Brain Champion Heather van Dyk

AGE: 39

OCCUPATION: Educator

Heather van Dyk may teach middle school students, but she could teach the rest of us a thing or two about health, travel, personal aspirations, and they key to successful and healthy living.

Though she makes her living as a teacher, what Heather really lives for is adventure, traveling the world any chance she gets. She has traveled to 34 countries, lived in Germany for 4 years, backpacked through China on her own, and studied in Guatemala and Quebec. In fact, she makes a point of traveling every summer. Submersing herself in different cultures is a surefire way to keep challenging her mind during the lull from work.

When Heather isn’t teaching or traveling, she continues to work on her mental and physical health by cooking (and maintaining a great cooking blog, Cosmogypsy’s Wanderlust Cuisine), exercising and relaxing. She believes in a vegetable-heavy diet and swears that her sunflower greens smoothie is so tasty it will shock you. When it comes to working out, walking, swimming, and the elliptical keep Heather in tip-top shape, while also helping to de-stress her after a long day.

Heather’s personal goals and determination for successful living allows her to incorporate the 6 Brain Commandments into her everyday life. Her purpose is to live, love, learn, and always be open to taking on a new challenge.

Personal Achievements:

I have visited 34 countries and have my master’s degree in education. I lived in Germany for 4 years during which I learned German and visited every country that was part of the EU at the time. I can speak enough German, French, and Spanish to get by. I met and married my soul mate.

Personal Goals:

My next achievement may be learning Xhosa, a native language from the Eastern Cape of South Africa, an area I now consider my second home and mother tongue to “Madiba” – or Nelson Mandela as he is known to the rest of the world.