Our world is an intriguing place. I’ve always been fascinated by what it has to offer. From different cultures and values, to foods and languages, our global community is as expansive as it is beautiful.
Travel changes you from the inside out. It opens your eyes to different ways of doing things, thinking about things, and even how you think about yourself. I believe it is by broadening our horizons, challenging ourselves, and stepping outside of our comfort zone that we are truly inspired to grow into our most authentic selves.
In my pursuit of what the world has to offer, I myself left my hometown of Dallas, Texas and went in search of global experiences. It was in New Zealand, where my passion for outdoor experiential education found a natural fit in the international gap year community.
Over the years, I have managed gap year programs with hundreds of U.S. students on 70-day multi-country adventures, from Nepal, Tibet, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand. It was through this that I developed the greatest sense of self, of belonging, of capability, and purpose.
I saw, firsthand, the increasing number of adolescents suffering from mental health challenges, and the growing need for increased mental health support in programs. Gen Z has demonstrated a craving for learning about emotional intelligence, social justice, identity, and empathy with an acute attention to their mental and emotional wellbeing like never before.
Addressing the “Gap” in Gap Year
After a research deep dive, it became clear that there were no programs holding the space between Gap Year and full on Adventure therapy, which can be overwhelming and with a price tag out of reach for most families.
My mission became clear. I needed to create a therapeutic gap year program that would take the best of the gap year community, volunteer service learning, cultural immersion and adventures activities, and pair it with mental health support, psychoeducational development, and wrap around care.
Rooted Life Adventures is that therapeutic gap year program. I have reimagined adventure, travel, and therapeutic coaching in a way that facilitates exponential growth and deep and meaningful change through the power of community and belonging.
The RLA Experience
RLA students experience what it means to be part of something bigger than themselves. They learn how responsibility, accountability, and transparency creates authentic connections. They build confidence, self-esteem, and cultivate lifelong friendships by being part of a close knit team – travelling together, learning together, and overcoming challenges as a collective.
By immersing students in other cultures, they will be able to find even more humanity. By volunteering and working shoulder-to-shoulder with locals, they’ll learn how to benefit their global community. By testing their limits in every direction – from rock climbing, hiking, surfing, canyoning, kayaking, backpacking, and white water rafting – students will reach inside themselves and realize they are capable of more than they ever imagined. And by supporting their emotional wellbeing throughout the journey, they will be empowered to understand themselves more deeply and connect with those around them more fully.
Explore the world, and yourself, through a Rooted Life Adventure.
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