After graduation, Liz headed abroad to teach in Athens, Greece. The combination of working with students and exploring a beautiful place was an ideal first job. The sense of community she created in her classroom was powerful; the opportunity to learn about Greece and its islands was exciting. She was hooked. A year later, I joined her, and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the adventurous traveling that was such an important part of our lives there: hiking the Greek islands, trekking in Nepal, and exploring off the beaten track in Italy.
When we started Overland in 1984, we sought to create experiences for kids that mirrored the adventures we’d found abroad: experiences that were fun, where new friendships could grow, where natural beauty was embraced, where there were real and varied challenges, and where our students would achieve something of importance to them.
When you’re 25 and starting something, you make it up as you go, you try things out, you hope for the best. When you’re in your 60s, and you’ve been at it for almost forty years — as we have with Overland — you make improvements every year, and you hope how much you care comes across in everything you do.
And caring about Overland means a lot of things to us — but most of all, it means staying focused on creating experiences for our students that will help them grow into the kinds of people we — as their parents — hope they’ll become: thoughtful and considerate, kind and eager, enthusiastic and adventurous.
How do we create these experiences? By offering carefully crafted trips with clearly defined goals, led by a pair of caring and capable leaders. At 25 we had an intuitive sense of the importance of these things, in our 60s — and over 40,000 students later — we know this is what makes us Overland.