Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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 




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