Learning AFAR – Global Explorers

Jul 2013
In my lifetime, I have been blessed with the gift of travel. I have felt that nervous excitement that builds at the bottom of your stomach just seconds before the plane takes off.  I have experienced that emotional rush that courses through your body when you take in that first breathe of air.  But the inconvenient truth is not everyone gets to experience these once-in-a-lifetime feelings. Especially families with tight incomes who live in poverty-striken cities. Todays Pay it Forward Friday is about an organization dedicated to giving those less fortunate a chance to dream. A chance to travel. And a chance to learn about themselves.


Born from the idea that travel is the best form of education, Learning AFAR grants travel scholarships to high achieving students who would not otherwise be able to explore our world. Learning AFAR is the flagship program of the AFAR Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of AFAR Media. 

Learning AFAR integrates science, service, leadership, literacy and culture in a three-phase program that includes pre-travel curriculum, a life-changing travel experience, and a follow-up service leadership project.

Something I became particularly fond of was their commitment to teaching students about journalism and the proper ways to document their travels. Let’s face it, the 21st Century is all about sharing and expressing yourself. From scrapbooking to Facebooking, writing in journals to blogging, we all want our stories to be told. There’s nothing more exciting than crafting our “life story” and being able to look back on it when we’re old and wrinkly. Below is a video that gives us a glimpse into the life stories of some of the kids who participated in the Learning AFAR program.

Travel enables us to open our eyes and see the differences that are embedded in other cultures. Not only do we gain a larger perspective on life, but we learn to appreciate where we came from.  The last sentence from Learning AFAR’s website pretty much sums it all up:

Our end goal is to help students understand they are part of a larger, interconnected world and that their actions have an impact on the world around them.

Would love for you to share what you have learned from travel in the comments.

photo and video via Afar Media