Hello or julley fellow students/instructors!
I am so incredibly stoked to be meeting you all in India in a couple of weeks! My name is Lydia and I am from Asheville, NC, a smallish town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live with my older sister, mom, and dad. I am a rising junior and have spent my summer so far lifeguarding, going to summer workouts for my school’s field hockey team, and going on adventures and hikes around the area I live in. I recently returned from a small semester school called The Outdoor Academy (I’m talking 27 students), where I was able to further my knowledge of outdoor activities such as backpacking, climbing, and rafting. It was here where I was encouraged to apply for Dragons by my environmental seminar teacher (hence the late acceptance) and chose to go to North India for the high trekking and homestays aspects. Due to my late acceptance, I will be meeting everyone in Delhi airport rather than LA:) I can’t wait for us to embark on this adventure together and meet finally after lots of anticipation!
Part of the reason I love traveling so much is getting the opportunity to experience the world through a whole different lens which is unique to that place. There’s something truly special about letting go of your previous misconceived notions and fully immersing yourself in an environment, embracing all that the place has to teach you.
To answer the prompt given by the instructors of what sustainability means to me, I couldn’t help but think about how the answer to this greatly depends on so many factors such as your socioeconomic standing, your geographical location, your values and beliefs systems, and so much more, all of which greatly differs country to country. I think that it is important to note the differences in our own definitions of sustainability when traveling so that we can learn something from one another and ultimately work to sustain and preserve the earth for years come.
Before I left for the small school I was in last semester, I attended a school called SILSA in Asheville where I was a member of my schools Sustainability Club. It was here where I learned some of the essential components of leading a sustainable lifestyle. The three main groupings that I learned about and see hold up in many different environments are social: creating a more equitable community, environmental: reducing our impact on the environment, and economic sustainability: strengthening the local economy.
I am counting down the days to my departure, and can’t wait to meet you all (or y’all from where I’m from :)!