The Importance of the Road Less Traveled Program
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
Discover” (H. Jackson Brown Jr). Imagine a world where every single person has the chance to speak their minds, or where children receive a proper and equal education. Imagine a world full of adventure and risk, where stress is no longer relevant and learning is something to be cherished. With The Road Less Traveled program proposed by Life Changing Travel™, these opportunities are now easily accessible for students of all ages and backgrounds, any time of the year. It is evident in more developed areas that children and teens in some stances take what they have for granted.
While most view going to school as one of the factors that make their lives dreadful, others beg for an education they cannot receive. For example, though seemingly being in the new age of technology and advancement, over 20 countries still do not allow the right to education to women. Specifically, Laura Argintar, Senior Women’s Writer at Elite Daily, notes that “over half of Pakistani girls are not educated, and according to the World Economic Forum Gender Parity Report, Pakistan has the world’s second lowest rate of female employment”. With aid from powerful activists, such as the well known nineteen year old Malala Yousafzai, messages based on not only female education, but corruption, violence and more are being spread across the world. Though these efforts are significant, there is always a need for more voices and actions to be carried out. Furthermore, being able to speak English, one of the most used languages in the world, generally does not even receive a second thought.
However, in smaller foreign countries, the inhabitants are not given an opportunity to leave and strive due to their language barrier. To aid in these situations, The Road Less Traveled gives the chance for not only high school students, but middle school students as well, to leave the safety and comfort of their own homes for up to three weeks along with others aspiring to help. Given the option to participate in summer services, environmental services, and language programs, those who decide to become involved in the trip of their choosing are able to help others while benefitting their own community service needs. While parents may be hesitant to send their child off to a foreign country, The Road Less Traveled heavily prepares for any deciding factor. For instance, while they do confiscate all cellular devices to make it easier to focus more on the mission at hand, the chaperones do periodically update parents and guardians on the well being of their child.
Furthermore, to ensure that there are areas to rest and eat, several directors donate their own time into selecting the safest, most comfortable, and most affordable locations possible. While some programs last to as long as twenty-eight days, others offer week long excursions to accommodate to anyone who is uneasy about such a large change. To be more specific, one plan includes traveling to Costa Rica, which lasts only ten days. Though this may seem like a short amount of time, in reality, it still includes “Community Service, Cultural Immersion, Environmental Service, Language Exposure”, as well as exploration, hiking, snorkeling, and zip lining (Teen Travel Programs in Costa Rica). Conversely, while the trip to Bhutan is twenty-eight days, the outing includes, “Buddhist Scholar Teachings, Community Service, Cooking Lessons, Cultural Immersion, Eco-community”, teaching English, and trekking (Teen Travel Programs in Bhutan).
No matter the duration of the time away, all participants are offered amazing opportunities to immerse themselves into different cultures and customs. Ultimately, though the destinations may be the most attractive feature, in truth, the experience is what is truly significant. Every single opening to a different tradition or practice is yet another encounter unable to be felt through social media or the internet. The genuine learning and first hand research have no better lasting effect on a single person than through actual confrontation. The memories gifted by this magnificent program are ones that cannot be forgotten, and ones that are able to spark the need for change. While leaving the shield of one’s hometown may be frightening, the choice to overcome this fear leads to greater and more significant steps in positively altering the world.
Making the decision to help is a transformative action within itself, and lights the way for a future of beneficial modification.