After finishing my 3-year studies in Hospitality and Game Ranch Management, it was hard to find a job, and so after a while, I decided to look to study further or go on courses to better my skills and better myself for the real world. That's when I found Warriors Academy. Did the research and called through. It was one of the best decisions that I could have ever made.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
The Program provider assisted us with nearly everything we needed for the course such as rent gear for hiking, cycling to scuba diving equipment and even bedding for those that did not bring their own.
The things that I had to organize myself came on a long list such as a hiking bag, basic diving apparatus (wet suit, mask, snorkel, booties, fin and weight belt).
Other things one had to bring were the correct clothing and toiletries and necessities.
If there was anything that I forgot, the staff were so eager to assist with any difficulty that I may have had.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I would advise that, when going on this gap year, is that you take things with you that make you comfortable, such as the correct running shoes, since I did not realize the distances that we would be running around and so I brought my CAT work shoes, which weighed a ton compared to the running shoes. I managed to get a few weeks after realizing my current shoes were the reason that I was getting so tired.
Another advice is to make sure that you are ready to have a life-changing experience. You will go places you never knew existed and do things you never knew you could do.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Most of the time we were out on an adventure away from base camp. But depending on where we were, we did Cycles or runs or Yoga and other exercises every morning. It was hard, but always fun and was really great to have a laugh every morning or to beat the previous day's time. To slowly, over time, see how your body progressed and how you bettered as a person.
After the morning exercises, there was time to shower and get ready for the day while there were groups who would be chosen to make food every week or for certain trips. This was fun as it gave us students time to share our family recipes with the rest of the group.
After and in between meals, depending on where we were, we did short road trips or activities such as at Kaapsehoop Horse Trails where we all went Horseback riding through some amazing mountain ranges and helped with the grooming and cleaning of the stables. The cycles were far and fun, with great up hills and long downhills. We did amazing things like jumping at the base of a waterfall watching beautiful sunsets and sunrises.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I went in being not the fittest person and also afraid of the deep sea.
Once I arrived I was unsure but with the help and the support of my fellow Warriors, I pushed on forward and tried my best. Sooner or later, I was running and cycling trying to beat my previous times and other times just take it slow and enjoy it and not race it.
And when It came to scuba diving, I was also supported and given positive feedback on the dives in the ocean, and once I plunged into the water, it was breathtaking, almost as if I was in an aquarium with no limits. The currents weren't too strong and the visibility was amazing, then we started seeing the marine life which was spectacular. After each dive, I just wanted to back for more but the oxygen tanks only last so long ;)
Why would you go back for more?
After going on one Quest with the Warriors and making new friends, you will wish to finish the year with them as every day was a new adventure and with every adventure comes a new story. So there are countless stories to be told and memories that last a lifetime, and the person you start off as is not the same person you see when they leave.
Warriors Academy has changed my life for the best and I would love to go back to make more wonderful memories and tell more stories.