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GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

Don't Let Reviews Kill Your Adventure

on Sun, Aug 12, 2018 By | Randy LeGrant | 0 Comments | Program Reviews
If the best travel experiences happen when things don’t go according to plan, why do we plan so much? We rely on our participants to write great stories about their #SeekExperiences abroad. Whether they're teaching, doing au pair duties, teaching English in a summer language camp or volunteering abroad ... we "seek" real stories and real experiences to pass along to anyone who might find our #SeekExperiences Blog helpful. However, search engines like GoAbroad, GoOverseas and especially TripAdvisor really push reviews. For more years than I can imagine, I have argued that if travelers begin to make decisions based solely on a review, the opportunity for adventure declines.  When I taught English in the US, I'd take a group of students to Europe with me each summer. We would walk to the underground in Paris with our maps. And we would tell each other on the platform that "we'll see you at Notre Dame stop in 15 minutes." And I would get them all on the wrong train, going to the wrong direction, and when the doors started to close ... I jumped off. Yes, that was the 70's. And wasn't it exciting to take risks back then? And wouldn't it be just as exciting to take risks traveling today? Without consulting Yelp, Google Maps or texting home to Mom that the teacher jumped off the train and stranded them in Paris? Yet, isn't that a GREAT story to tell when you get home (safely)? Taking the train to Notre Dame is one thing. Being put in the wrong direction on the wrong train and finding my teacher sitting on a bench waiting for me ... that's a great story when you come home. But today, I'd get a horrible review if no downright sued. "How dare I put some risk into something already risky." We are so caught up in reviews and social media that I fear the adventure has gone out of travel. We won't even venture into a restaurant without checking Yelp or Local Eats to make sure it's OK. Don't let your smartphone sap the spontaneity out of you. Don't let online reviews frighten you away from an adventure you know you're meant to have. Next time, come out of the subway and eat at the first pizzeria you see. Write a story about it and file it. Don't recommend it and don't condemn it. Experience it. Resist the temptation of "reviewing" the crust and the sauce and the service and if someone treated you nicely. Rather, tell us about the experience of stumbling upon this little spot no one you know ever heard of. And focus on THAT. Do THAT enough, and you'll become a) a professional traveler or b) a very happy returning visitor with interesting stories your friends and family want to hear.
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Finding a Second Home: Au Pair in Australia

on Wed, Aug 08, 2018 By | Briana Romi | 0 Comments | Australia Au Pair Abroad live like a local
I first heard about what an au pair was during my first semester at college. Prior, I had no clue that an "au pair" was even a thing. A classmate did a speech on how she went to the Netherlands for 6 months as an au pair through GeoVisions, and absolutely LOVED it. I have always had a spark to travel places and see different cultures, people, and to just live in a whole new experience. Change is one thing that I absolutely love in my life, to always be somewhere new, expanding out my comfort zone. When she was talking about her experience, I immediately was so intrigued and couldn't wait till she was done to ask her more. Nothing sounded more perfect for me at the time, having been just getting into college, not having a lot of funds, but also having this urge inside of me to just travel. The day after I signed up at GeoVisions. It wasn't till a year later I actually got the courage to fully sign up and go through the process of becoming an au pair. Australia seemed like more than the right choice because, 1. I've always wanted to go and 2. they spoke english. Win win. I've never traveled solo before this trip, but was never nervous. I knew coming into this program that so many new people and adventures would be there to greet me when I arrived. My process with getting a host family was so easy, even though my first try failed and put me down a little, another family emailed me the next day and I knew that it was meant to be with them. I was able to meet my family in my country because the mom was there for a business meeting, and when we met, we just knew everything would work out. So lucky! Once I arrived, I was a little shocked just to be somewhere so knew, but the comfort of my host family and all the new people I met made me feel as though I was in my 2nd home. My experience so far has been more than amazing to say the least. I have now been here 4 months, and have made the most amazing memories that will last me a lifetime. All the lovely people I met here were mostly through Facebook pages, and are now my forever friends. I will forever be grateful for this experience. Australia is just an absolutely beautiful country overall, and am so happy to be able to call this place my second home. If you are hesitating on this experience, I promise you, there is not one thing that you will regret. Of course everything is not picture perfect, but every moment is a whole new learning adventure about yourself and about this new place you are living. Make the most of it!
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Taking a Chance to Live in France

on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 By | Gabrielle Christiansen | 0 Comments | France Tutor English Volunteer Teach
I’m sitting here, writing this blog post on my plane ride home from one of the most amazing adventures I have ever been on. I know I’m going to struggle to get everything I want to say out, partially because it is something that can never fully be put into words and partially because I might start tearing up next to the young guy to my right. I’m not exaggerating about that, either. How many 20 year old girls can say they lived in France for two months, surrounded by the culture day in and day out?
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Lessons in Language Barriers: Learning With Patience and Trust

I will never forget my first glimpse of Spain nearing the end of my 28-hour journey from New Zealand to Madrid. The memory is vivid, for it was the moment everything felt real. Whether it was the Spanish desert, or the airplane breakfast of olives and cheese, I felt engulfed by a new world. Prior to that moment the idea of Spain had been just a fantasy, but now, it was coming to life. And whether it was the declining altitude, or the realization that there was no turning back, my stomach dropped.
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How Three Months In Italy Connected Me To My Culture: Emily's Story

on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 By | Emily | 0 Comments | Au Pair Italy language exchange solo travel
Everyone knows there is no better way to learn a language than through immersion.
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