My Life Changing Experience

I participated in the Asia trip. It was a period in my life when I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I went on the trip because I had no sense of Asia – this region that is so important to global politics, labor relations, finance, art, religion, you name it. I can say in all honesty that the YI trip marked a definite turning point for me in thinking about what I wanted to do with my future. By traveling on a shoestring budget and getting to see life as the Everyman does, by working alongside children in the Philippines and committed volunteers in Calcutta, and by sleeping on the hard floors of Buddhist monasteries and in home stays in villages in Uttar Pradesh, I began to see the world differently. I learned the importance of cultural immersion, of challenging myself in every way possible, of pushing my comfort zone beyond anything I could imagine. I learned just as much from my fellow participants as I did the extraordinary individuals we met along the way: teachers and activists, religion seekers and thrill seekers, and holy men and holy women. The YI trips are traveling with meaning.

Matthew E, Princeton, New Jersey