Lamenting his inability to participate in a study abroad program duringcollege Sean explains how he took his chance for some adventure after graduation, “I realized before entering the workforce could be one of the few times I could take extended travel without sacrificing my career goals.” In the same fashion as numerous American high school and college grads (including myself), he took off on a Eurotrip. He used the two months to explore the continent and to visit family in England. Around this point in time, he discovered his passion for traveling. Nevertheless, he returned home to resume a “normal” post college career path. However, recently he finds himself wondering, “How can I travel and make a living?” This is one of the reasons why we started Internationality to serve as mentors and blueprints for people like Sean who say, “I am inspired by the many people I see doing it and hopefully sooner than later I will count myself as one of them.”
Treat the world with respect and fully submerge yourself into the cultures that surround you and you will find pleasant surprises where you least expect them.
Q. How has travelling abroad shaped your vision of the US? Traveling internationally ignited a range of thoughts and emotions, some negative but mostly positive after they’ve all settled. I try to take a positive from everything. I recognized the shortcomings of the USA where so many people are close minded, naive and ignorant (innocently). Upon further reflection, I realized this was the case in many places but fortunately there are opportunities for Americans to pursue whatever they desire. I use this as a positive opportunity to share my experiences and encourage others to open their eyes to the world. I love that I have so many resources at my fingertips in my country to do whatever it is that I want to.
Q. How have your transcultural experiences impacted your self view? I have gained a global view of the world. It sounds like a circular reference but in all honesty traveling has opened my eyes to the world as it really is and not what one imagines, see or reads about. More than that, through my travels, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I respond/react to different situations. I think this is a product of traveling not just living in one place at a time.
Q. If we each reach back and offer a hand, collectively we’ll move forward. With that in mind, what’s your advice for someone just starting to stretch their travel wings? Just do it. When you have an opportunity to travel act on it. Have faith that your life experience so far will guide you and where it fails you it will make you stronger. Treat the world with respect and fully submerge yourself into the cultures that surround you and you will find pleasant surprises where you least expect them. Somewhere between your greatest fears and your greatest failures, you will find your success and memories. Every path is not the same, so find the balance that works best for you. Maybe you enjoy the 9–5 week with the jetsetter weekend mentality or maybe you prefer to take off backpacking with no plan or destination in sight. Put yourself in a position to make a move and make the move.