When deciding which cities and nations to visit, it can be overwhelming to organize where you are going to stay. What’s great about All The Rooms is that they scan and find the lowest priced accommodation worldwide! They help with your wanderlust research, too, sharing tips and recommendations for countries on your bucket-list, even featuring interviews to give you Locals Guide and other traveler’s stories. Utilize this tool when you are deciding if you want to choose hotel or homestay through AirBNB, Expedia, Groupon, or a combination of hosts (to name a just few of the 400+ travel sites searched).
As a Study Abroad applicant, I budget my time first to professional responsibilities and schoolwork, and then use a lot of my downtime to apply to various grants and scholarships. Another reason to applaud All The Rooms is for the ways they give back to travel fiends like you and me.
Below is an extended version of a poem I wrote for part of my scholarship application. Room to Travel is an inspiring concept, and I appreciate All The Rooms’ efforts to propel backpackers like me to pursue our love for international education.
All the new tenants in All The Rooms,
interest is sparked, curiosity blooms.
Some feeling nervous, others are scared,
everyone wonders, “Am I prepared?”
With home now so distant, the questions arise,
will this make a difference, or be my demise?
For so long I’ve hungered to help people cope,
to see new perspective, to anchor some hope.
By living a life somewhat different than mine,
I will shatter the labels that unjustly define.
Time can elude us, it makes all the sense,
remaining so still could make the mind dense.
We cling to what’s “normal,” and fear what seems strange,
and desperately try avoid any change.
To study abroad is to say “I want more;
World, give me wisdom; please hear my implore.”
Differing customs, philosophies, foods,
can feed our souls deeply; unite multitudes.
All the languages voiced in the various tongues,
are seldom perceived to be harmonies sung.
When we humble ourselves to listen and learn,
singing the melody still comes at our turn.
Through patiently waiting we often see most
that rushing to prove is rushing to boast.
But no-one’s omniscient or perfect in thought,
for ages we’ve argued and reasoned and fought.
So in setting aside all the cultural “norms,”
we honor humanity’s numerous forms.
When we study abroad, we say “Here I am,
I cherish your worldview, now please, take my hand.
Though my ways are different, I know you have worth,
Let us work together to make peace on earth.”
Whether cooking or speaking or learning to rest,
immersion sincerely these gifts will address.
Room to Travel, to seek, and to journey on daily,
will always encourage world students: “Dare greatly.”
In studying abroad, you won’t merely take-
for global sensitivity is an investment we make.
Some countries have markets, and some shopping malls,
Or church bells, or brass gongs, or mosque muezzin calls.
There must be some way to appreciate life,
and lay down the enmity, anger, and strife.
When taking the role of a stranger abroad,
we vulnerably know we will feel a bit odd.
But this is about so much more than just us;
by example we’re teaching the world how to trust.
Sure, my accent is off, and I took the wrong train,
yet by sitting with you there is so much to gain.
For I never knew that your grandmother wept,
‘til you told the story of “before war slept.”
Absorbing life’s lessons amid all the moments,
allows us to receive her precious bestowments.
To study abroad is to intentionally learn,
a people, a culture, the unspoken word.
We shapeshift our standards, our ideals, and plans,
and morph to forgo individual demands.
Inspired by music, people, culture, wine, cheese;
to travel is to find a lost puzzle piece.
With each conversation and breathtaking view
the jigsaw revealed is a little more you.
Because you are molded by hearts ‘round the world,
your empathy and love is a cultural pearl.
Global studies and communication are dear to my heart,
and a 3.85 GPA sets me apart.
Poetry has always been one of the ways I can best express my soul. Thank you for reading. Perhaps these words remind you of some of your own adventures, people you’ve met who broadened your perspective, or help feed the fire of passion within you to continue to see the world and share the love.