One of the most important things I learned is the importance of the â€œlittle thingsâ€ we carry with us each day. Yes, personal belongings make life nicer and to some extent easier, but I donâ€™t remember the outfit I wore ten years ago. I do remember the little girl in the bright red skirt and crisp white blouse who came with her class to dance for my colleagues and me in a city in Ecuador. She twirled and smiled into the night. â€”Karin, The Nature Conservancy
I wanted to put some effort into improving my Russian, and so, rather than sitting in Moscow for several weeks on an intensive language program, I found a tutor who was available to travel with me. We spent six weeks traveling through Central Asia and the Caucasus, speaking virtually no English. This atypical immersion did the trick, as I was forced to do everything in Russianâ€”ask directions, order food, hitchhike (our predominant mode of transport).