When it comes to a long trip and traveling on your own to an unknown country, it is important to try to organize almost everything from your home country, because then you will feel safer and you can be sure someone will care about you and support you when you arrive.
The best thing you can do is being open to everything, because it might be completely different than expected, yet still an unforgettable experience.
When I took Spanish lessons at Habla Ya, class started at 8 am. I had breakfast first thing in the morning at my host's house and then walked to school or took the bike. I had classes until noon, and afterwards Habla Ya offers a lot of activities to join, both during the week and also the weekends.
For example, we could take surf lessons, salsa courses, visit different beaches, and coffee plantations. There are a lot of different activities students can sign up for!
When my volunteer work started I had to take the watertaxi to the other island, and had the opportunity to spend time with the indigenous children from 8 am to 12pm.
After school, I always loved to spend time at Habla Ya. I felt very welcome there and made a lot of friends. In the evenings my host family, which I love a lot, prepared dinner and we talked about our days.
One of my biggest fears was getting homesick, feeling lonely and that I might not like the life and the culture, because I knew before that it would be totally different for me.
I think those are fears anyone who is traveling for a long time deals with. But after one week in Bocas all my fears were gone, because I felt welcome from the first day. I lived with other students, so it was easy to keep in touch and make friends quickly.
It is important to believe in yourself, to enjoy each day and not to get caught up in your fears, then you will be open for anything and anyone, and then there is no way that you will suffer.
I wouldn't change anything I did, because everything I experienced here was a new life lesson, and never a loss or a fault.
It taught me to appreciate every day, and being thankful for little things, like for a smile from a little school kid when you buy him an apple. The volunteer work showed me that you are special just the way you you are, and when you're kind you will also be accepted for the person you are, and you can make a little kid's life better just by showing them attention and respect.
I had the chance to meet so many different nationalities and it helped me to understand how people from other countries think and live, and that we are literally all the same and you can be the friend of anyone, independent from where they are from.
You learn how to solve problems by yourself, how to react to new situations and how to be independent, positive, and strong.