For 4 years, I delved into studying stories of groups in various societies. While my classes often captivated me, I also often daydreamed. As is true for many others, I learn best by doing.
I knew that, in order to maintain sanity, I would need to complement my educational pursuit with some global exploration. So, in the frigid winter of 2012, I left the Canadian prairies and moved to the Czech Republic. Luckily, my erratic school schedule allowed me to take week-long trips between classes, and I began soaking up knowledge and experience in an entirely new sense. By the end of my three-month semester (and the two months of solo backpacking that followed), I had visited over 20 countries. Needless to say, I’d gained most of my knowledge outside of the classroom.
After a semester back in Canada, I had the opportunity to do my final internship anywhere in the world – so long as the organization would accept me and my university would approve it. Naturally, I went to Africa. Having been to South Africa twice prior, I felt the country calling me back. And, if I’ve learned anything from author and conservationist, John Muir, it’s this: when something is calling, you must go.
Finally, after studying on three different continents, I graduated with my Bachelor of Social Work in 2014. I returned home for my graduation ceremony and stuck around for my regular five-month stint before moving to the Caribbean for a contract with a travel company. Following a two-week lesson that all that glitters is not gold, I flew back to the prairies, stuffed my world into my car, and headed west.