Life on The Road
The Road Less Traveled’s mission is to provide our travelers with a life-changing experience by offering them the opportunity to explore some of the world’s most extraordinary places, make meaningful contributions interacting with native people, break down barriers, and serve the goals of a community that welcomes us. We fully understand and embrace the importance of being responsible travelers: Of being respectful to each and every person in any community, and to remember that we are the visitors. We take very seriously the ethic of honoring, preserving, and sustaining the natural environment in which we live, fostering environmental stewardship.
Our trips are designed to develop and to enhance self-confidence, teamwork, leadership qualities, and to help our travelers develop their own vision of service.
Most companies don't follow through on their mission statements but RLT, and specifically the founders of RLT, ensure that the mission and philosophy that they preach is fully implemented." - Parent of an RLT Alum, Colorado: Call of the Wild
THE "ILLUSTRIOUS YELLOW PAD OF PAPER"
It has been well over two decades since we began The Road Less Traveled. It was a sunny summer afternoon in Chicago when we purposefully took pen to an "illustrious yellow pad of paper” at our kitchen table and made a choice to follow a dream. We had no idea where it would lead us or what the future would hold. Our hope as new parents and pioneers of an adventure travel program was to create a one-of-a-kind, life-changing experience for youth that would transform people's lives around the world. We were young, passionate, and convinced we could make a difference.
WHAT WE DON't KNOW, and WHAT WE KNOW
As we look back over the past two decades, we realize we could never have anticipated what was being created that summer afternoon. We have grown into an internationally recognized and respected company with educational programs in adventure, service learning, language, leadership, and global perspectives in 13 countries around the world. Thousands of young people have joined us on “The Road.” In over twenty-eight years of working with young people, we have learned that those who experience certain formative life “lessons” before they are launched into the world actually do better.
These lessons are not the ones measured by standardized test scores. They can only be experienced by taking controlled risks, moving outside of one’s comfort zone, trying new things, and expanding one’s horizons. And trust us -- the investment is worth it. Filled with confidence, self-reliance, excitement, and new ideas, our young people return home with something more to offer – to their schools, to their communities, and to the world.
Our goal was and remains to support young people learning to view the world in a different way.
Our programs take youth outside to seek adventure, experience challenge, make new friends, build community, and understand the world and its people in a different way. We were clear, the most important gift we could give the developing minds and hearts of teens was a deeper sense and understanding of the world -- first hand. One that was not conveyed through media, Facebook, or Youtube clips. One formed for themselves - outside themselves.
Our vision was simple, to help them see and believe in themselves and their individual and collective abilities to impact and shape our world and the future of the 21st century.
Our contribution was to give them the foundation to discover this for themselves in a safe and healthy environment.
As owners and directors, we have nurtured the growth, development, and direction of The Road Less Traveled from the beginning. Our concern for each individual participant and our commitment to the RLT mission are evident as, to this day, we both still personally oversee each individual student and program.
Each day, we are fortunate to see the value of life on “The Road.” With sensitivity and compassion, curious minds and open hearts, our students are entering the world and contributing in powerful, significant, and meaningful ways.
Our students' work has and continues to surpass our greatest hopes.