Delia Ross - Ecuador

July 10, 2012

I come from a family of adventurers, and I have always been one myself. New things thrill me. Taking the path less traveled is the story of my life. I went to a tiny Montessori school through middle school, lived in London during 3rd grade, lived in Panama in 11th grade, and decided to choose a liberal arts school in the mountains of North Carolina, enrollment less than 1000, that no one has heard of as my preferred college.

I come from lifelong vegetarianism, unicycling, artists, and activists. I come from Wisconsin, California, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Arkansas, Germany, Ireland, and England. I come from dreamers, thinkers, and do-ers. When a dear mentor of mine suggested the idea of a gap year to me, I was slightly skeptical only because of what my parents would say. But I shouldn’t have even worried, they were game when I brought it up, and when they heard Global Citizen Year being talked about on the radio, they told me to turn it up. That night I started my application and informed my friend who was in Ecuador at the time I MIGHT BE GOING TO ECUADOR NEXT YEAR!!!

I’m always doing things too far in advance, but here I am, eight months later, preparing for a year in Ecuador. I have a yearning inside me to see the world from different perspectives and to lend a helping hand. I’ve been lucky to have traveled more than many my age, but I know a Global Citizen Year will give me an experience unlike any I could even imagine.

There were parts of high school that were great, but I have to be honest in saying that by the end of senior year, I was more than ready for a real change. Yes, college would be a change, but the idea of more school when I didn’t have to wasn’t the most appealing option. Spending a year doing something I’m passionate about—in the real world, learning real life hands-on lessons (more than anything that can come from a classroom)—was exactly what I wanted.

Fellow gap-year-ers have said it gets them psyched up for school again, as they have a newfound desire to learn. I’m excited to be on a unique path that will set me going who knows where in life.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

-Robert Frost

Delia Ross