There are certain experiences in this world that come out of nowhere and are truly inspirational and life changing. My wife and I signed up to the teaching Novice Monks programme in Luang Prabang after sending our children on projects just after they left school. I think it was just as much a leap into the dark for us, just as it was for them when we left them at the airport, trusting that they would find their way safely across the world. This was not going to be a traditional holiday and as we drew closer to our departure date, we were both mildly apprehensive as to what we had signed up to. The confidence in our decision though was royally rewarded in an incredible, challenging and culturally enriching experience. We could only stay for 2 weeks but we would have extended in a heartbeat if work had allowed. Committing to the programme is a big thing but only by throwing yourself fully into all activities, do you get the most back. I taught in Wat Pah O temple school, taught the extension class in the Library and in the evenings, spent a further 2 hours in the Mekong Centre supporting the State run English programme. Each was unique but the warmth and the engagement of the Novices and students at the Mekong Centre, was so generous and enthusiastic that at the end of each long day we felt uplifted and moved. The chorus of ‘Thank you Teacher’ on the final day was quite emotional and we left knowing that we had really contributed and helped change lives for the better. So, if you are wanting to re-energise, re-set your compass and be part of a truly inspirational programme, then this is for you. The project is run by exceptionally dedicated staff, you will meet great (and wise - classifying our 50 status correctly) volunteers, making fabulous friendships. Teaching the Novices and experiencing their life, will feed your soul and you will take home some very special memories. Finally, I cannot finish without a word or two on Luang Prabang. It is a cultural gem, a hidden surprise fondant in a box of chocolates. Just let it into your heart and unwind. This brief but amazing experience, really changed our lives. We will return, not to expect the same, but to extend and reach deeper into this amazing country.