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The power of travel to change, inspire and engage young leaders: The Young Leaders Tour in India.

Elizabeth King is a GLP Alumni who is currently serving as a Legal Intern for the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials.

For the past few years I have let the dream of visiting India sit in the back of my mind, until the perfect opportunity presented itself: a Young Leaders Tour through India!

This unique tour brought together bright young minds to create ideas, ignite change and inspire leadership. Embracing the power of travel to educate, engage and inspire young Australians.

Without having visited India, I knew it would be challenging and confronting, as well as inspiring and beautiful. I wanted to travel around India with other young people who had the courage and desire to question why things are the way they are, and work towards finding solutions and ways to create positive change.

The Young Leaders Tour was the perfect opportunity to meet some amazing young people, learn from some incredibly well-travelled and experienced global leaders, and also see the highlights and hidden treasures of India. An application, interview and wonderful email later, and I was set to join these other young leaders in India!

Meeting the other team members in Delhi we bonded over chai tea, storytelling and sightseeing- sharing our hopes and goals for the tour.

Margaret Quixley (director of Young Opportunities Australia) and Erin Watson-Lynn (director of Generate Worldwide) were our leaders for the tour. It was hard not to fall in love with their passion for the country, their diverse experiences in leadership, entrepreneurship and cultural immersion.

Under their guidance, we were immersed in the ‘real Delhi’ – places off the beaten track & down hidden streets. We took the opportunity to visit the overwhelming but humbling alleys of the city slums, the Supreme Court of India, the colourful markets, luxury jewellers and carpet-makers, and all the historical gems of India.

Throughout the tour, we participated in fascinating discussions and workshops on Indian culture and history, leadership, entrepreneurial thinking and problem-solving, career strategy, networking and international development challenges. These discussions and workshops helped build my teamwork skills, my skills as a leader, opened my mind to entrepreneurial thinking and helped me gain some valuable direction for my career and my personal life.

In smaller groups we designed an Impact Project to help tackle some of the core issues we identified in India. Some of the topics included dental hygiene, natural disaster mitigation and rural migration. The process of problem-solving and teamwork is greatly enhanced when you find yourself in a culture different to your own. It brought out the best in each of us, developing our resilience, resourcefulness and self-direction.

The spirit and humour which grew throughout ournew friendships allowed us to immerse ourselves wholeheartedly in the unique culture of India, and challenge ourselves to make the most out of every opportunity.

I can now tick my dream of visiting India off my bucket list. I walk away from the tour with memories that will last forever.

Most importantly, I have come home knowing that there are other young leaders out there who are doing incredible things to change the world in their own ways. Amazingly for me, I get to call them my friends.

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