Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity of going to New Zealand and Fiji for a whole month. My close friend Emily mentioned to me about Global Works programs. Global Works gives high school students opportunities of the life time to be involved in community service, language immersion, and cultural exchange, all around the globe.
The entire trip was full of exciting adventures. Our group had 20 students from different states and 3 counselors. One of the conditions of the trip was no technology, whatsoever. So, I had to bring an actual camera to take pictures. Initially, it did make nervous without being able to contact my family, but what I loved about this trip is that I was 100% engaged because I wasn’t distracted with a cell phone. I did not have the chance to be home sick as our days were filled with service work and activities. One of my most memorable days was in Fiji. In Fiji, I lived with a local family from the village. We, as a group, built the village a sidewalk made out of concrete. The sidewalk stretched from one part of the village to another. Imagine the feeling of satisfaction you get of doing something that would stay and impact for many years to come. I felt I was doing something worthy. I felt happy as I saw local villagers smile looking at what we had done for them. I felt a sense of accomplishment. These experiences, interactions, and meals together will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Throughout my trip, I kept a journal. I wrote what I did in my journal every single day. There were days where I would take a Polaroid picture and put it in my journal. There were other days where I picked flowers and put them in the journal. I’m so glad that I did this because now I can go back and read and be reminded of how I felt in that moment.
All of us grew closer together throughout the trip. We bonded. We shared the same experience. We were there for each other. This friendship will have its own place in my heart for the rest of my life. This was a once in a lifetime experience. Traveling overseas and learning about different cultures made me realize that there is more to life. I thanked my mom for letting me visit Fiji and New Zealand. It really opened my eyes and I truly believe that everyone should travel somewhere.