From HR Leader to Travel Entrepreneur: A journey of self-discovery and transformation

Min Read

Words by Theresa Akua Powell

As I sat down to write my travel articles for Travel Essence magazine back in 2020 during the initial throes of the global pandemic, little did I know the incredible journey that awaited me. As the world grappled with the impact of COVID, I found myself reflecting on my career and life choices. At the time, I was working as an HR leader at New York University in Abu Dhabi, having worked in HR for over two decades.

During the pandemic, I found myself in solitude while working from home. However, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, I discovered something beautiful. I had more space and time to reflect, journal, and meditate, which allowed me to tap into a new and deeper sense of inner peace. As I embarked on this journey of self-discovery, I realized that I was craving a new way of life and living. 

My passion for my day job had slowly dwindled, and I felt stuck. But as I connected virtually with entrepreneurial women and their stories, I knew deep down it was time for me to take a leap of faith and start my own journey as an entrepreneur. 

With my love of travel and people, a life-changing opportunity had now presented itself, one that would allow me to step out of my comfort zone and into my soul’s purpose. There was an overwhelming sense of fear as I thought about embarking on a new journey. 

However, what I quickly realized is that during my travels, I challenged myself by climbing volcanoes, trekking mountains, and exploring the limits of my own perceptions. These experiences pushed me way outside of my comfort zone, forcing me to confront my fears and make tough decisions about whether to push forward or turn back. And that through these choices I would also unearth a sense of courage I never knew I had, recognizing that I had everything within me to succeed. I just needed to trust myself, believe in myself, and dispel any self-doubt. 

Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, also learning from the wisdom of indigenous peoples and remote communities. One particularly life-changing encounter was in the Asante region of Ghana, where a village chief gave me the honorary name Akua Boahemaa, which means helper and leader. 

These experiences have taught me resilience, courage, compassion, integrity, responsibility, and adaptability; qualities that are valuable in all areas of life.  Leaning into these qualities has been instrumental in creating the life I always dreamed of. Moreover, it’s these experiences that ignited my passion for helping women transform their lives through travel. They also revealed to me that I could create opportunities for other women that are stuck, unable to remember what their dreams were, and give them the chance to experience adventures that would make them think, “Wow if I can do this, I can do anything!

From corporate leadership to travel-preneur at Dream Catcher Global

In January 2022, I took that leap of faith into the unknown, quit my job and took some time off to recharge and reflect in Sri Lanka. It was exactly what I needed to reset and transition from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur. After that, as always, I couldn’t resist the pull of travel with this newfound freedom and found myself hopping from one country to another.

Next stop was Malawi, where I found joy in the simplicity of life without electricity or running water on an eco-island. Followed by my third-time visit to Ethiopia, this time exploring the Northern Region, Lalibela, famous for its rock-hewn churches. This experience gave me a deep sense of perspective.

As I journeyed on to countries such as Jordan, Peru, Morocco, Bolivia, and Syria, I found myself fully immersed in diverse cultures, embarking on new adventures along the way. But it wasn’t until I arrived in Indonesia that I realized a profound metamorphosis was taking place within me. And so my travels in 2022 were filled with intensely significant transformative moments as I explored 16 countries across 4 continents.

In April 2023, I am proud to be the Founder and CEO of Dream Catcher Global, where we utilize travel and adventure to help people unlock their potential through our exclusive adventure retreats and coaching programs. At Dream Catcher, we believe that transformation is about embracing the unknown, taking on new challenges, and developing the confidence needed to pursue your dreams.

We create transformative experiences that embody all that is Dream Catcher and create personalized experiences that go beyond the average retreat. We start by working closely with each participant through 1:1 coaching sessions before and after the retreat to identify their specific needs and goals, and we’re extremely proud of our multi-faceted approach to personal transformation that combines traditional methods such as meditation with innovative techniques like adventure-based therapy.

At Dream Catcher we center our retreat experiences around three key themes: Explore & Connect, Reflection & Integration, and Celebrate & Honor. The Explore & Connect theme is designed to fully immerse participants in a range of activities and workshops that begin with a beautifully curated welcome dinner. The theme continues with an array of enriching activities, including yoga, meditation, and immersive women’s circles. These circles provide a supportive space for women to connect, share their stories, and inspire each other. We also offer hiking, creative workshops, and adventure-based experiences that are specifically crafted to be in harmony with the local environment, making them one-off experiences that are truly unforgettable.

The Reflection & Integration theme encourages participants to take time to rest, reflect, and integrate their experiences gained during the retreat. The focus is primarily on journaling, a truly transformational practice.  And, finally, the Celebrate & Honor theme recognizes and celebrates the transformative journey shared by all participants, acknowledging the personal growth and connections forged during the retreat. 

Our commitment to our participants extends beyond the retreat experience. With access to an exclusive post-retreat program, we provide ongoing support and encouragement through a private Facebook group supporting the transformation even after the return home.

But that’s not all; we’re committed to sustainability and the local community, and we’ve designed our programs with this in mind. We are truly dedicated to making a difference in the lives of not only those that travel with us but also those we meet along the way.  So that’s why we donate on behalf of our participants to local projects, supporting initiatives that improve health, education, and overall well-being.

We also offer one-of-a-kind, one-day one on one transformational coaching adventures that blend outer adventure with inner exploration, in addition to team-building experiences that are both transformational and adventurous.  We believe that Dream Catcher Global is the ultimate gateway for those seeking personal growth, transformation, and adventure.  

As I reflect on my own journey, I realize that COVID-19 may have disrupted the world, but it also gave me the opportunity to find my purpose. Through my travels, I’ve experienced the transformative power of exploration and self-discovery firsthand, and I’m truly grateful for the invaluable lessons and experiences gained along the way.   I’m excited to share this with others through Dream Catcher Global transformative adventures, and I look forward to continuing to explore and learn from the world around me as I embark on my 80th country.

To learn more about Dream Catcher Global, including the inaugural adventure “Retreat to Uganda’ this September, visit our website



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