emulate their style so you look like you know what you’re doing.”
“Don’t feel afraid to ask for help. Learn how to ask, “Do you speak English?” in the local language.”
“Keep your wits about you.”