Joy in Trip Planning

Mountain Connection, May 16, 2022

The following is a reflection from Michael Lackey, Director of Outdoor and Global Programs.

There is a common saying in the world of travel, something along the lines of “the act of planning a trip is often more fun than the trip itself.” I’m sure there are those out there that would disagree, especially if trip planning for you is one of those tiresome, necessary evils that you would rather avoid. For me, the endless research and ideas, the dreams and possibilities of new destinations, are all part of what I love about travel. I can spend countless hours on Google Maps and travel blogs, reading trail reports, and coming up with new itineraries that I may never even get to do. Every time, I experience a sense of wonder at the breadth and scope of our planet.

But no matter how many pictures we look at, how many blogs and reviews we read, there is no substitute for stepping off the plane or train in a new place and experiencing the world in real time. The whole point of travel is to challenge our perceptions of people and places – if the experience is always exactly as we expected it to be, we would be much less likely to go beyond the coffee table books and movies and make the effort to see it for ourselves.

As the Director of the Global Studies Program at Steamboat Mountain School, I am fortunate enough to get to plan amazing trips as part of my job. I get the same joy and sense of wonder planning for the Global Studies trips as I would my own. And although I won’t get to step off the plane and experience every Global Studies trip for myself, the true reward for me in this role is getting to hear from the groups in the field, and seeing the impact of these experiences on our students when they return.

This past week, I have been fortunate enough to get to hear many of the stories from their travels firsthand. It is amazing to see how no two experiences were the same – even if they went on the same trip, each student really had their own adventure, and were often impacted in disparate ways. Over the coming weeks and years, I am excited to see how all of these unique experiences by our students will continue to bring the outside world right here to our campus!


We are inviting families, friends, and any interested community members to join us to hear more of their stories at the Global Studies Presentations on Friday, May 27th at 6:30pm in Library Hall at the Bud Werner Library.

Learn more about Global Studies.