Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Travel is for ANYONE

Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I became drawn to a video posted by CNN. Recently, a young woman named Cassie DePecol became the first woman in history to visit all 196 countries in this beautiful earth. Now, I've visited 21, and I think that's kind of a lot. Imagine one hundred and ninety six!!! When I think of travel, a goal that I acquire is to see all seven continents. Right now, I am at five, just missing South America and Antarctica. With my personality, this goal should be reached in no time. But to think of traveling to EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY in the world, now that's awesome. That's my new goal.

The most inspiring part of this video was the purpose of Cassie's travel, and the way she described it. Cassie wanted to make a point that women can travel too, wherever they please. Although she went through long visa processes, and many setbacks, she fought and stayed patient until she reached what she was striving for. Through Cassie's ventures, she hopes to inspire young women to get out and be brave. Both men and women should be able to travel as they please- despite religion, despite culture, despite anything.

Travel and adventure have become sought out activities in this generation, but not everyone has the money to travel out of the country. Although there are many jobs you can acquire abroad, and it's possible to travel with a budget, if you're just not ready to leave the United States then there are still an amalgamation of choices. In fact, I also found (on Facebook) an amazing, US only road trip. This trip takes you to each and every state (except for the far away two), and passes through a significant landmark in each one. Although I'm always dying to see new countries, this trip sounds pretty epic to me. What do you think?

- André

Programs That Inspire

Throughout my childhood, I have been extremely fortunate to set foot in a variety of different countries, cultures, and environments. Although many of these were family vacations, my most memorable trips have been through programs, especially one called Rustic Pathways.

Through Rustic Pathways, I have travelled to Tanzania, Morocco, Australia and the Fiji Islands. This coming summer, I will be joining another trip to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Throughout these travels, I have been inspired by the nature, but most importantly the people and culture. When I travel, I strive to make a change in the places I go, but also a change in my mindset. I love to be immersed in different cultures, and gaining new perspectives from people that are much different than I am. I am so fortunate that these programs exist for teens, who have the power to change the world.

Although I have never attended a trip with this program before, National Outdoor Leadership School is thought very highly of in their ability to teach millennials about caring for the earth, and definitely how to get into physical shape. One of the hardest times in my life was when my sister, Sophia set out on a three-month excursion to Patagonia with NOLS. She was unable to communicate with anyone outside of her group, despite letters, the entire time. Being close to my sister, this was extremely difficult, but when she returned, I was inspired by her experience.

This Friday, I am traveling to Tuscon, Arizona with NOLS to get a taste of what it's like to be completely disconnected for a week, whilst immersing myself in an extreme backpacking trip. I will return with a "leave no trace trainer certificate", and a few college credit hours. I couldn't be more excited for this adventure to come. Would you give away your phone for a week?

- André