Brain Champion Heather van Dyk

AGE: 39


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

Though Heather makes her living as a teacher, what she really lives for is adventure. She travels the world any chance she gets. She’s been 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 still stays busy. A favorite way to work on her mental and physical health is by cooking (and maintaining a great cooking blog, Cosmogypsy’s Wanderlust Cuisine).  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. Exercise is her go to activity to help her de-stress her after a long day.

Heather’s personal goals and determination for successful living allows her to incorporate the six 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 four 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.