Why did you pick this program?
Louise: I picked this program for many reasons. First of all, my wishes were to travel, live a human and cultural adventure, meet people from different horizons, improve my English and surf.
As I wasn’t ready yet to travel on my own, I wanted to get an overview of what it could be to be in charge of your meal for example, but also to manage your money. I also wanted to challenge myself.
This program was a perfect blend: …of extraordinary adventures with the surf camp, the environmental conservation week …of a well-sized group of people: not too small so we could spend time with different people and not too big so we could get to know everyone pretty well …of a balanced schedule of the daily life, that gave us independence and freedom in a very thorough way.
What is the most important thing you learned abroad?
Louise: The most important thing I learned abroad is that we must always use the opportunities to the full. Let me explain to you the idea. During the trip, many activities were organized and over those ‘planned’ activities, it happened very often that a participant or the group leader would suggest to everyone to do things.
For example, on Fraser Island, at the end of a day we were heading back to our place by car and our local guide stopped the car at about 20 minutes walk from our place. He opened the door and proposed to those who wanted to end the journey by feet. A handful of us decided to do it. It seems like nothing but this naked foot walk on the sand, with the sunset was great. We even got the chance to try fishing in the sea with locals. This ended up into my top 10 best moments in Australia.
To conclude, those things added another dimension to the trip. No matter how fun or interesting it was, it just made us able to catch some very special and exclusive moment and the more important thing: it made us spent more time together. And time is the key of strong and linked relationships. Ever since my trip, I constantly remind myself of that.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Louise: One piece of advice I would give to someone going on my program is to ‘do something that scares/challenges you everyday’. That was our saying. It could be anything : bungee jumping, snake holding, rappelling a 30 meter cliff, having a conversation with a backpacker, sharing your musical talent, challenging your friend at a supermarket trolley race… the list goes on.