Traveling is educational by itself, without putting any label on it. You learn things just by taking a walk through a new city or hiking a trail. Things like history, culture, the environment, food, the people, and also about yourself.
So why does this website throw a label on some programs and call them “educational travel” programs for adults? To answer that, one could go on about the transformative benefits of educational travel, how it serves the core human need for learning and growth. How according to happiness and aging studies the key to a good life is to be open-minded, engaged with purpose, empathetic, and socially connected. Learning new things and experiencing new places keeps the brain healthy. Getting out of our own little day-to-day often leads to reflection about how to change our lives for the better.
I could go on about all that, but the simple fact is that I was jealous of all the college students who study abroad and all the websites devoted to student study abroad. So I decided to create my own site and dedicate it to study abroad for the rest of us.
The idea is to build a searchable database of educational travel programs and feature stories about them. I’m not affiliated with any of the programs on this site. You can call me a curator, collector, or internet librarian — the goal is to create a useful source of information for people, like me, who loved that feeling we used to get when the course catalog arrived and the whole world seemed open for exploration.
At the time I was creating the site and continuing through today, world politics seem to be moving down an uncharted path of divisiveness and fear, something that has not happened to this degree in my lifetime (although it certainly has happened many times before in the course of history). Given the gravitas of current geopolitics, starting a travel blog seemed a bit frivolous, given all the other opportunities to be useful in this world.
But the thing is, the news on social media is often alarming and depressing, and can be relentlessly stressful. The fear makes us want to stay inside, safe with our own group. But then we go out in the world, and we actually meet people, not governments. And we realize there’s a lot of interesting lives being lived by kind, compassionate people all over the world. We just need to go out there and see for ourselves, from a different perspective. International travel and lifelong learning bring people together and increase awareness of the interconnectedness of our world, nature, and each other. Not to mention that seeing the lessons of history up close means maybe we’re not destined to repeat the worst of it.
This kind of understanding is crucial to helping divert our path toward more compassion and responsibility.
World politics are troubling. Fear is paralyzing. Sometimes the best we can do is simply make our lives meaningful and to see joy in those moments of higher learning.
— By Amy M.