Prior to the start of my study abroad program, I was faced with a dilemma. I created an itinerary that I could not afford, and knew I would have to remove big-ticket attractions from my list. I had come to the realization that I could not visit the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and Ha Long Bay all in this one trip. I had to settle on one spot. As disheartening as this was, I realized settling for just one was not an option for me. I had dreamed of seeing these places in person one day and was presented with the opportunity to visit all three within a three-month span. I realized that I could cut costs by not buying pre-packaged trips through tour companies. Don’t get me wrong, tour guides, air-conditioned buses, 4-star hotels and access to the best restaurants sounded, and still sound, really nice. However, I came to the conclusion that as a college student with little money, I needed to forgo those luxuries in order to meet my travel goals for that semester. A few classmates and I mapped out our routes, became our own tour guides, took public transportation and stayed in hostels. I had the time of my life without settling on just one big-ticket attraction. I did however have to compromise on a few luxuries.
Educators, parents and students – this year you should choose not to settle. Choose not to settle on your expectations of your students’ abilities. Choose not to settle on your inability to expose your child to the world due to lack of funds or resources. Choose not to settle on the idea that you will never experience the world outside of your neighborhood, city, state or country. Instead choose to think outside the box and be creative. You may need to make some adjustments to your initial plans. Trust me, in the end it will all be worth it. Do not make just 2019 the year of not settling, but all of the years following.
Stay Educated. Stay Empowered. Stay WellTraveled.