International Programs Staff Member Plans Global Adventure
By Melyssa Allen
After four years of advising students on their study abroad options, Assistant Director of International Programs Amanda Beasley, ’04, is leaving Meredith to put her advice into practice. Beginning in August, Beasley will travel the world for at least a year.
“Travel is something I’m passionate about. There are no guarantees of a long life or time to travel during retirement, so why not do it while you can if you have the opportunity?,” Beasley said.
An experienced study abroad professional, Beasley first caught the travel bug on a high school tour of four European countries. As a Meredith student, she participated in the Meredith Abroad program to Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and in a Borderlinks semester program along the U.S./Mexico border. After graduation she spent a year in New Zealand and Australia.
Beasley will visit at least 28 countries. Italy and Australia are the only two that she’s visited before. She’s built an itinerary that also includes Scandinavia, Greece, Morocco, Egypt, Peru, Antarctica, Japan, China and more. One leg of her journey will be a guided tour from Kenya to South Africa, and she’ll visit several countries in Southeast Asia.
To prepare for the trip Beasley has been “going through all the steps we tell our students” including researching the locations and trying to read about the places she’ll be visiting, which include a mix of national capitals and smaller locales.
“Capitals have great museums and historic sites, but there’s also a lot more to every country,” Beasley said. “It’s important to see and experience a variety of places. That’s advice we give to our study abroad students.”
Her plans have enough flexibility that she can adjust along the way.
“I have put together a general idea of where I want to visit, but it is flexible enough to change. If I hear from a local that there’s some place I have to go, I have time to add that.”
While she’s most looking forward to the overall experience, some of the sites have special significance.
“There’s something magical about Sansepolcro – it has been nine years since I was there as a student … I’m excited to go to Greece. My mom went there after high school, so I’m interested in going to the same island that she did, and seeing how much it has changed.”
She’s also looking forward to visiting Egypt.
“Egypt is a place that I’ve wanted to see ever since I learned to read. I’m very excited to see the pyramids and other things I’ve read about,” Beasley said.
The International Programs Office hosted a going away celebration for Beasley on July 15. After her travel adventure is over, she plans to attend graduate school in international studies, international education, higher education administration, or perhaps hospitality.
“I’m happiest when I’m helping people enjoy new experiences, so all of those fields relate to that,” said Beasley, who is waiting to decide once she returns.
“I’m sure I won’t be the same person when I return, so I might not want the same things after this experience,” Beasley said.
Beasley plans to share her travels via blog posts at http://a-d-l-i-b.livejournal.com/.