When I decided to go on a working holiday to the UK, I had never travelled abroad alone and was nervous. SWAP helped me so much with all the planning that I didn't have the chance to worry about the first steps: they helped with the paperwork and booked my first couple of nights in London in a hostel I knew I'd be safe.
When I arrived and found the hosting centre, I got to meet other travellers at orientation and lots of support from the peppy staff. Having friendly faces there to answer all my questions and reassure me allowed me to put myself out there, take risks, and try new things.
After replying to an posting I found in the hosting centre, I took a job in Oxford at a hotel housed in a 17th century building as well as in a pub (even though I knew nothing about beer). After a couple of months of working and getting to know the city and its surroundings (and randomly seeing Bill Clinton on the street), I spent the pounds sterling I earned on an amazingly spontaneous trip through Scotland, meeting up with old and new travel buddies (many of whom I still keep in touch with).
Even though I only spent 4 months on my working holiday, it changed my life: because I had the absolute freedom to make decisions and figure out what I wanted from this experience (while feeling like I had a safety net should everything go wrong), I'm now more secure in who I am and way more confident to be that person. Since then, I've gone on countless adventures (including a year-long trip around the world) and it's fair to say that it was SWAP that set me up from the start.