Why did you choose this program?
I chose this program because I wanted to travel to a place and continent I had never been before that offered similar experiences like the ones I usually do each summer, such as going to the beach. I also wanted to experience a different culture and see a different lifestyle from the one I’m accustomed to.
When looking through the various trips, the beauty of Thailand one can witness captured all of my attention. I knew I needed to witness the beauty of the country through my own eyes, and all of the wonderful activities the country has to offer.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program provider assisted us with everything, from the daily meals to the information about our flight home. Travel For Teens did everything for us, they booked all of our hotels and flights, were in charge of our meals and made sure that whatever we order was suitable for us. They also told us what to pack, how much money to bring, and the type of weather we would be dealing with based on the place we were visiting. All we, the travelers, had to do was packed our suitcases, bring money for souvenirs and board a plane taking us to our final destination.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
My one piece of advice is to enjoy the trip as much as possible and make every second there memorable. Before you know it you will be sitting on the plane back home wishing you could have one more week, or wishing you would have done something better, or at least that's what happened to me. Even though you can't change how much time you will be going, don’t sit on that plane wishing you would have done something better, or enjoyed it more, instead do everything you can while you are over there, because, at the end of the day, those actions will become splendor memories that will live with you for the rest of your life.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
The average day in Thailand depends on the place you are in. For example, the average day in Chiang Mai consisted of learning about the culture of helping out the community, while the average day in the Phi Phi Islands was spent going snorkeling or scuba diving in the morning, visiting the beach in the afternoon and going on an adventure at night. Every day was spent doing something out of the ordinary, that any tourist visiting the area would not have the opportunity to do as easily.
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 of traveling so far away and alone was that I would not have many friends, or that I would struggle to make friends. I overcame this fear the second I met everyone at the airport. At first, I was a little shy, but then I started talking to people from my group and making small talk, and before I knew it, I had made a bond with everyone there, including counselors, who were also extremely nice and welcoming. All of us became a family with whom we managed to share wonderful memories.
If you had to choose one thing that you either learned or experienced during the trip that will mark your life forever, what will it be? Explain why.
Witnessing the presence of bioluminescence lights during the night is an experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life. This experience is something that I didn’t know even existed, and it's so impactful to know the power that nature has, that it even manages to create tiny algae particles that create natural light, not only in full darkness but also in the water.