Alexa reflects on her Traveling School semester — a decade later

Alexa Wagner, TTS14

This upcoming fall marks my 10-year Traveling School anniversary. Sometimes, it feels so long ago that I was bumping along rural roads in southern Africa, or sitting around a campfire listening to Japhet and Crispen’s stories. However, more often than not, I still have the same feelings of empowerment and wonder I felt all those years ago. I think it is safe to say that no one leaves The Traveling School unchanged. In some form or another, our experiences have stayed with us and shaped who we are today.

For me, that is a resounding truth. I continue to uphold Traveling School values when traveling abroad, such as practicing Leave No Trace principles, staying mindful of my impact as a tourist, and keeping an open mind and heart.

One of the more important lessons, and maybe unintended consequences, from The Traveling School is my determination for experiential learning opportunities. This has manifested in my desire to seek less traditional methods for obtaining a college degree. I have now studied at three universities searching for a program and a way of learning that offers me a flexible life full of adventure. This, ultimately, led to me pursuing a Global Health degree through Arizona State University. Online classes have allowed me to travel the world, teach rock climbing to little kids, build out a van, and cultivate friendships from all over the world. I am currently working towards a program that will have me studying healthcare within refugee camps in Jordan this coming fall.

Finally, one of the best things about becoming an alumna of the Traveling School is the vast network I am a part of. Being able to connect with all the powerful women in this community is invaluable and empowering. It is amazing to be able to reach out to other girls and find comfort, support, advice, and encouragement, and why I am honored to serve as Co-chair of the Traveling School Alumnae Council. In my position as a Co-chair, I am able to help facilitate projects like newsletters, sending off and welcome home emails to the current semesters, planning events and reunions, and helping maintain the strong bonds of the alumnae in our wonderful community. Through this position, I can give back to an experience that has given me so much.

Mark your calendar for Give Big on May 2 & 3 and give in honor of a strong woman like Alexa! Learn more here!