Travel is one of the few truly exceptional parts of life. And it stands apart from others such as friendship, family, love, accomplishment, or performance. Every one of those is crafted either on your own, or with someone close to you.
You experience travel, like an astronomical phenomenon. Travel is not a forced experience, it is not commanded. It happens to you. It is the millions of small gifts that one place or one local stranger gives to you.
I’ve been a part of several trips. I was paralyzed for several hours while on a camping roadtrip with my family when I was six. I battled altitude sickness and sleep deprivation for a week alongside ten other hungry teenagers. I’ve been circled by barracuda and jellyfish. I’ve pushed myself a dozen meters through the cave gravel of the “Meat Grinder”, on my stomach, and inch at a time. I would do each of these again, and I’ll recommend them to you as well.
I mention my past trips to make a point though: I cannot compare one of my travels to another one. I could not choose a single one between any ten, or five, or two of them. This is the heart of the reason why travel is exceptional, and not just my own, but yours too. We all miss out on each others’ experiences. We can only do our best to protect and share those experiences for others.
So what will I do on this years’ Global Perspectives Program? I broadly intend to discover the learning methods and teaching structures of Switzerland, France, and Italy. “Meta-learning”, if you will. And from what I know of it now, they are damn good at on the other side of the Atlantic. How and why this is though, is the real question. My focus will be on finding the similarities and differences of their compassion in teaching. Is there a conflict between placing high expectations on students, and supporting their well-being? Or perhaps they can coexist? I doubt the answer will be simple, but it will be more clear to me within two weeks.