Laura Brin, TTS Development Director

 

A Traveling School semester is 105 days long. But the bond of The Traveling School’s 26th semester has endured for 1,825 days and counting.

That’s right – five years out, the young women of TTS26 are as tight-knit as when they left Africa in the fall of 2015.

Emma ponders the tight connection, pointing out, “It’s hard to pin down exactly what is so special about this group of people. But we were able to build intimate connections through our shared experiences and had a commitment to love each other deeply.”

Even now, they stay connected through a daily group chat, monthly video meetups and hosting in-person reunions whenever possible (they’ve pulled off two so far). These young women hold holiday gift swaps, consult each other when making life decisions, exchange hand-written letters and always have plans in the works for when they’ll be together next.

Their bond solidified while on semester, but not because they are all the same. Rather, “We were a group with a range of personalities, backgrounds and passions,” according to Chloe.

Malia shared that their differences meant everyone had something to offer, “whether it was someone’s sense of humor, thought process or creativity, everyone had something to share with the rest of us.”

Emma describes the connection they established on semester as, “unspoken, but electric. We were all in it together, and it was unquestioned that we would remain in contact and stay friends.”

Simply put, TTS26 is a beautiful and inspiring example of the power of community.

Intentional community-building is at the core of The Traveling School. It’s the foundation on which each semester engages in experiential academics, develops leadership skills and takes calculated risks in the outdoors.

The importance of community has come to light this year especially, as the world is forced to keep socially distanced to fight COVID-19. And according to Mimi and several others, the 14 alumnae appreciate each other this year more than ever.

“This community is especially important now because we are all feeling a bit more lost and isolated than ever before,” Mimi says. “With so much chaos and unpredictability, it’s grounding to have a community who knows me so well!”

During their semester, the supportive nature of the group allowed each young woman to expand in her own way. Katie says her Traveling School sisters empowered her to be herself and to dream big. Simrill learned how to be more flexible in the face of change. Chloe gained self-confidence, Mimi practiced resilience, and Jane cultivated her passion for learning about the world.

And together, they all learned the true value of community.

Their Traveling School semester may have only been 15 weeks long, but it was just the beginning of their journey through life together.

This and other alumnae stories can be found in our 2020 Impact Report. Click here to read the full 2020 Impact Report. If you’d like a hard copy mailed to you, email Laura Brin at lbrin@travelingschool.com