A large part of my job this semester is teaching career courses. Between January and May, I will have taught/co-taught 5 different classes on a wide range of topics. They include coursework for helping students plan for life after college, the job search, careers in psychology, and my favorite, “Going Global After Graduation”.
This particular class is for students who have studied abroad and would like to secure full-time, professional positions internationally after graduating. I also taught this class last semester, and the students enrolled never cease to amaze me. Fearlessly, they have lived in places like Japan, Jordan, Tanzania, Chile, Argentina, and Dublin just to name a FEW. When I first began hearing their stories of traveling hundreds of thousands of miles away and experiencing something so profound that they couldn’t wait to go back, I was envious. No one I know discussed studying abroad in college, so I never considered it either. Since beginning my work here, I have realized that traveling abroad is an opportunity that every person (not just students) should experience and that I have done myself a great disservice by not doing so. While I have no idea what that feels like personally, from the sounds of my students’ stories, it is life changing.
Granted, I don’t yet have a desire to actually live abroad, but I understand the value it adds to one’s personhood. Traveling improves your cultural awareness, appreciation for life in the U.S., problem-solving skills, and much more. Sure you can learn a new language from the comfort of your living room or volunteer down the street and appreciate the luxuries you have, but nothing teaches you better than being submerged in an entirely different country, away from everything you know. The world is such a big place and there’s so much more to it that the little environments we confine ourselves to. I’d imagine that if I’ve learned this much about myself by moving only 1500 miles away, that the possibilities are endless for how international travel could change me.
At this point I don’t care where I go, I just want to see and experience something new. Different air, new foods, sunshine, sightseeing – the whole nine yards! Below is my “Travel Bucket List”:
- Central America: Belize, Honduras, and Costa Rica
- South America: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Caribbean Islands: Turks & Caicos, Jamaica, Anguilla, St. Lucia, St. Martin
- Africa: Ghana, South Africa, Egypt
- Spain: Barcelona and Madrid
- Paris, France
- Venice, Italy
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Bali, Indonesia
- Bora Bora and Tahiti
Confession: the making of this list caused great confusion and embarrassment. Apparently, I was asleep in geography class every single day; all the more reason for me to travel, LOL! Plus, by having an actual list, I’m more likely to be successful in achieving my travel dreams. Instead of saying, “I’d like to travel someday” by saying, “I’d like to visit Venice, Italy” my brain is more likely to see this goal as something it needs to experience immediately, and not just at a later, unknown date. Feel free to comment and share your travel experience/goals below!