This post is contributed by Zoe Pearce, MTC Staff Member
I BEG YOUNG PEOPLE TO... travel abroad or work abroad or both. Do it all. Grab a backpack and go. Or if you’re called Zoe & Kim, grab three suitcases each and take them to summer camp. (We never did master the art of traveling light). If you don't have a passport, get one. Take just one year or one summer and just go. Have your mind blown.
Dig some interesting people. Eat some interesting food. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you're going to see stuff differently. It will change the way you relate to the world. It will change the way you relate to others after you’re exposed to so much diversity. There are lessons that you can't get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight.
Become part of a community of crazy misfits who all come together looking for an 'alternative lifestyle', learning to survive on 3-minute showers (incl. shaving your legs #mission) in authentic settings which soon become home. Where nobody wears a watch, reads the paper, watches TV or is glued to snapchat. Where nobody dresses conventionally. Where nobody strives to be rich, powerful or popular and the friends you make will be for a lifetime. Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. It will teach you to embrace relationships and experiences that are outside your comfort zone. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.
I personally feel working abroad is a helpful tool for reexamining yourself and the constraints you sometimes artificially place on your life. It's easy to believe everything has to be done in one way if you're always in one place around the same people.
Working at summer camp was unquestionably the best decision and most enriching experience of my 20’s. #youngpeopleshould
(Zoe is an MTC staff alum, Music Blogger, Social Media Start-up founder, and all round spark of light and life. The word hiraeth comes from Welsh, and Zoe uses it to describe her homesickness FOR summer camp...)