Student Testimonial: Global RoutesPosted November 30, 2021, 4:47 pm by
Ainslie Leitao - Global Routes
At 19 years old, I’ve had the privilege to travel with Global Routes twice now and I could not recommend it enough! Prior to the start of the pandemic, I travelled with Global Routes on a custom program to Costa Rica with my high school. After the amazing experience I had in Costa Rica, I craved more educational travel opportunities. This led to me spending that entire month of July in Hawaii with Global Routes and it was absolutely incredible!
A Different Kind of Travel ...
I loved my first trip with Global Routes for many reasons, but mainly because it was my first time being introduced to a different kind of travel. I discovered that travel was designed for learning, and having the chance to learn outside the classroom made the lessons so much more engaging. One of my favorite aspects of this trip was the homestay. Although it was unlike anything I had ever done before, it challenged me in ways that led to a lot of personal growth. After this trip, I also came to realize how much more to the world there was. Having “my bubble” popped for the first time was something that triggered tremendous personal growth.
When travelling to Hawaii with Global Routes, the leaders were better than I could have ever imagined. They were always there to offer support and assistance, but also challenged us. We were given unique opportunities due to all of their hard work, which I know I, along with all the other students, appreciated greatly. We were also incredibly lucky to meet many Native Hawaiians and their families. Being taught by them was something I will remain grateful for forever. After this program, I returned home as a brand new person.
Building Lasting Relationships
In addition to the relationships I made with the generous people who hosted us, I created amazing, raw relationships with the leaders and my fellow students. Being together 24/7 and not having access to our phones really allowed us to bond in profound ways. From challenging hikes to cooking meals for the group, we supported and cheered each other on the entire program. We were able to deeply immerse ourselves in Hawaiian history and culture and I know this would never have been possible on a one week trip. Our 29 days in Hawaii were without a doubt life-changing, and I will cherish them forever.
Transition To College
My summer experience also prepared me for my transition to college this past fall. I found the transition to be so much easier than it is for most, and I credit that to my time in Hawaii with Global Routes. I learned how to live and collaborate in a group and became more self-sufficient in the process. I also learned how to navigate a new place in a respectful way, gained practical lifes skills, and learned how to take away the most from what I’m taught.
If you are interested in learning more about the world, yourself, and others, I would recommend that you travel with Global Routes. The leaders were outstanding and students I met on the program will be lifelong friends. I am forever grateful for Global Routes because it is truly the most amazing organization!