History has thrived upon an ability to dream. I have never received the comprehensive road map, or tutorial for direction in my life. What I have had is inspiration that grows from wisdom and stories by sometimes seemingly insignificant interactions. My dreams are composed of ideas that I have built based upon these interactions. A benefit of taking on the world without following any given example is that I have been able to explore several influences rather than rely on a select few. Many aspirations have been absorbed from my experiences, and Costa Rica has allowed me to find pieces of my professional ambitions that I had not previously pondered.
While abroad, I studied the culture and climate of Costa Rica, the Spanish language, and the literature of Latin America. I attend Elon University, which is a liberal arts university in North Carolina that requires one to take a variety of courses outside of one’s selected major. This practice brings depth and breadth to an already extraordinary institution of learning. By encouraging this type of study, students can look to fulfill several of the requirements abroad, which is essentially what I accomplished.
In addition to classes, however, I found inspiration in the adventures that were had within Costa Rica. The biggest shock in the short time frame that I have been home in is the scheduled nature of society. Expectations for an individual at nearly any age are abundant and unwritten. In order to acquire the common concept of success, one must plan his or her life years in advance, and always be looking for something more. Our schedules and lives are mechanized, and however important this far-sighted requirement is – a person can easily forget the benefit of adventure. To not be retained by the circulation and commonality of routine is where true success lies. Costa Rica has shown me that there is so much more to life than the brand of getting rich quickly that many seem it idolize.
When I think of the leaders that I would like to see in the future, they are individuals that have explored outside their comfort zone. The greatest professional ambition that I have gained was a greater idea of the leader that I will be. To settle in one area, and to base ideas from within the confines of one’s own four walls is constraining not only to the individual, but to those who admire that person as well. Not traveling, but rather experiencing diversity is absolutely essential in order to gain creative and intellectual perspectives that would otherwise be absent. The leaders of this upcoming generation will be culturally intelligent and able to talk across difference in order to innovatively engender success. A global motivation is now hard-wired into my system, and it forever will be one of the several ideas that guide the direction of my dreams.