After throwing a cap into the air and receiving a diploma, the big question comes: “What are you doing after graduation?” Often the two most common paths taken are going into the workforce and continuing education at graduate school.
But some graduates decide to stray from the usual paths. Beaverdam native Abigail Stewart, a senior at Liberty University, will be embarking on an 11-month mission trip where she will visit 11 different countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia and Ukraine.
“I don’t want to waste my life,” Stewart said.
She weighed her after-college options and decided to travel. Stewart looked around for a program until she found “World Race,” which she said was exactly the type of organization she wanted to be a part of because of her quest to help those in need and to continue personal and spiritual growth.
In January, Stewart will begin the second chapter of her life where she will live in the shoes of a minimalist. For the entire trip, Stewart will only have a traveling backpack filled with necessities.
“I have a pretty big spirit of adventure,” Stewart said.
Before leaving the United States behind, Stewart has to not only pack for the long adventure but also prepare her self physically and spiritually. In 2012, Stewart lived in Malaysia for six months on a mission, where she was homesick and lonely fairly often.
Because of that, Stewart is “realistically thinking of challenges” that she’ll be faced with during this longer trip.
Because she will be carrying a backpack with her belongings for a long period of time, Stewart said she works out a lot. She is also trying to spend as much time with family and friends as possible.
Not only will Stewart visit some new countries, she will also be teaching English, helping women out of sex trafficking and helping construct and rebuild community centers and churches. Though World Race plans for all of its “racers” to help out with these tasks, Stewart said some things they’ll be doing won’t be known until “[they] wait to see what the need is” in other countries.
Despite the hardships Stewart is bracing herself for, she is going into the trip with an open heart.
“I’m excited to see what surprises [God] has for me in the next year,” Stewart said.
Each racer has to raise a total of $15,500 thousand to go on the trip and so far Stewart has raised $3,000.
When Abigail Stewart embarks on her journey in January, you can follow her adventures here: http://abbystewart.theworldrace.org/.