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Team Dispatch

So, You Want To Be an Odyssey Trekker...

Trekker Trail
So how many times have you read our dispatches and thought "I'd love to be out there with the Team!" or even better "I think I could make a great contribution to the Odyssey!" Have you ever wondered how someone gets to be on the Team?

The Odyssey has received close to 2,000 applications over the last three years, so we have to be pretty selective. Some of our friends in the United States go through them all and make recommendations to us. So how do we decide? Previous travel experience is a plus - but not a necessity. Creativity, originality and writing ability are also important. But the main areas we look at are the applicant's background, attitude, interests, ideas and ideals. Our goal is to create a diverse team, where each member can offer a unique perspective and supplement the background and interests of the rest of the team.

Here's a list of the questions we ask of the applicants: Current and previous occupations / community service:

  • Where have you lived?
  • What interests do you have and/or what subjects have you studied formally or informally (either relevant to The Odyssey or not)?
  • Please write a few paragraphs telling us "Who are you?"
  • Is there anything specific that interests you about The Odyssey?
  • What might you be doing in a year if you don't participate in The Odyssey?
Kevin told us that "I always feel at home anywhere I find myself". His application described his interest in the arts and listed a wide variety of volunteer positions. "Even the wealthiest and most powerful people of the past were never afforded the travel luxuries available to so many young people today" he wrote.

Monica mentioned her work on Braille music software, as well as her participation in the California AIDS Ride. Her application states "I think this upcoming adventure, like a lightning rod, can galvanize and mobilize the inherent generosity of students around the world".

Abeja discussed her interest in health and healing, her certification in massage therapy, and her life on a planned community. "I don't see a difference between teacher and student, and I try to always be both - learning from others while teaching by being an example," she said.

The current members of the Team: Shawn, Kavitha, Monica, Kevin, and Abeja
Kavitha's application described her experiences living and learning in Nepal and India, as well as her interests in ecology and anthropology. "I want to travel with a purpose and more than anything I want to give back to the places and people I visit," she says.

Shawn listed his experience as an environmental activist and wilderness guide. He also wrote about running his own business. "Diversity is my specialty," he said.

And finally, our newest team member, Jasmine, who will be joining the Trek in Mali, sent in one of the most creative applications we've seen. Her vibrant and colorful "The Life and Times of Jasmine Hamlett" newsletter gave us an in depth look at her values, experiences and goals. "I'm a survivor and an adventurer, always looking for something new and different to expand my world - something to better enable me to appreciate the global masterpiece that is life."

We're still looking for people to join us in the last parts of the Trek, and who knows where the next Trek will go? Maybe you should be on it!


The Team - What Would You Do If You Were in Charge?!? - The Struggle for an Independent Zimbabwe
The Team - Extra, Extra Read all about it!
The Team- No Cans Allowed!
Abeja - School's out! A day in the life of a Zimbabwean High School Student
Making a Difference - Recycling Helps Mother Earth

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