Thursday, April 11, 2013

On the Road Again: Reflections from the GoAbroad Bus

Jumping for joy near the border of Montana
After almost two years working as the Outreach Manager for GoAbroad, I keep wondering if my job will ever stop surprising or motivating me. I'm thinking not. Especially when one considers that I'm currently writing this post from a beautiful mountain town in Montana.

I've confessed to having "itchy feet" syndrome more times than I can count, as it's difficult to imagine being in one place for an extended amount of time. There are always the questions of what else is out there, what's waiting to be explored, and where is the next place I can call "home?"

The longer I live in Colorado and work for GoAbroad, though, I'm extremely fortunate to experience the best of both worlds: having a home base in a place I love, and traveling to a variety of interesting destinations. Most recently I've been exploring Montana while on board the GoAbroad Bus, and the awe-inspiring views are causing some internal reflection.

Bear with me as those thoughts become external declarations ;)

Moments Worth Savoring

We were driving to Missoula today and with every bend in the road there was a new view that would make me catch my breath. With mountain peaks on either side of us, surely the next one couldn't be better than the last, right? Wrong. These moments might seem minor in the grand scheme of things, but they are worth savoring. I find that it's too easy to pass over these, as we're constantly thinking about the future, what's on the menu for lunch, or what deadline you have to meet before Friday. It's the best feeling in the world to shut these thoughts off - at least for a second - and soak up what's happening right in front of you.

A Long Drive is Good for the Heart

En route from Bozeman, MT to Missoula

Having a bad day and can't quite figure out why? Or maybe you know the exact reason behind what's bothering you. Either way, there's nothing quite like the open road stretched out before you to ease a heart that's hurting. I'm not saying it's a band aid that will heal all, but it gives you time to reflect on your feelings and why you're experiencing them in the first place. This week in Montana has been that and more for me. It's taken what could've been a terrible start to the week and turned anger and sadness into hope and positivity.  

Travel and Keep Traveling

You never know what kind of student you're going to run into when visiting a university campus. As often as I'm on campuses talking about study abroad and international education, the students I meet can still surprise me. Some make me laugh, others make me hope they take geography classes, and more still remind me why I love what I get to do. In the same way that I hope I can inspire students to see the world, these same students encourage my own inner explorer. From the questions they ask to the light in their eyes when talking about a specific country, I never tire of what it means to learn about the world.

It's obvious that life while working for GoAbroad will never be dull. In addition to developing my professional skills, I've learned so much about myself on a personal level. Every student of the world knows that you never really stop learning, and I'm grateful to have had a platform like GoAbroad (not to mention my amazing colleagues) to learn from.

For now, it's back to the road and more adventures with the GoAbroad Bus. There's a playlist of 90's R&B throwback jams calling my name that just can't be ignored….

Happy travels!