Tropical ecosystems have strong influences on global climate, are home to the Earth's highest biological diversity, and are subject to stressors from some of the world's poorest human populations. These facts make them arguably the most endangered and important ecosystems on our planet. However, despite being a professional ecologist, I feel I have under-appreciated the true diversity and conservation value of tropical regions. When most of us think of the tropics, we think of the rainforest, as I did when I planned a travel learning trip to Brazil with Ohio Wesleyan students. This trip opened my eyes to how much I do not know about the tropics and about Brazil in particular. I now understand that Brazil has much more to offer students of the natural world than rainforest, and I want to expand my intellectual perspective as an ecologist and return to Brazil to learn about the Pantanal wetland and Cerrado savanna ecosystems. I have never worked in wetlands or tropical savannas, and with this trip, I want to start the process of appreciating and valuing the tropics for all its fascinating diversity, not just what is represented by rainforests. I want to teach my students to think of the tropics more broadly and accurately through my expanded perspective. I see this trip benefitting me by broadening my intellectual views of the natural world, allowing me to improve my techniques for teaching through travel, and helping me be an informed global citizen as I work personally and professionally toward improved understanding and conservation of our planet's ecosystems.