Insight from a world traveler

Graduate college, get a job, get married, have some kids, encompass those kids in a white picket fence; everyone should follow the same cookie-cutter life goals, right?

Andy Stoll, media producer and social entrepreneur, delivered a talk about how and why to travel the world Tuesday night in the CUB Senior Ballroom.

Stoll shared personal anecdotes of his four-year journey to 40 countries around the world.

He told four personal stories to emphasize his message.

“Despite what we’re told, life is organic, not linear,” he said.

Stoll also spoke about opportunities for young people to travel abroad and how to make the dream of travel feasible.

Stories from his childhood and young adult life each contained a very specific message. First, Stoll emphasized that in order to make a change, you have to put yourself out there. In discussing how to be successful in a desired field of study or work, Stoll said that sometimes we have to “fake it ‘til we make it” in the beginning of any new endeavor.

“Follow your fascination and interesting things will happen,” he said.

Many people hold themselves to an imaginary, undeviating standard regarding how their life should play out, he said.

“My message tonight is not think outside the box,” Stoll said, “My message tonight is that maybe there is no box. We draw boxes around our lives for what we think is possible and put boundaries inside of them, even though these boundaries do not exist.”

Stoll encourages his audiences to explore the world with open eyes and an open mind, because a lot of figuring out of what you want to do in the world is figuring out what you don’t.

“Try a whole bunch of things,” Stoll said. “Put yourself in situations where you talk to people who don’t look like you, or don’t come from places you came from. Take classes about nothing that have to with your major. Or do something crazy one day.”

Stoll travels around the country talking to college students who are unsure how to pursue a life of travel or modern nomadic living.

“Andy’s messages are super awesome,” said Ally McGuire, Student Entertainment Board (SEB) Speakers Programmer. “We have this idea that we are supposed to just go get a job after college, and he didn’t want to accept that.”

“It’s a really good opportunity for students to get an idea if they want to study abroad or travel after college,” SEB Speakers Committee Member Ali Ruthers said.