Jasmine S. went on an EF tour to England and France when she was in high school. She reflects on her experiences and how her trip not only helped her find her calling, but also changed her worldview.
Story by Jasmine S.
At a small cafe in London, my peers and I debate whether to get some much-needed shut-eye after our seven-hour flight from Canada to the U.K. or stick to the itinerary. About half of us leave for the hotel.
Not me. An hour later, seated in the balcony of Her Majesty’s Theatre London, I sit with my eyes wide and mouth agape as The Phantom of the Opera’s iconic organ chords swell and the chandelier overhead flashes. I am entranced. At intermission, I shake my seatmate’s arm, desperate to share this moment with someone. They wake with a start—how could anyone sleep through this magic?
As soon as I get home, I purchase a taped version of the live production and wear out the DVD within months. That same year, I join my high school’s production of Cats: The Musical, coincidentally another Andrew Lloyd Webber show. At university, I become part of my school’s theatre company and take lead roles on and off stage with its Board of Directors.
Student travel is about taking in the magic of cultural experiences, art, and history to ignite their passions.
When I tell people in my university history seminar that I visited Juno Beach in Normandy, I bond with a classmate over our relatives who fought in the Second World War. Listening to the Beatles on my walk to work, I remember walking along Abbey Road and how much closer that made me feel to that era of music. I debate the differences between Canadian French and Parisian French with friends on a trip to Québec, ordering coffee with lilted accents at a small cafe not unlike the one in London I visited years ago.
Through little moments, I’m reminded every day of how impactful that school trip was, and the doors it opened for me. Today, I’m still involved in local theatre. And I’m still holding onto that DVD.
Jasmine S. studied journalism and currently works for the federal government. She regularly performs as part of an amateur theatre group.