The tradition of an experiential voyage from which growth and change will come to a young traveler is well known in societies around the world. The Native American version of such a time and experience has been characterized as a “vision quest.” The Village pays homage to this each fall, when our students set out twice with their friends and chart their way across Europe to explore, discover and grow.
The magic of this time is that there’s no right path to take on the adventure of independent travel. There’s also no stumble or detour along the journey that can’t produce a beautiful memory and likely, too, amazing bouts of laughter for the travels who share together some of the greatest inside jokes they’ll ever know.
Two Weeks: same plan or different plan
Over the years, we’ve seen many different patterns emerge in how and where students venture during their two sessions of VisionQuest. One model that’s more common than all others is to look at the two trips as very separate from each other, with each serving a special purpose for the student.
This can mean that VisionQuest 1 is your “fun break,” during which you take off with a larger group of travel buddies maybe, and head by train to Munich for the fun of Oktoberfest. Or maybe your group hops a cheap flight to Dublin from Tours and takes the week to explore the magic of that city and its incredible charms. Nobody who takes in the amazing fun and adventure of either Munich or Dublin is ever disappointed.
Then for VisionQuest 2, what we’ve often seen is more students traveling in small groups of two or three. Who are all about having the same kind of experience. The small group can be a more reflective and quiet chance for a voyage that can feel more mindful. Maybe you’ll fly from London to Italy and have your chance to take trains from Venice to Florence and then Rome? Or perhaps you’ll go to Prague and Vienna for thee nights each, and take advantage of your buying power in eastern and Central Europe.
Making a Mindful Journey
We’ve seen students who’ve fallen in love with museums and with art turn their VisionQuest 2 into a pilgrimage to see as many High Renaissance paintings as a week can allow. And we’ve seen students fall in love with History so much that they’ve gone as far as Krakow and Auschwitz to see for themselves where the Holocaust happened. Or to Normandy, to see the beaches that our soldiers stormed on 6 June 1944.
Whatever your interests and eventual choices are for your VisionQuest weeks, you’ll find our faculty and staff to be keenly interested in helping you learn how to make your plans come together into two amazing weeks of dynamic experiences and growth. And you’ll learn as you plan how to make good on a key Village mantra: we explore on a budget more fully than others do with all the money in the world. That’s VisionQuest on The Village.