April, 20 year old Julie Bade embarked on a journey halfway around the world in an effort to explore some of the most diverse and captivating cultures located in Southern Asia.Bade said she has always been fascinated with Asia however India’s diverse history and unique culture intrigued her most. “There are many different landscapes, geologically and culturally, which make it such a different and diverse area to study,” she said of India.
Bade is an undergrad at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and will begin her junior year this fall quarter. With unlimited access to supplies, guidance and physical resources ranging from art supplies to camera equipment, Bade describes her college as one of kind. She boasts the institutions nack for encouraging students to explore their interests in every area of study. Her school also offers a unique opportunity that enables students to forge their own individualized path by allowing each individual to develop their own program of study. Bade is currently studying Anthrozoology and Sustainable solutions, which she describes as a mixture of anthropology, zoology and environmental science. She was able to put that passion for environmental studies and human intrigue to use while traveling with her study abroad group through India.
While exploring the villages of India, Bade worked with the native inhabitants and local organizations to promote a form of tourism that deals directly with the conservation of endangered wildlife and threatened habitats known as eco-tourism. Her journey lead her to the monumental divide between the Indo-Gangetic plain and the Tibetan Plateau, also known as the Himalayas.
“While we were trekking and on the move we slept in many different villages in tents, which promotes eco-tourism. We also visited many monasteries and schools,” Bade explained of her time in the Himalayas, “the rural villages and communities in the Himalayas are capable of sustaining themselves. They all have jobs and tasks and work together. Our work was focused on studying the culture and other practices instead of necessarily volunteering.”
To fund her excursion, the aspiring traveler met her financial needs through contributions made by family and friends, in addition to establishing and maintaining her very own savings account devoted to traveling.
While overseas, Bade noticed the particular role women played in society were very different than that of women in America. “In the villages in India, the communities were more family oriented. You see traditional roles within the villages but you also see families gathering up money and working extremely hard to send their daughter to a university.” Said Bade.
Moving forward, Bade said she feels she has achieved enormous personal goals in the last year, and is exceptionally confident with who she is as well as where she intends to go in life.