There is something quintessentially American about the myth of the well-travelled, erudite intellectual. From Fitzgerald’s Gatsby to Dos Equis’s “Most interesting man in the world,” Americans have seemingly always admired the persona of the sophisticated globetrotter. Today, one company offers that experience to lifelong learners of all stars and stripes. For four decades, Road Scholar has educated adults through its nonprofit mission of travel as a way to inform. Let’s learn some more about the company’s philosophy! Here are three lessons we can all learn from the Road Scholar.
Travel is not just a young person’s activity.
Road Scholar’s mission became apparent as soon as David Bianco saw the sign. He and a friend, Marty Knowlton, were traveling through Europe, and they were confronted with the words, “youth hostel.” Bianco, a formidable wit, blurted out a joke. “This campus ought not to be having a youth hostel — it ought to be having an elder hostel!” An idea was born.
The health benefits for travel are far from exclusive to the youth among us. According to experts, travel and exploration can be good for your brain, allowing you to open new mental doors with each successive land traversed. Don’t believe the hostel signs!
Travel depth is just as important as breadth
Road Scholar is not a program for tourists. Whereas many travel programs take you to city centers and gift shops, Road Scholar promises a finely crafted curriculum which blends exploration with historical and cultural study. The mental rigor of the program can yield important results for seniors. As we’ve written before, an active mind is a healthy one. Road Scholar finds a similar call to action in its service: “The notion of “use it or lose it” in connection with brain health is widely believed by the general public to be true and is gaining increasing support from the scientific community.”
Never stop growing
An all-too-common misconception is that education stops once one finishes school. In reality, education should be a non-stop attempt to better understand your world. Just because you aren’t subjected to the rigors of an institutional curriculum doesn’t mean you should stop educating yourself. Road Scholar agrees with us: although they have a curriculum, the company is founded on the idea that education is a lifelong process.
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.