Why did you choose this program?
For me, The Warrior Academy Gap Year Program suited me and exactly what I needed. It was the perfect balance of academic investments as well as focusing on fitness, self-development and being designed to push people outside of their comfort zone.
I had previously met the owners and facilitators on RYLA camps whilst volunteering, and was completely blown away by their love of life. Their attitudes and with a mindset of 'No adventure is too big and no person is too small'. Deep down I feel like The Warriors Academy actually chose me.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
So the base camp provides you with all your camping gear such as tents and sleeping bags, pots and plate, cups and head torches if need be. You can request bicycles and gear equipment; they provide bedding and laundry services. All of this goes on a 'rent by the quest or term'. Or you are more than welcome to bring all of your own equipment too.
Everything is always taken care of and thought of down to the last detail of what you will need to make your stay comfortable. The only things you need to bring yourself or get before you get to base Camp is your own Toiletries, clothes, and a few minor luxurious items, such as energy juices or health bars.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Go with the flow. If they say no technology and sleep early, do so. The entire Gap Year is designed by professionals to help you reach your utmost potential. It's based on a lovely environment on the side of a mountain. Live in the moments. Open your eyes to see beyond what's in front of you.
I didn't want to know anything prior. The way I learned and got submerged into the program was perfect. We all learned the rules and lessons; we all learned to grow and show support together. If anything... Make sure if you're from another country to get your own SIM card here so you can contact family when you are allowed technology! That could help.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Most days we would wake up at 6 or 6:30 to go for the morning run or cycle! Then it's up to the barn for breakfast, chill time for a bit. Then either we would be briefed on our next trip and have a team game plan of what to pack and then go shopping for all those items... Or we would have lessons and team building on the property where we would go get changed into what was needed and meet either at the tree for tree climbing or at the barn again for yoga lessons or lessons for self-development by Rene.
Each day has some similarities. However, each day is different, more exciting and teaches you something different. Every day, you will find some sort of exercise, except if we just completed a race, the next day would be rest day with a bit of yoga for the muscles. Good healthy food. And lots of long bus rides through the beautiful country.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear was not being able to fit in with the crowd of strangers. The leaders at the camp made it very easy for everyone to get along. And we all had a level of understanding that each of us was on the gap year to better ourselves and find ourselves. So after a few weeks, we all got very comfortable with the idea of 'new is okay'. My views changed when I started to accept growth and started to live in my courage zone.
What was your favorite adventure?
My favorite adventure was breaking my fears of heights with sky diving, bungee jumping, cliff diving and even making it onto the top of the bunk beds in the cabins. Everything down to the small things like the bus rides was an adventure. By us who live here being able to show foreigners our lands and our foods.... Our home became their homes. And the adventure of being life came to us all.