As any Overland student knows, preparing for your trip can be a bit nerve wracking. Whether you’re embarking on Berkshire...
There’s Beauty Out There
It can be easy to forget how much beauty there is out there. Social media, breaking news, name-calling, and an onslaught of negative attitudes overwhelm us daily. It can feel inescapable — even (or especially) to kids. When I was an Overland student, I needed to get away from it. I craved that escape.
Over five summers and five Overland trips, I was reminded of the joy that is so often drowned out by everything else. On the Pacific Coast bike trip, Oregon and Washington showed me some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever encountered. Not from the backseat of a car, but on the saddle of a bicycle. On California, I biked across demanding terrain through vineyards and redwoods which reminded me of the satisfaction and growth one finds in hard work and persistence. And on Canadian Rockies & Montana, I built meaningful friendships in just two weeks as we relied on each other to complete one of Overland’s most challenging trips — steep mountain passes, glacial lakes, and 70-mile days on our bikes.
These teen summer adventures instilled in me values that are now core to who I am: teamwork, selflessness, leadership, optimism. They also taught me the importance of unplugging from social media, remaining present, and holding myself to the highest standard while encountering new challenges.
Since those five summers, I’ve worked for Overland as a trip leader and Operations Team member. At last year’s Leader Training in Williamstown, founder Tom Costley said, “The world is a beautiful place. We’re going to remind our students of this — we’ll help them see how beautiful, exciting and full of promise the world is.” Reflecting on my experiences as an Overland student and leader, I’m grateful for that attitude. Knowing that there’s so much promise — in nature, in teamwork, in perseverance — inspires me to relentlessly seek beauty out. I look for it every day, and Overland has taught me the importance of sharing beauty with others.