We often hear from students and teachers what it’s like to travel with us. We also hear from parents concerned about their child disappearing off to other continents around the world, worried what the experience will be like. We’d like to share with you the parent view from Michelle, whose daughter travelled with us this past summer. This is their story told in her words.
Sending my daughter away to Ecuador in South America for 4 weeks at the age of 16 was a bit nerve racking to say the least, let alone the cost! However, seeing Sam so excited by the thought of the trip and the promises to help in any way to pay for it and the experience it would give her, we said yes she could sign up!
After a few fundraising events and a skydive to help pay for it, we got her kit together, got her the needed vaccinations and packed her up ready to send her on such an amazing experience. Yes, I cried when she left but knew she was going to be having the trip of a lifetime, one that I wished I’d had when I was her age. So the 4 weeks dragged (for me), not helped by the lack of internet access but each time I did speak to her she was loving it and not really missing us (thanks Sam).
When she came home, (yes I cried again) after a few days sleeping and telling us all what she had done and how she had pushed herself to conquer a big fear of hers which she was rightly very proud of – Sam doesn’t like fish at all but managed to go snorkeling – and we had to sit through a zillion photos!
I noticed that Sam had a different outlook on herself and life generally. She has come back more confident, independent and believes she can now do anything she sets her mind to. As a direct result she changed her 6th form options as she wanted A Levels that challenged her as she now knows she can face them head on, she is more motivated (she went out and got a part time job without me saying anything) has developed friendships that I hope will last her a lifetime and a love for wanting to see the world.
She has matured and grown in ways I never thought she possibly could and now believes she is capable of anything. So whilst initially the distance she would be travelling and the cost of the trip made me hesitant to say yes, I’m glad I did because it gave my daughter something you could never buy.
Thank you Michelle, it is so nice to hear what students thought of their expedition but extra special coming from a parent!