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The Chance to Travel Abroad

Renee Rhodes, Student Editor

Jan. 30, 2014
Renee and Dee

"To those who wish to roam, don't take your leave for granted.

To those still stuck at home, don't forsake your dreams."

I wrote these words in the summer of 2013 when I spent two months as an intern in Thailand teaching English and sharing the word of God. I met refugee girls, like Dee Mar (pictured), who could not leave their camp without the permission of the government, permission they were not likely to get. It made me feel guilty that I could leave and come back while they were unsure whether they would ever see beyond the mountains.

Not everyone gets to travel like I did, but it was an experience I'd not trade for the world. To see a place so different from home, to learn the language and culture of another people, to see lives changed by your actions is irreplaceable. I was devastated when my adventure came to a close and I desperately hope to go back. I am determined to go back as soon as I can. And I am so grateful I can keep in touch over Facebook with all of the friends I made: Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, Khmer, and more.

Since traveling, I've suddenly noticed more mentions of trips abroad. This year, ACU announced that they were canceling their Spring Break campaigns for students. I will not debate what this means for the school, but it is sad to me that ACU students lost a week full of opportunities to travel.

LCU, thankfully, still has their spring break campaigns, along with many other opportunities. Last semester in chapel, LCU presented speakers from ChinaNow and Let's Start Talking. These are huge opportunities for students to travel and make a difference around the world. Of course, service at home is amazingly important, but traveling to another country is a different adventure that I hope everyone experiences.

These are the kind of opportunities I hope no one takes for granted. Seeing the world was hugely inspiring to a writer like myself, but the experience goes beyond that. It is eye-opening, mind-blowing, and heart-changing. If you can leave, don't take that chance for granted. Pursue your dreams and your chances, because not everyone can.

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