Your personal transformation is what drives our success. It is what we crave. If the lens through which you see and navigate life is forever changed, we have fulfilled our mission.
Thoughtful preparation is the foundation on which the transformative expedition stands. It gives vital context allowing you to experience your expedition more fully; it teaches you about the people and places you’ll visit, providing deeper connections; it pushes you to grow, giving you a toolbox of skills you’ll use the rest of your life.
No Barriers Youth provides a variety of resources to help ensure the preparatory process is as impactful, informative and efficient as possible:
Fundraising Travel is expensive. We understand the burden of increased costs in airfare and program fees on families and that fundraising usually needs to be a priority during the preparatory process. We also believe that working to raise funds can be a vital step in the personal growth and development among participants, resulting in increased commitment and investment in their experience. To that end, we have developed a user-friendly online fundraising tool which enables groups to customize their own messages and share them seamlessly. Simply visit this site and follow the step by step instructions. Once registered, the tool provides a variety of fundraising strategies, ideas and support.
Support Embarking on a program of this nature can seem intimidating… but rest assured you won’t go at it alone! Every group is assigned a Group Manager or Liaison who is always just a phone call or email away. From booking airfare to questions on the packing lists, he or she supports groups through every step of our program. For groups traveling with a lead teacher (or chaperone), a set of additional resources is also provided on top of the Curriculum to aid in the preparation. Sample items include: destination-specific materials (books, maps, wildlife guides, etc.) and a series of No Barriers Youth program handbooks outlining everything from required forms to packing lists to parent meeting agendas and recommended immunizations.
You set off on a boat down the Amazon River headed to a lodge nestled in a protected rainforest. Pink river dolphins follow your trail as blue and gold macaws shriek in the distance.
Dugout canoes drift with the current carrying families to market. Large ships loaded with tropical timber carry tress to the city. The river swirls with life. You see economic progress. You see poverty. You see deforestation. And you’ve only just arrived. You decide you want to understand. You decide you’re ready to unleash your potential and discover the power you have to make a difference.
As you walk through the grocery store in your hometown, the smell of fresh fruit immediately brings you back to your time in the Amazon. The smell reminds you of all the experiences you had that are now a part of you.
You daydream of the smiles on the little kids’ faces — how they gave you fresh perspective on life. You remember the conversation with your Expedition Leader that inspired you to pursue your dream. You feel the new confidence you gained and feel ready to tackle the barriers in your life. You laugh remembering a joke your guide told you while you were hiking through the forest. It all comes flooding back, and it dawns on you: This really was about far more than just a cool trip. This was a fundamental shift in perspective, a new mindset, a new path to travel.
Just as the preparation lays the groundwork for the expedition, the return process is fundamental in rounding out the transformative journey. To help with integrating the experience into day-to-day life, every No Barriers Youth participant creates and implements a Global Citizenship Project after their return home. And now what?! Well, it’s time you start looking for your next call to adventure!