Elon alumnus seeks to become "chief world explorer"

A writer and photographer, Aaron Bardo '09 is participating in a worldwide competition for a chance to earn $100,000 and spend a year traveling and exploring the world on behalf of Jauntaroo.

For Aaron Caleb Bardo ’09, traveling is more than something you do while on vacation. It’s an opportunity to learn from other cultures and engage people and places you otherwise would never come in contact with.

So when he heard about Jauntaroo’s search for a “chief world explorer,” he jumped at the opportunity.

According to the company’s website, the job is to travel the world for a year and share the experiences via the site and social media channels while earning $100,000. Applicants are asked to post a 60-second video stating why they think they should be selected. The company will pick 50 semifinalists; after another round, a winner will be picked among five finalists. In the meantime, Jauntaroo is asking candidates to gather as many “likes” on their videos as they can.

“I want to inspire, I want to get people moving and grooving; I want to motivate people … to get out of their houses,” Bardo says in the video nomination he submitted to the travel-start up company. “The world is too beautiful not to. I want this to be a visceral experience because life is just too short. I want to document the change in people, in landscapes, in life, in movement. I want to mark the differences in cultures and places and embrace them by sharing them.”

Watch and “like” Bardo’s entry.

Bardo, a professional writing and rhetoric major, says a study abroad program in Buenos Aires his junior year changed his life dramatically. “I fell in love with South America and travel writing, taking on Michael Strickland as my mentor upon my return,” he says. “My PWR thesis was written as a resource for fellow students to avoid the U.S. economy by using their native tongue to teach abroad.”

He followed his own advice and after graduation moved to Chile to teach English in a private Opus Dei school. In 2012 he moved to Wellington, New Zealand where he currently lives. He is a regular contributor and editor with What’s Happening w/Original Artists (WHOA) Magazine, a blogger with the Huffington Post and has also written for publications such as Thought Catalog and JaxFax Travel Marketing Magazine.

Bardo credits Elon for much of his drive and passion for exploring. “Elon gave me the guidance and confidence to move from country to country writing and photographing each journey along the way,” he says.