Meg Nolan, Citizen of the World
Meg Nolan (right) is an instructor in the School of Global Business. Here, she’s co-leading Arcadia’s Preview course in China.
One of the greatest experiences of my life was when my husband and I took six months to travel around Europe and Northern Africa. We were young; I was in my late twenties. My husband was in a band with my brothers and a friend. They toured mostly around Brussels for a month, then Shawn and I stayed away for another five months.
We didn’t have any kind of plans, we just traveled, seeing things and experiencing things. One of the highlights of that trip was when we went to Morocco. We actually rode camels and camped in the Sahara Desert. It was a beautiful thing, to be a part of the community there. In the morning, the sun would come up and the camels would come around the pyramids to pick us up. At night, we sat around while my husband played guitar under a billion stars.
None of us spoke the same language. So it was really kind of meaningful that we all spent time together and communicated despite it. We didn’t know where we were going or what we were doing, but we just saw how people could really connect. That was the best thing.
When you travel, you engage with others. Always. For someone who’s in their twenties today, I would say to just explore things, not as a consumer but just as a citizen of the world. Take the things you’re interested in and passionate about, and let that drive where you go. Sit outside. Watch people, talk to people, interact with people, even if you don’t speak the same language. Just go and explore. Once you get outside your comfort level, you end up finding what is really meaningful. It’s a big world out there. Go and experience things.”