In 2014 I focused on my studies in Scotland and did not travel much. I took one trip to Oban in the West of Scotland with some of my university friends. Other than that, it was one of my least travel crazy years. It was also the last summer I went to Vermont to work in one of the summer camps.

I started working there in 2010 and returned every year for five times in total. This camp was somewhere between 10 to 14 days and we started off with a little more than 350 students and it grew to over 800 if I remember correctly. This was a great opportunity to make an impact on the students’ experience as this was the first step they took before going on their adventures in high school exchanges all over the US. It allowed me also to share my story and my past experiences. When one experiences something like a high school exchange it is hard to not see life from a different angle afterwards. Constantly, wanting to share your new experiences with others. After a while, it becomes difficult for people to still enjoy conversations that are so focused on one’s “amazing” experiences, but it was also hard for me not to talk about these things. Therefore, the camp gave me an opportunity to reshare my stories.

Furthermore, it allowed me to go back to see my friends in North Carolina by extending my stay. Often, I think about how travel becomes possible when it is a priority one makes but it is more than that. I think, often I was privileged but also lucky. Yes, I was privileged that my parents supported me and sent me to the US in the first place. Yes, I was lucky that I applied to work at the camp and actually was chosen. Yes, I worked myself to my limits and beyond to ensure I would be able to return to the US year after year. I sometimes worked 20 hours barely slept and again was back at it the next day. Working there even if it was just for two weeks a year taught me so much.

It taught me that being hard-working, and persistent can change everything. I loved the work there, the students and my colleagues. We were like family but also it was hard, very hard work. I busted my ass. Nothing asked from me was ever too much I was dedicated and devoted and that also allowed me to become an employee that was asked back every year. I didn’t do it for the money, we didn’t really get paid. I didn’t do it for the chaperoning flight with 35 kids who were my responsibility. I did it for the experience and the self-development. I did it for myself and the people I loved working with. It was everything for me but also life changes and things become different. In 2014 we found out that the structure of the camp would change and also, I realised that I will have to start looking for summer jobs that can actually financially help me rather than making my situation worst, so this was my last summer.

I learned so much about myself. I am still looking for my boundary of fatigue and I knew then and now if I want something, I will bust my ass and work as hard as I can to hopefully get there. Life is full of challenges and you won’t always get what you want but you can choose to face these challenges head-on or sissy out. I always choose the first and even from bad experiences learned something. I am not perfect, but I am a hustler and thrive when I get to try and push my limits. So, when people say I am privileged to travel so much, I agree, but what they often don’t see is how hard I work for this. It is okay. They don’t need to, it is all for me, not for someone else. I just hope someone might read this and start taking responsibility for their own life to change so it is more like they want it to be, whatever that is. And yes, again, I am privileged, so judge away as much as you want. That still does not make me any less of a hard-working individual who has a lot to thank herself for because I am the one who got me to where I am today.

Also, on a side note to myself. What is with the attitude? Oh well.

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