Going Abroad to Find What is Within

A Transformative Experience from Traveling and Finding Yourself

We have all heard how traveling can broaden a person’s horizons. You interact with different people and learn new things about other cultures. According to blogger Volina Serban travel helps you grow and become a better person:

“The more you see and experience, the more you realize how big the world is and how much it has to offer, you start to focus on what matters and stop being disappointed by little failures here and there. You begin to look on the bright side of things and cease taking yourself and life too seriously.”

Small wonder then that travel can also be utilized as a powerful therapeutic tool. Experiencing firsthand how foreign people in faraway places live can boost self-image and self-confidence—especially in young people. It can change their outlook in very positive ways and help change their behaviors.

Giving Back: A Transformative Experience

Turning Winds organizes international service trips abroad for clients twice a year—they were only briefly suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not just tourism but an uplifting therapeutic experience since it involves helping other people. Traveling to foreign countries to be immersed in other cultures and help people less fortunate than ourselves affords new perspectives and the ability to learn that all people are essentially the same. 

Giving back is a powerfully important part of growth and the development of self-worth. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of this service work, however, is its ability to expose Turning Winds clients to the indomitable strength of human will. Witnessing the character, heart, and spirit required to thrive in difficult circumstances is proof of the unifying power of the shared human spirit. While the people of Turning Winds might act as helpers, it is the people being helped who become the teachers of this crucial lesson.

In April 2019, Turning Winds joined Squads Abroad in Chalkida, Greece at the Ritsona Refugee Camp, where twelve of our students and four of our staff members underwent a life-changing experience. Partnered with Squads Abroad, our kids helped paint murals for a local pre-school at the camp, build furniture for female-friendly spaces, and most importantly bonded with the community: they gave back!

“It was awesome to be able to help and be of service to others. It gave me a much greater appreciation for what I have,” one Turning Winds student described the experience. 

Turning Winds has taken clients to Greece, Peru, Thailand, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and other places. This year, our first service trip took us to Panama. The second 2022 trip is scheduled for Guatemala in November.  

“We continuously witness how the lives of our students change as a result of our service trips. We have seen teens who struggle to look outside themselves and think of others, cry with tears of gratitude, appreciation, and love for their fellow human beings and it’s nothing short of amazing,” says Turning Winds Chief Operations Officer Carl Baisden. 

Turning Winds is a therapeutic boarding school for teens combined with a full continuum of care for mental health issues. It combines elements of wilderness therapy and a relational treatment approach with a full medical and clinical team while also offering a full academic staff to provide the much-needed support for your child.  

At Turning Winds, it’s not only adventures abroad but the people who make the difference. Over the course of more than twelve years, we’ve built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals, all of whom share the same goal: to help teens re-engage meaningfully with their lives, families, and their futures.

Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If your call isn’t answered personally, one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.



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John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden Jr is the father of seven inspiring children, and he is married to Kara, the love of his life. Together they have created a family-centered legacy by leading the way with early childhood educational advancement. John loves to write and is an author of a children’s book, An Unlikely Journey and plans to publish additional books. Show More

John is a visionary in his work and applies “outside-the-box” approaches to business practice and people development. He is the Founder of Turning Winds, along with several other organizations. He has extensive experience launching and developing organizations. His skills include strategic planning, promoting meaningful leader-member movement, organizational change, effective communication, project management, financial oversight and analysis, digital marketing and content creation, and implementing innovative ideas through influential leadership. As a leader, John seeks to empower others and brand success through collaborative work. His vision is to lead with courage, grit, truth, justice, humility, and integrity while emphasizing relational influence rather than focusing on the sheens of titles, positions, or things.

Finally, John is passionate about life and promoting equity among those who are often overlooked because of differences that frequently clash with the “norm.” He lives in Southern Idaho and loves the outdoors and the life lessons that can be learned in such an informal environment.

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