I am/on the final week countdown until I start my master’s program. I am excited and a little nervous! This will have such positive impacts on my life presently and down the road both personally and professionally too.
So, you might be asking how in the world I decided to pursue a degree in sustainable tourism. Well, long story short… For some time, I knew I wanted to pursue my master’s degree. I had great interest in teaching, and thought I would pursue it in that field. However, the more exposure to the field I got, the less I felt it was the perfect fit for me for a variety of reasons. I love to help people expand their viewpoints, but maybe teaching 3rd grade wasn’t the best way to do that. I also had some interest in school counseling, but the course work and time requirements were not realistic in my world. Then, during a student recruitment conference in Boston I was at for work, a presenter was talking about helping prospective students find and follow their passions and what an impact we can have in people’s lives. This got me fired up professionally for my job duties, as well as sent off a light bulb for me personally. I had to follow my passions and do what I want to do, not what I should do. So, as I mulled all this over and had an honest conversation with myself on what I should do, I started to wonder… what if it’s possible to major in travel? Is there something out there that would help fuel that travel fire even more in my life? I started Googling and researching the handful of programs I came across that met the requirements as far as online, flexibility, and costs. I narrowed it down to two programs and started learning about the application processes and deadlines. I then spent a few months in late winter 2016 working on my application for my number one choice. It was pretty involved and required a lot of work. You see, I did not meet all of the minimum requirements for admission. However, I wasn’t going to let that stop me! After pouring my heart out in one heck of an admissions essay, and submitting all other required items, the wait began. Finally, I found out that I was accepted! I cannot believe that following my heart and pursuing my love of travel on another level my dreams are coming true, again. My life was too hard not so long ago – I made a promise to myself that I would always follow my heart and pursue my dreams.
Now, for those of you who are asking what in the world sustainable tourism is, let me start with a little definition:
“Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The positive of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people; tourism companies; and tourists themselves.”
With one week to go until I start the degree, some random questions have been rolling around in my head that I have to get out.
Will it really open future opportunities for me, or will I be too old? I am a pretty ambitious person and I want to take on the world in multiple ways. Getting my master’s degree will help me in current employment setting in a variety of ways. However, I also want it to open doors for me down the line with working in the industry itself. I hope that by the time that happens, I won’t be too old. But, age is just a number and I will bring so much experience to the table.
Can I really make a difference with this degree? There are a lot of things going on in our world that bother me. Although I’m not planning a one-woman crusade to save the world, I would like to think that through this degree I can make some small changes that may have positive impact and help influence other people around the world.
Will I still be able to travel? Yes. I will have breaks between every 7.5 week session! I am not required to take classes over the summer semester and I am not required to take classes each 7.5 week session per semester (there are two sessions per semester). It will all be a matter of scheduling and advanced planning. Plus, it’s all online so as long as I have WiFi…
Will my blog suffer? Because I’m already pretty busy, I currently only work on my blog part time. And, I still feel I have so much to learn/ do with it as I have pretty lofty blog goals and I feel like it is starting to take off. But, I took several things off my plate over the last year in anticipation of starting my blog and applying for grad school. I also feel this will be a great opportunity to share things I’m learning on my blog and set myself apart from other travel bloggers.
I guess it’s too soon to tell what my program will be like, how it may impact my life as well as the lives of others, or what opportunities it may bring my way, but all I know is that the sky is the limit! What better way to pursue my travel passion that to do it, study it, blog about it, and work with it! If you have a legitimate personal interest in the things you pursue and your heart is in it, you’ll be satisfied with your achievement regardless! I’m so excited for this new opportunity! Thank you for indulging me as I get my thoughts out of my head!