How Three Months can Change Your Life
Have you heard the expression, One moment can change your life forever…? Well me being 22 years old and freshly out of college I assumed that this phrase only pertained to falling in love and never imagined one moment completely changing my life. True enough, it’s not necessarily one moment, but more like one decision. Before this, I measured success in the amount of college degrees someone had or the amount of money a person acquired, but this experience has completely changed my outlook. Before I graduated from college I signed up for an internship through GVI in Kenya for six months. Whilst I knew this would be the experience of a lifetime, I never imagine that it would change my outlook on the world and actually change my life.
Before going on this adventure I expected what most non-seasoned travelers would; lots of bugs, communal living, and surviving without a Starbucks. Besides the removal of Starbucks, NYC has pretty much the same conditions (hence Concrete Jungle). I assumed that from my past lab experience I would be here to work for GVI, just work. Now I was completely aware that it wouldn’t be like living back at home and that the people meet and things seen would open my eyes to the world, but what I’ve received is so much more than that. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I knew that whatever assumptions I had about my journey were wrong… sort of. There are still bugs, communal living and it goes without saying that Starbucks is non-existent, but I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way.
In my past three months, I have camped in Tsavo working with rangers, watched an enormous humpback whale breach out of water, go snorkeling coral reefs EVERY DAY during marine, and meet amazing people from everywhere around the world. The experiences are countless and things I would’ve never expected when taking on my internship. Since being here I’ve realized how different my outlook on life has become. Not everything has to be about working to better yourself, but about working to better the world. The knowledge I’d gain from getting a million college degrees wouldn’t compare to the knowledge I’ve acquired from this experience. And the value of money means nothing when you are staring into the eyes of a child who keeps welcoming you to their village.
In my three months of living in Kenya I have changed from the just-graduated girl ready to conquer the world, to a GVI staff member who is ready to explore and better the world. I guess you could argue that it’s just a part of growing up that has made my outlook and goals change, but until you have experienced this amazing opportunity, you can’t be sure. But I can tell you one thing for certain; there is no number of college degrees and no amount of money paid to get me to leave this place.
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