Meet the Change Your World Fund Class of 2017

The Class of 2017 will attend Overland Expo 2017 EAST, where they will take courses in overland travel skills and work with a team of mentors (link / bios to come) to plan their meaningful journeys to come in 2018. Please take a moment to explore their Change Your World Fund statements, we hope you will be as excited as we are to welcome them as the first class of many. 


Candida Louis

My name is Candida Louis and I am 26 years old. I'm from a small town in India called Hubli. I currently live in Bangalore. The first time I rode a motorcycle was 10 years ago and from that moment, there was no stopping. I knew I was born to do something different and change the world in some way. It’s something my parents understood about me and remained very supportive of.  In 2014, I was the first girl from India to ride around the country alone, covering around 32,000kms and 24 states, breaking stereotypes and inspiring girls all over India to be more independent, explore our beautiful country, and prove that India is safe for solo women travelers. This 7-month trip changed my whole perception about people and how important it is to give back to the community and society. Hence I'm trying to do my bit by supporting women who want to follow similar passions but are unable to because of the society we live in. I have tried in small ways by conducting motorcycle riding classes for women, having meetups once a month to discuss the challenges faced by women, and help them. I am happy to be part of Change Your World Fund Class of 2017, as I know that it will help me reach out to more people out there and through the expertise provided I can improve myself. I am looking forward to this great opportunity.


Maggie McDermut

I am relatively new to the overlanding world, having just purchased my dream vehicle three years ago—a diesel Land Cruiser BJ70. But I have quickly fallen in love with the community and this form of travel. I have traveled primarily in the American Southwest, and predominantly traveling alone. With a can-do and learn-as-you-go attitude, I am learning the ins and outs of overland travel, vehicle maintenance, and off-road skills. I love inspiring others and sparking thoughtful conversation throughout the community. I see overlanding as an opportunity to better connect and understand other cultures, communities, and people.  


Travis Wolcott

My name is Travis Wolcott. My love for this planet was excited very early on by my family. We started traveling when I was just 6. By age 9, we had been to all 7 continents together. My lifelong desire to travel and be a world citizen has taken me to many places. Just in the year since we started living full time in a converted school bus my girlfriend and I have been to Iceland twice, Spain and Ireland to visit her family, trekking in Patagonia, lived in the desert of Utah for 7 months and are currently parked on the central Oregon Coast. Since being here I've been involved with my local fire department, which is much more fulfilling than the parts sales job I left in Colorado to chase this roaming life. I met the Overland Expo staff this past WEST show where I flew in one way with a backpack with the intent to find a motorcycle to buy and ride back over a couple weeks. That bike trip was just one of many catalysts that keep pushing me to as often as possible, to put myself in the path of beauty and take the pulse of the earth. More than any other endeavor I've ever undertaken in my early years, travel has taught me the most. I look forward to using this opportunity to positively impact as many lives as possible and keep up this spirit of adventure and inspiration. 


Samantha Fitzgerald

I was born in Dublin, Ireland. My dad's side of the family all live in Malahide, Ireland, while my mom's live in Alicante, Spain. I am what some consider "Black Irish"—50/50 Spanish/Irish. We have the real-life American Dream story: My parents moved us to NYC when we were little, spending our summers in Ireland but living in Queens. After seeing photos of Colorado in a magazine, my mom decided she wanted to get out of the concrete jungle and see what the Rocky Mountains might have to offer. My dad being the true-Irish-New Yorker, he stayed in the city while we journeyed west. My parents always made better friends than lovers so the separation was not surprising. My trips home to Ireland turned into trips home to NYC to see my dad, which turned into meeting him in places around the world. As I grew older and the Rocky Mountain air filled my mind with ideas on how I could explore and see more incredible places, I packed up and moved to Breckenridge, CO, to perfect being a ski bum.

My father was a born adventurer all his life and was at the time trying to cross the Arctic Circle in every country. My first Arctic crossing was in Alaska; we endured minus-55 F temps with 60-mph winds. I have never experienced my eye lashes freezing before; I wasn't able to close my eyes it was only moments standing outside without my goggles on . . . lesson learned. We fell in love with Alaska and went back a total of four times, each time finding a new way to get across the Circle. My dad ended up getting out to Iceland to see Eyjafjallajökull after she erupted in 2010. This pushed us to continue our Arctic crossings, flying into Reykjavik for a few days to relax in the Blue Lagoon before our journey to Greenland, a place so far gone. 

Two years ago my world fell apart. I lost my best friend but mainly my Father to esophageal cancer. Even though at times I feel that loss tearing at my soul, I have made a promise to myself to live that much more *for* him and *for* me. I will cross the Arctic Circle in every country and I know he will be with me in some way. I met Travis (Wolcott, also of the Change Your World Fund Class of 2017) right when my dad got sick and he has been my rock through the whole thing. I was so lucky to meet someone who shares the same ideas on life and loves to travel as much as I do. Now we live in a converted school bus in Newport, OR and travel to as many places as we can. During our travels we makes sure to clean up what we can and do our part to keep this incredible place we live in as healthy as possible. 

I have big plans for life, I feel I have discovered something at a young age that some never find out: That life is what you make it and happiness is the key. Travis and I have been brain storming for years trying to find out a way we can travel and and help people who really need it. When I was told about this opportunity, my emotions didn't know how to react. The Farlands are amazing people to have such a program, and I am so sorry for your loss. The fact that you turned something sad into something beautiful is amazing and I am honored to be apart of your crew: thank you so much for this opportunity.