Our travelers grow as individuals in addition to having fun. Our trips seek to contribute to traveler's growth by:
*understanding other cultures on a deeper level
*finding patience within themselves
*discovering how to communicate through language barriers
*acceptance of cultural rituals and personalities
*exploring unmapped avenues without fear of the unknown
*creating a more joyful existence for their own futures
*providing a better sense of their own community
*experiencing the newfound freedom of their adult choices
Meet Our Team
About the Organization:
Lines of Latitude is a non-profit organization specifically designed to help financially disadvantaged students travel around the world. It is our mission to provide our participants with real life experiences which help broaden their horizons.
Our travelers are mostly high school seniors, so their 18+ day trip usually departs immediately after graduation. An instant cultural shift takes place in their lives, as we welcome them to find a new found freedom as an adult in our world, which allows them to psychologically release the American constraint they have perceived themselves to have been living in as a teenager, all the while visiting historical monuments, art museums and tasting authentic European cuisine.
When Tylene graduated high school, the American tradition was to take a backpacking excursion through Europe. She promised herself, “one day, when I have the money, I will go.”
It wasn’t until fifteen years later, as a high school English teacher, that she realized a trip to Europe wasn’t as far off as she expected. After deciding to chaperone 8 students on a 10-day trip to Europe, she was on a plane headed to the famous streets, cities, and museums that she had only dreamed of in novels and history books. Tylene could see the excited faces of her students as they saw firsthand the wonders of Europe. She was hooked. However, because the trip was with a major tour company, there were some shortcomings: they were herded with other students they didn’t know onto humid buses which lead them to cafeteria style dining and hotels that were thirty minutes outside the center of town.
The next summer, she took 13 kids on a longer trip, using a different tour company. This time, she realized that the restaurants and museum stops were the same as the first trip. Her kids were being brought to “tourist traps” without any chance or time to explore the city on their own. Tylene watched the tour director closely, and thought. “I can do that, and I can do it on a better individual level for my kids”, and she did. In 2009, Tylene booked the hotels, found the optional tours and was able to purchase plane, train and all bus tickets for her kids. Her travelers get to experience the freedom of being a tourist, but also have a tour director handling all of the paperwork for their trip.
After the first trip, she realized most of the students who had the desire to go, didn’t have the money. She didn’t want her students to repeat the same cliché that she told herself – “when I have the money, I will go” – and wait 15 years to do it. So, Tylene founded the non profit Lines of Latitude. A 501 (c) (3) which focuses on giving scholarships to students who have their own dreams of travel.
A Southern California native, Justine became a travel gypsy after spending a season abroad in Holland during her junior year in high school. Justine met Tylene in college, and they partnered up when volunteering at CAPI, an afterschool tutoring program. Working with the students, and listening to dreams of travels, the friends were inspired. After college, the two best friends founded the non-profit Lines of Latitude to help financially disadvantaged students travel the world.
She presently works as a marketing rep for L.A. Philharmonic and is able to keep the LOL records up to date with her brilliant accounting skills. Justine works well with teenagers as she has fond memories of being a high school teacher for over a decade,. She enjoys all of the various roles LOL has asked her to undertake such as accountant, parent liason, office manager and on occasion, trip “mom.” Travelers appreciate her behind the scenes skills in helping them with booking last minute free-day trips.
Justine has taken tours through Canada, Nova Scotia, Holland, Spain, and France. Her favorite travel destinations closer to home are Seattle, Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas,and Cancun. Her recent trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights has added a desire to see even more of the wonders of our world.
Alex traveled with Tylene on the very first trip and a lasting friendship was born. She remembers the trip as a perfect balance of independence & structure, adventure & safety, unknown & familiar, and attributes much of this to Tylene's ability to encourage experience while staying responsible.
Since then, she has traveled to 15 countries spanning 5 continents. Her favorite thing about travel is witnessing how diverse yet similar we all are. She also loves the food.
Luke traveled with Tylene on the 2009 trip as a student traveler. He had a true "trip of a lifetime" as he traveled with 20 of his best friends during their graduating class summer trip. Amsterdam and Prague were by far Luke's favorite cities!
Three years later, Luke and Tylene ran into each other in Santa Monica, and the memories of the trip were so alive, it felt like they had traveled just last month. After a quick catch-up, Luke told Tylene that he was training in jiu jitsu and had just won the last few tournaments.
It wasn't until two years later, after a few keep-in-touch calls, Tylene realized Luke would be the perfect male chaperone; he was an experienced tour traveler, he has the skills needed to be a security guard, and he loves gelato!!!
Luke is excited to be a part of LOL trips and will also be taking video footage to help keep this trip of a lifetime immortalized!