In celebration of our incredible 2019 Alumni, this fall we are featuring student stories on our blog. Today’s reflection comes from Max L. Max has explored Ecuador, Tanzania, and Vietnam with The Road Less Traveled. On his most recent trip with RLT, Max volunteered with victims of Agent Orange at Friendship Village, worked on construction projects to improve family homes in Hòa Bình, paddled down the Ngo Dong River, took Vietnamese cooking and language classes, and so much more! According to Max’s trip leaders, his kindness, charisma, wisdom, and positive attitude were essential components to the group’s overall experience. Keep reading to learn more about Max’s experience with The Road Less Traveled over the years.
First of all, I want to say thank you very much. The last three summers have been the best of my life and I wouldn’t change them for anything. Ecuador, Tanzania, and Vietnam were all special in their own unique ways, and I am so happy I got to experience them all through The Road Less Traveled trips. Visiting the Galápagos was unlike any place I have ever been, and the connections I made at both the orphanage in Tanzania and the Friendship Village in Vietnam have impacted me immensely.
My RLT leaders have all been great role models for me; I hope I can be as responsible, caring, and hard-working as they all are someday. I have also made friends on my trips that I never would have otherwise, which has been a ton of fun. It is really cool to have friends living all across the country and the world and it makes visiting them even more fun.
I am also thankful to RLT for giving an introvert like me space to truly come out of my shell. I always felt like trips were such a safe space for me to be myself because the community that RLT is able to develop on each and every trip is like no other.
Finally, I know that RLT truly cares about each participant so much and I always felt as though I could trust you all to do what was best and safest for the group.
As a whole, RLT is doing the most amazing work and I am so grateful for every minute I spent on your trips. The life stories I’ve told and heard, service I have accomplished, the cultural exchange I’ve had, and letters to future-self I have written have all led to so much personal growth and I feel that I am a much more confident, worldly, and strong person because of it. I hope you all can continue to keep up the amazing work because these trips really are life-changing and I hope I can send my kids on them one day. If you ever need anything from me just let me know!
Max L. (Alumni Traveler 2017, 2018, & 2019)”