Austrian-born Jewish philosopher Martin Buber (1887-1965) said, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” As Xperitas begins booking travel for our 2022 50th anniversary year, I reflect on the journey that this organization has been on over the past 50 years and the secret destinations that it has led to for our travelers, volunteers, staff members, board members and partners over the years. These destinations have taken the form of truths, meanings, perspectives and understandings of self and others that we can only arrive at if our journey takes us outside of our comfort zone, challenges our way of thinking, encourages us to open up, be vulnerable and grow.
The founders of the two organizations that came together to form Xperitas – Intercultural Student Experiences and Global Citizens Network - probably did not have a lot of certainty about where their organizations would be in 50 years. That destination was much too far off to imagine. But what they DID have was an amazing compass of values that guided their priorities, decisions and most importantly, their relationships. And what is so amazing to me, in this world where everything changes so quickly, and where it seems like the way we were doing things yesterday is practically obsolete today, is that this compass and these values remain intact. They are unchanged, and they are lived every day in our organization.
Who among us would have imagined that Xperitas would be finishing out its first half-century of existence in the midst of a pandemic that is testing the strength and resiliency of our organization, our country and our world as never before? What secret destination does this particular journey have in store for us? While none of us know what the next 50 years will bring, at Xperitas we are confident that the compass of values that have brought us to this point will continue to guide us effectively into our next 50 years.
The challenges of our future will be blind to borders and best overcome not by conflict and walls but by community and bridges.
- Rick Steves, American travel writer and television personality -
Rick Steves, a beloved and respected authority on travel and a powerful advocate for the kind of authentic, immersive travel experiences that Xperitas provides said it best: The challenges of our future will be blind to borders and best overcome not by conflict and walls but by community and bridges. Through our mission and values, Xperitas and our many partners and stakeholders cross borders in order to build bridges between communities. And the most beautiful thing about bridges is that they give us the ability to choose to journey together.
Here’s to another 50 years of transforming lives through shared global experience and intercultural learning…TOGETHER.
Special LIVE Zoom Event!
"Xperitas Talks Travel with Rick Steves"
America's favorite globetrotter, Rick Steves, about the benefits of authentic "back door" travel! Our Executive Director Leslie Gale will moderate this candid conversation. Topics will include Rick's views on why how you travel makes a difference and why the ultimate souvenir is a broader perspective of humanity. Complimentary event, space is limited.