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Meet the Cast Monday: Andree from Sweden


Meet Our Cast Member Andree from Sweden!

Andree is a student in the Up with People study abroad program
& is the 1st person to ever perform the song Really Me.
Learn more about Andree’s experience!

What have you learned from being in the Study Abroad Program in Up with People and how does it add to your semester on tour?

“This semester we are studying contemporary leadership models, intercultural communication, and small group communication. Intercultural communication is really good because we are talking about how communication between cultures will be different. It’s really easy to take that and apply while talking to people from all kinds of backgrounds in the cast. We often split into smaller groups as we are such a big group of people. That gives me tools to be able to communicate easier even in smaller groups like having a bigger understanding on how education between cultures, and when I’m learning I can apply it to the cast in the same way.”

As the first person to ever perform the song Really Me for Up with People Live on Tourwhat does it mean to you?

“For me, I feel that the song is very personal. When I’m performing it on stage, it’s like I’m almost standing in the mirror talking to myself. I tell myself I’m in a place right now where I cannot be anymore, but that I am surrounded by people who love me and I’m not be afraid of being who I am. No matter who that person is or who that person might be, I should not be afraid of them anymore. That’s how I feel when I’m singing: that I can be there and I can open up and show who I am.”

What experiences made you want to come back for a second semester?

“I felt that I grew so much as a person the first semester. I learned so much about myself and how I work as a person. I just found that I wasn’t ready yet to go back home. I felt that I needed more time to explore what I’ve started to explore already. Also, for the opportunity that I’m having to meet people from so many places, to see so many cities, and to meet so many people from all over the world. I don’t know when I’ll get that opportunity again. I think it’s a combination of these things. I think the biggest impact I had last semester was when we were in Mexico and we went to a juvenile for youth criminals. It was so crazy because we met them there when they were taken away from their environment that had made them commit these crimes they had done. They were amazing and we were having interesting conversations talking to each other. The cool part about it was that we were able to effectively communicate despite the language barrier.  We had a great time playing soccer together; it was like playing soccer with my friends at home. That is one of the things that has impacted me the most: to see how much an environment can affect a person, and how when a person gets taken out of a negative environment, that person can change a lot.”

What do you think about your generation?

“I think my generation is a cool generation. I feel that often when you’ve talked about the future, it’s my generation that is going to be there and is going to face a lot of problems that we are talking about today. Also, I feel that our generation is very pensive. A lot of people, including those I share many values with and those I don’t, all have big thinking processes. Even though we may disagree on things, we can have crazy interesting conversations with each other. So, I’d say we are a pretty cool generation.”

What is an issue that you feel very strongly about?

“I feel very strongly when it comes to the rise of the LGBTQ community and when it comes to discrimination facing anyone who identifies or resonates with the cause. I’m from Sweden, and Sweden is a very progressive country. One thing that affects me a lot when it comes to LGBTQ refugees. The whole process of how they went from being classified as political refugees, as they should be, according to the United Nations. However, they need to prove that they are homosexual, bisexual, etc., and I find it interesting because it’s not something easily proven. Also, I feel as though in Sweden there are a lot of laws protecting and giving those who identify with the LGBTQ community the same rights as any other person would have. I often think about the attitude in the social room where the laws are being decided, and how to be able to fight discrimination and injustice in those areas. That is something I feel very passionate about.

How and what do you think your Swedish nationality brings to Up with People?

“Fika! It is a coffee break where you just take a break from things surrounding you; you just sit down and breathe. I think that calm combination of just taking a moment and breathing is something I’m trying to share with people. When I see someone that’s really stressed about something, I often check up on them and make them take a deep breath, trying to help them relax. I feel I’m very open minded and accepting, and I feel that the people I met in my country are often very open-minded and accepting. Being able to share that as well has been really nice.”


But love, I was confused and made you wait.
I should have listened to my heart
I shouldn’t need to validate
who I love, now I’ve finally been set free.
Because the person here in front of you
he’s finally really me.

Really Me © Up with People


Ways To Celebrate International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights and equality. In places like Berlin, Germany it’s now even celebrated as a public holiday. Right now is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. As the world heads toward International Women’s Day 2019 we offer ways you can celebrate women this year. The theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter which is meant as a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. How will you help make a difference this year?

Here are some ideas to get you started…

Join An Event In Your Community – For resources, events and community surrounding IWD you check out

Hold An International Women’s Day Celebration at Work – Gather co-workers for a celebration and discussion on ways you can make a difference in your community and simply take the time to celebrate women at work. Share your industry’s current statistics on gender diversity, bring in a keynote speaker or have a film screening on women’s issues.

Check out Up with People’s Song “Footsteps of a Girl” for Inspiration Through MusicFind The Song Here

Attend a Women’s Networking Event – Building a strong local network in your area is key to building support that leads to meaningful change.

Donate to a Local Women’s Refuge – These community resources are key to helping victims of physical or sexual violence and assaults.

Do Something Kind for a Woman You Love – Take them to dinner, send flowers, a note or an email. Whatever it is make sure to let those most important to you know that you support them!

“Maybe we should follow

The footsteps of a girl.

The woman of tomorrow,

Let’s fight for a better world.”

Footsteps of a Girl © Up with People

Watch the Live Stream of Up with People’s 8th Annual Fundraising Gala

We are busily preparing for our eighth annual Gala on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. This year’s event is presented by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in association with Elite Brands of Colorado and is supported by Tracy Arnn, Linda Weil, and Jill Pedicord Peterson and John Peterson. Jill and John, along with Karen Isaak Valdez and Tom Valdez, are the 2019 Gala Co-Chairs. Last year, more than 450 guests attended the event in person to help raise donations to support the organization’s mission in developing the youth of our world into global citizens.

When it comes to planning an international event such as our annual Gala, there are many people involved to make it all come to life. Megan Luebke , Up with People’s Annual Giving and Stewardship Program Manager, has worked closely over the last year along with the Up with People Gala team, the Gala Host Committee, and this year’s Co-Chairs to make this event a reality. Also included in this list is Up with People alumnus Collin Shepherd and his partner, Alex Wurth, local event planners who own Dapper Events.

Last year was the first time that Up with People hosted a Live Stream event so that supporters could view the annual Gala around the world. We’re grateful to provide this opportunity once again for those who cannot attend.

Our interactive Live Stream will be available on the Up with People Facebook page starting around 7:00 PM MST. Experience the Gala as if you were in the room yourself with a live performance from the cast, presentations from guest speakers and honorees, and you can even participate in the silent auction and paddle raise right from your phone or laptop.

As we gear up for the Gala, we want to share with you our honored award recipients and sponsors who collectively have made the Up with People 2019 Gala possible.

This year’s Honorary Gala Chair is the First Lady of Denver, Mary Louise Lee. Ms. Lee was the 2018 UWP President’s Award Recipient, recognized for her work combining her passion for the arts and youth through her Bringing Back the Arts Foundation. She continues to be committed to being an ambassador for the arts to help expose and expand access to Denver’s vibrant cultural communities.

Our 2019 UWP President’s Award Recipient is Cleo Parker Robinson. Cleo is the founder of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. Her philosophy of “One Spirit, Many Voices” is one that she lives and breathes as she serves the Denver fine arts community. This philosophy has led to her receiving numerous awards over the years, including the one she will be awarded at our 2019 Gala.

Finally, we are pleased to celebrate our five-year partnership with Kiwanis International. Up with People and Kiwanis International joined forces in 2014. Both promote community service and volunteerism as organizational pillars. We have worked with Kiwanis clubs in several of our tour cities since 2014 and its members have served as sponsors, host families, volunteers, audience members, and donors.


We can’t thank or acknowledge our sponsors enough for making this event possible:

Presenting Sponsor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Associate Sponsor
Elite Brands of Colorado

Supporting Sponsors
Tracy Arnn
Linda Weil
Jill Pedicord Peterson and John Peterson

Check out our full list of patron sponsors here!

To learn more about the Up with People Gala and to buy your Gala tickets, visit  


Thinking About Taking A Semester Off?

For those thinking about taking a semester off from school the decision can be difficult and unconventional. More and more, students and parents are recognizing the value in taking a break and exploring other forms of education that will provide skills for the real world.

Take Josh, a member of Up with People’s Cast A 2018, who said, “Taking a year to see the world before I went out into it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I wish every young adult who’s still searching for their passion could have the opportunity to travel and find what empowers them while making the world a happier place in the process.”

With winter break fast approaching it may be the perfect time to start planning for your semester or year off…

Take advantage of time with family and friends to make what could be an incredible life changing decision. The evidence just keep growing that taking a gap year can also be great for your career. See our recent post LinkedIn Says Companies Seeking Employees With Soft Skills.

When you finally make the decision it’s time to start planning for your Gap Year to ensure you get the most out of your break. Gap Years have been increasing in popularity across the globe for a very good reason – they give you the chance to get a better sense of who you are and what you want to do before completing your formal education.

Stepping out of the traditional classroom environment to expand your global knowledge, broaden your perspective, reflect on your personal values and goals, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone, is critical for success in today’s 21st century world. Gap Year programs create an experiential environment for you to test yourself and improve skills in the areas of interpersonal communications, adaptability, empathy, understanding the needs of others, world affairs, and more. The list goes on and on because the opportunities are limitless!

To get the most out of your Gap Year journey, it’s important to be deliberate about what you want to achieve and prepare in advance. Here are some of the top ways to take it all in!


While you may be visiting some exotic places, and you certainly want to drink in all the cultural experiences you can, remember you are there to learn and grow. Take advantage of the area attractions, historical sites, and local people to learn about the culture, this history, and the significance of the region. This will help you learn to build empathy and be flexible in understanding the needs of others, a top skill that employers seek worldwide.


You will be exposed to many things that are foreign to you, whether its food, language, or cultural traditions. Don’t rule out any chance to experience new things, even if they intimidate you at first. Try food you’d never order off a menu at home, learn new phrases in the language of every country you visit, attend a class that teaches a local art form, or go off the beaten track to see more than the traditional tourist sites. Most people you meet are excited to share their customs with others and they will help you adapt.


Be present where you are. One of the downfalls of today’s social media environment is that it is overly easy to stay connected to your world back home. We take less note of our own reality when we are constantly monitoring someone else’s. Make a commitment to go “device-free” for a certain amount of time every day (with the exception of your camera, of course) so that you are able to drink in all that is happening around you in the moment.


You never know when you’ll meet someone that could be an important contact in the future. Be diligent about meeting people from all walks of life, and take down their contact information. Learn about their lives, their jobs, and how they got there. Better yet, if you develop strong relationships with people in important positions, you may walk away from your Gap Year with some pretty awesome (and unique) references!


Most Gap Year programs include some level of service learning. This is your chance to get down and dirty, and learn how to understand the varying needs of different cultures, peoples and regions. Take the time to get to know the root cause of the issue you are addressing and how your service can make a difference now and well into the future. Embrace the people you are helping, appreciate your ability to give, and give fully.


Take time to stop and make note of the things you are learning throughout your gap year. Record specific instances where you effectively stepped up as a leader to make a difference, the number of hours of service you donated, or how your actions positively changed the lives of others. This data will be helpful for college applications or for your resume. This is how you will clearly set yourself apart in the world!


Your Gap Year is a great launching point for becoming a lifelong learner. Hopefully your experience will open your eyes as to how the ongoing, voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge will enrich your life exponentially. You will discover how to continually learn from the world, whether you are abroad or at home. Ultimately, this is the key to living life to the fullest.

“And our faces tell the story

Of the places we have been.

Might just be a dime in the hand of time,

But we all put a little bit in.”

Everybody Put A Little Bit In © Up with People


Meet The Cast Monday: Justice from

Meet Justice, One of Our Amazing Cast Members of Up with People!

We had a chance to sit down with Justice to learn more about his experience on tour. Here’s what Justice had to say.

What is a language you wish you were fluent in?

“Spanish, because I feel like it’s really handy since it’s one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Especially here in the U.S with a greater influence of the Spanish language and culture, so I feel like I’d be able to communicate more efficiently and with more people.”

What did it feel like to arrive on the first day?

“I was really sad leaving my family, but as I arrived to Denver I realized that I got a sense of peace. This is something I have been waiting to do for the past two years and the fact that the day had finally arrived was amazing.

I was the last person to arrive right after the shuttle had just left. I was just hanging out with Rilee and Pauline and we turned out to be the last group to show up. We arrived, they handed me a hot dog, and sent me on my way with my host family. I didn’t have the chance of introducing myself to anyone other than my roommate. It was quite the crazy day, but I would love to do it all over again.”

What was your favorite moment you’ve experienced so far?

“I’ve loved getting my internship with the admissions team. Through my internship, I’ve learned so much already. I’ve learned how to be more confident in myself and how to present myself in front of a large group of people. Not only can I be better myself, but I can also help others realize they have worth by letting them know that they have the talent to travel. I love working with the assistants and giving them the motivation to step out of their comfort zone and mingle with people, which is so rewarding to me.”

What does it mean to you to be apart of this international cast?

“It’s just a huge step for me to be apart of such a huge group and bring my own culture and my own perspective to the table. I feel so important and also feel so loved because we really are just one big family. We spend everyday together and I get in arguments sometimes, but at the end of the day, I know that I can trust them and we’re all here for each other.”

If you could trade lives with a cast member, who would it be?

“I would say LaRyssa because she is such a confident person and I love the way she presents herself. I feel like having that perspective in my life could make me a better person when I return home.”

What is your favorite song to perform?

“I love performing Does It Really Matter. I’m not normally on stage for it, which makes me really sad, but when we have school shows I get the chance to do it. I love the message behind it and I get emotional every single time on stage when I’m performing it just because it’s such a powerful song and I want to portray that message as well as I can.”

How do you or how will you keep hope alive?

“After Up with People, I’m not just going to quit growing as a person. I’m going to keep pushing myself. I’m going to challenge my community.”


“It’s an unfinished world
And it’s still in the making.
It’ll take all we can give
‘cause together we all live
In an unfinished world.

Unfinished World © Up with People


Meet The Cast Monday: Tyler from Arizona

Meet Tyler, A Rock Star Cast Member of Up with People from Arizona!

Tyler shared his experience during his recent semester traveling in Up with People. Let’s see what he had to say.

Tell me about a favorite moment you have experienced so far in UWP?

“One of my favorite moments in Up with People was when we were singing a song dedicated to refugees for the refugees in the audience.”

What are you looking to gain from your experience in the program?

“Im looking to gain a better understanding of myself, a better understanding of the world that surrounds me, and being able to be confident as a leader in making changes that I think needs to be made.”

What are you looking to contribute to your community when you return home?

“I want to bring a sense of purpose and a worldview to my community at home. That’s a hard one.”

What is your favorite song to perform in the show?

“My favorite song to perform would probably be Keep Hope Alive because it has such an impactful meaning and message. The way that we all gather on stage together is very strong and sends a very strong message to the people that are watching.”

How do you keep hope alive?

“Honestly, day by day I do what I can to make people smile and to keep the energy up. I try not to think of things that are out of my control and just take it one day at a time.”

What My Gap Year Was Really Like. Real Stories From Abroad.

Leaving friends and family to set off on a gap year can take a tremendous amount of courage. Is it worth all of the planning and effort? What’s the experience really like? As Up with People’s semester wraps up in Denmark this week, we thought it would be a great idea to ask those who have just completed a gap year with Up with People what the experience is really like. Who better to explain what a gap year is really like than those who have gone before you!

Rodrigo from Mexico

What was your gap year experience like?

“We had a great final show for Cast B 2018 on Thursday. It was a bittersweet moment for those who’ve done it for the past 6 months and even more so for those who have done it for a year.

Touring the world and playing for thousands sounds like a dream when you are a musician. It is awesome. I’m not going to lie, that adrenaline rush minutes before every show in a dark backstage getting ready to go on stage is a feeling that I wouldn’t trade for anything. You can play hundreds of shows, but that feeling is always there. “Home is where the heart is…” is from Up with People’s song ‘Home’. I feel so lucky to be able to pour my heart and soul on every show, especially when behind the drums is what I call home.

With Up with People, I’ve had the chance to do things that I never considered possible. Most importantly, I’ve had the chance to encounter amazing people everyday, share ideas, get to know them, and understand worlds. For me that’s magical, and being able to share my passion with them is just amazing. It makes me feel hopeful.”

Justice from South Dakota

What did it feel like to arrive on the first day of your gap year?

“I was really sad leaving my family, but when I arrived in Denver, I felt a sense of peace. This is something I have been waiting to do for the past two years and the fact that the day had finally arrived was amazing.

I was the last person to arrive right after the shuttle had just left. I was hanging out with Rilee and Pauline. We turned out to be the last group to show up. We arrived, they handed me a hot dog, and sent me on my way with my host family.

I didn’t have the chance of introducing myself to anyone other than my roommate. It was quite the crazy day, but I would love to do it all over again.”

What was your favorite moment you’ve experienced during your travels?

“I loved getting my internship with the admissions team. I have learned so much through my internship already. I’ve learned how to be more confident in myself and how to present myself in front of a large group of people.

Not only can I be better myself, but I can also help others realize they have worth by letting them know that they have the talent to travel.

I love working with the assistants and giving them the motivation to step out of their comfort zone and mingle with people, which is so rewarding to me.”

Celeste from Sweden

What was it like arriving on the first day?

“I was very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but I was also very excited because it was instantly such a warm welcome from the staff members and everyone. It was a big moment for me to finally arrive because I had been preparing for so long.”

What’s been your favorite moment?

“For me, I think all the volunteer projects have been very powerful and have left such a big impact on me because we get to meet the people that we actually help. Getting to do what I love with the people I love is a very emotionally powerful moment because we get to instantly see how we help. The joy on their faces is something I never had before. Also, I really enjoy the times after the shows where we get to mingle with the audience and see the difference between when they first arrive, and how they look and feel when they’re leaving.”

What does it mean for you to be a part of this international cast?

“It’s one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had because we have friends now from all over the world from so many places that I’ve never visited before, and now very excited to visit. It’s been such an eye opener to experience everyday life with people of different cultures. How they view the things we do and how sometimes misunderstandings happen since we’re from so many different backgrounds and speak different languages. That learning experience is one of the most rewarding parts of the program.”

What are you looking forward to contributing in when you return home?

“There are so many areas that I want to help in. especially with the refugee situation we have back home in Sweden. Leaving Up with People, I feel much more secure in myself in reaching out to people of different cultures who may not speak the same languages I do, but I have so much more knowledge now on what I can do to help despite all those obstacles. That’s definitely an area I’m looking forward to getting more involved in… all the children who need to be more active that I feel like I can help with too.”

“Home is where the

Heart is home is

Where we share our

Love is home is Home…”

Home © Up with People

Meet The Cast Monday: Emily from Arizona

Meet Emily, a Recent Participant from Arizona in Up with People!

Let’s read what she had to say.


What is the language you wish you were fluent in?

“Maybe Spanish, only because I live in a place where Spanish is so prominent and for my host family here in Mexico. Ultimately, I want to talk to my friends back home and there are a lot of places that speak it.”

What would you say to a future participant who you could inspire and influence?

“The best advice I’ve been given was by an Up with People alum, so I’m going to pass it on to future ‘uppies.’ As a result, there will be so many moments when you are tired, overwhelmed, or feeling negativity.

You convince yourself that it’s okay to just take a second to not fully be in the moment. And while there are times that you feel like you need to do that, you have to remember that you’re actively being as present as possible all the time.

Give as much of yourself as you possibly can. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it in the end. You only get this kind of opportunity once in your life so you really have to embrace it and try to remember all the reasons you are here.”

What did it feel like to arrive the first day?

“I was nervous. I was really nervous. It was the day after I had broken up with my boyfriend and I remember being really emotional, but also excited to be at Up with People. But there was so much change happening and I was nervous for that change. But when I got there, everyone was really welcoming. When I walked in, I knew it was where I was supposed to be.”

How will you keep hope alive?

“I’m trying to figure that out. I think Up with People as a nonprofit has made me more interested in nonprofit work. To me it’s the most hand on way to create change by physically working within the community. But I’m also learning that there are a lot of other ways to spread hope.

As someone who is very passionate about art and its ability to connect to people on a level that other things can’t, I hope someday I’ll find a way to incorporate my love of the arts into something that creates positivity and hope in others.”

“There’s no ghost from the past that we can’t shake
Have a little faith in us
There’s no history that we can’t remake
Have a little faith in us
For all we know the best is yet to come”

Have A Little Faith (In Us) © Up with People

Unique Holiday Celebrations Around The World

Decorating trees, exchanging gifts and stringing up holiday lights are all ways many celebrate the holiday season, but there are many other lesser known traditions around the world. No matter where you travel during December and January there’s likely to be some sort of celebration that makes being away from home a little sweeter! So, take a break from school or work and experience some international traditions!

Hogmanay – Scotland

The skies light up with fireworks to mark the end of the year in Scotland during Hogmany. During this time, Scottish people practice something called “first-footing” where the first person to enter the home of a household on New Year’s Day is seen as the bringer of good fortune for the coming year. The roots of Hogmanay are said to have started as the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse. To ensure good luck for the house, the first foot should bring with them symbolic pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun, and a wee dram of whisky! And while many are watching the ball drop in New York, the town of Stonehaven lights balls on fire and swings them around their heads while listening to the sounds of bagpipe bands.

Night of the Radishes – Oaxaca, Mexico

Each year on December 23rd, radishes are carved up into shapes, sizes, and scenes to celebrate Christmas. Much like pumpkins are carved for Halloween in many parts of the world, radishes become nativity scenes in one of the more unique holiday celebrations. The event has its origins in the colonial period when radishes were introduced by the Spanish. Today there are even competitions for the top radish scenes.


Sunburnt Christmas – Sydney, Australia

When the weather turns cold in many parts of the world, Australians ditch winter coats for swimsuits and Santa hats. During these sunburnt Christmas celebrations Bondi beach fills with relaxed Australians and British backpackers set on giving themselves the gift of a good tan.


Krampus – Austria

In this rather frightening tradition, Saint Nicholas visits houses in Austria accompanied by a devilish sidekick called Krampus. Austrian children get a visit from Saint Nicholas and this hairy creature each year hoping for wonderful gifts from Saint Nicholas in exchange for their good behavior. If they were particularly naughty then Krampus might just bundle them up in a sack and cart them away prefering to snack on bad little boys and girls instead of a sugary cookie!


Cemetery Tradition – Finland

On Christmas Eve each year in Finland it is traditional to visit the graves of buried loved ones at sunset. Many locals attend services and sing hymns before paying respects to deceased relatives by lighting candles. This tradition is relatively new, beginning in the 1920s when family members would visit the graves of World War I soldiers. This is a way for locals to remember those who may be gone, but are not forgotten.

Photo Courtesy of


New Year’s Eve Beach Celebrations – Brazil

Every year, Brazilians dress in white and gather by the ocean to honor the passing year and welcome the next. Many light candles and toss flowers into the ocean as an offering to Yemanja, the goddess of the seas. This tradition is said to offer revelers abundance, fertility and safety throughout the coming year. Wearing white is said to symbolize purity and prosperity. Millions crowd Brazil’s beaches to enjoy spectacular fireworks shows to ring in the new year.

“How can there be peace,

How can we be free to lay down the load?

Yeah, we’re still on the road

Till everyone, till everyone is home.”

Till Everyone Is Home © Up with People

New Year’s Resolutions From Around The World

new year is just around the corner and New Year’s resolutions are top of mind for many. Even though statistics tell us that most people don’t actually keep their New Year’s resolutions, we can at least reflect on what went well (or not so well) this past year and set goals for what’s next. Making resolutions is a popular practice around the globe. Here are some of the most popular ideas to make your 2019 the best year yet!

Learn a New Language

The top 3 countries that see the largest spike in online searches for learning a new language during this time of year are the United States, Brazil and Mexico. Becoming bilingual opens up new possibilities through travel, work, and can also keep your brain sharp making this a worthy New Year’s resolution!


A popular New Year’s resolution in countries like Sweden and Canada, we can’t think of a better way to enrich your life than to take that dream trip you’ve been dreaming about. Thinking about taking a gap year? Maybe this is your year! Read about Up with People’s Gap Year here.

Make a Difference

In Ireland, enjoying life more has been one of the most popular resolutions, according to multiple surveys. But how do people go about doing that? Serving others or finding a way to make a difference in the world is a proven way to boost your quality of life while helping a cause you believe in. Whether you volunteer around the world while traveling or give back to your community at home, this should be on all of our lists for 2019.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you are feeling like you are in a rut or not sure which direction to turn, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be just the thing you need. Try something new. Meet new people. Listen to other points of view. Personal growth happens outside of your comfort zone so make it a priority this year to push yourself to new limits.

Decrease Screen Time

American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from 9 hours and 32 minutes within the last four years. It’s no wonder that in the United States, limiting screen time, has been an increasingly popular New Year’s resolution. Screen time can have negative effects on people’s health and it’s time we do something about it. Make it a point to stare at something else besides your screen in 2019.

Get Fit

Getting fit is without a doubt the most popular New Year’s resolution around the world and no New Year’s resolution list would be complete without it. Find a new way to get fit while having fun to give yourself the most chance of success. Nearly 80% of us who make this resolution won’t see it through the year, but if you create a meaningful plan, you can stay on course throughout the year.

Invest More In Meaningful Friendships

As most of Up with People’s gap year and study abroad participants will tell you, lifelong friendships are priceless. Shared group experiences with friends can lead to unbreakable bonds. This year, make it a point to invest in friendships. Travel and service can be meaningful, but doing so with others can be so much more.

Once you have your list do your best to keep your goals moving forward. Plan a time-frame, create micro goals that you can tackle slowly, and ask for support from family and friends.

Happy New Year from all of us at Up with People!

“Words are not the only language
To feel what your eyes have heard.
The voice of your heart is speaking
With unspoken words.”

Unspoken Words (c) Up with People