Education. Experience. Adventure.

Student plans solo trip to India


submitted photo

Stacy Hacker

People travel for experience, some travel to further their education, some travel for adventure and some travel for a mix of all three.

Marshall University student Stacy Hacker is going for all three.

Hacker is following one of her dreams in June and traveling to India alone.

Hacker, an early childhood education major, said she wants to get out of the country for the learning experience.

Hacker said she also wants to help others and learn how the education system works in other countries. She wants to implement her knowledge from this trip for her future career.

Hacker said it is important to live life with a “just do it” attitude.

Just do it. I was so scared for so long that I was never going to be able to travel or leave the country. Then one day I just decided to go, and now I feel unstoppable.

— Stacy Hacker

“I think if you’re young and want to travel you should look into volunteering,” Hacker said. “It’s a great learning experience and you’re helping others. Just do it. I was so scared for so long that I was never going to be able to travel or leave the country. Then one day I just decided to go, and now I feel unstoppable.”

Her inspiration for traveling came from one of her friends who posted her involvement with Invisible Children on different platforms of social media. Once Hacker saw her friend’s posts, she immediately got involved.

“I texted her asking how to get started then she sent me Greenheart Travel’s website, so I applied and immediately got accepted,” Hacker said.

Traveling abroad can be more than a learning experience for students.

Dean of Student Affairs Stephen Hensley has travelled out of the country more than 10 times, and comes home with more knowledge every time.

“I always learn things about both the country I’m visiting and myself when I travel,” Hensley said. “Little crises, mix-ups, awkward situations and uncertainty are the norm. You simply learn how to deal with those one at a time.”

Hacker said she is anticipating the small mix-ups, but the excitement she has to learn about others and herself, triumphs her fear.

“I’m excited to see how my survival skills kick in when I’m in a foreign country all by myself,” Hacker said. “I’m also excited to see how I handle communicating with strangers and how quickly I can build relationships.”

Hacker said her biggest fears are funding, transportation issues and getting sick while out of the country.

“I have about half of the funding complete thanks to donations, and I just need to make sure I get the rest by April,” Hacker said. “Surprisingly, a lot of people have helped me, some I barely even know. I just hope I get the support to carry on.”

Hensley said funding is not a barrier that is going to stop her from doing what she’s dreamt of doing for so long.

“Traveling is a life changing experience and a wonderful opportunity,” Hensley said.

Karima Neghmouche can be contacted at [email protected].