I decided to enroll on the Where there be Dragons Trip because I knew I wanted to take time off before the next step in my life. I felt very burned out after being in a very competitive academic environment, and did not know what I wanted to study in college. I also didn't feel experienced enough to travel completely on my own terms., so I chose Dragons as a program with. I wanted a unique, individual experience. And I got exactly that.
Dragons is unique for so many reasons. In terms of travel, Dragons allows students to go places that are completely off the beaten path, and transforms the experience into one of travel rather than tourism. I backpacked through Andean Mountains to communities of the last Incas, went inside networks of mines, and saw a huge range of 2 incredibly diverse countries. Dragons allowed me to focus on two countries and explore them in depth, form terrain and geography to culture, history, art and politics. If you like to travel to unusual and unique places, Dragons the trip for you.
What I also loved about Dragons was the group that I traveled with. I vitally wanted to only travel independently, but I would not have been able to go to the paces that i went and have the same learning experience if I had gone alone. Dragons trips are maximum 5 students with 3 instructors. I was able to ask questions and share experiences with people who became my lifelong friends. I was also still able to have my own time to be independent on the trip. The trip follows a flexible itinerary which allows students to help plan components of the course.
Dragons is unique in that it follows a 9-component plan for all of its courses, regardless of the location: Rugged Travel, Language Studies, Focus of Inquiry, Comparative Religion, Development Studies, Learning Service, Trekking, and Homestay. These are all huge part of dragons trip that allow you to have the most immersive, valuable experience while also being a respectful traveler in the places you go.
Fun memories: Eating piranha for Thanksgiving, hiking to Machu Picchu, exploring vast markets in the cities of Bolivia, seeing the sun rise over huge mountain peaks, meeting my best friends, etc.
What I will say about Dragons: If you want an easy, fun, vacation for 3 months, do not sign up for dragons. This course will test you, push you out of your comfort zone, will be challenging. However, it will also give you moments of joy and awe, create intense bonds with others, open your mind, and you will leave the trip a different person if you are willing to let it.
I am constantly using my experiences from my trip and applying it to my life today, whether that is in my classes at college, when engaging with others, or with my own personal goals. Dragons is definitely one of the most unique programs to go on and I highly recommend it!