Recent LEAPYEAR graduate Kyle O’Brien sums up how he feels as he ends his LEAPYEAR journey. Kyle spent the fall semester traveling and studying in Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, and worked underwater to protect the marine environment off the coast of Madagascar for his spring 08 internship.
Nine month, six countries, and more than enough experiences for a lifetime, it’s hard to believe my LEAPYEAR journey is coming to an end. The fact that my life journey is just beginning is even harder to believe. My accomplishments over the past year cannot be measured in the classroom. I have obtained a worldview, climbed a volcano, found love, SCUBA dived in Madagascar, learned a language, stood on pyramids, learned to live consciously, hugged a baobab tree, and the list goes on. I have been reborn a thousand times and I reflect that change. My connection with myself and everyone and everything else that exists in this world feels natural and true. My awareness of myself in this work has never felt so clear, so real, and so constant.
Challenges and mistakes have become friends whom I love dearly. Integrity has become my source when I need balance. Questions have become my guide and answers have become stepping stones to bigger and more specific questions. Life is my journey, my journey has a purpose. I have discovered my personal legend; I have never felt so enthused to dive into the unknown.