GVI had me mind blown from day one. Being in Phang Nga taught me that the real way to experience a country and a culture is to live there and connect with the local communities. The staff on base were amazing in not only helping you integrate into your program but also understand how your time contributes to the development of the community. They are very knowledgeable of the local culture and anthropological narratives that have shaped the community. Furthermore the friendly familiarity and welcoming nature of the locals demonstrates the strong positive relationship GVI has built with the community. As volunteers walk down the streets of the village the locals would smile and wave, particularly if we were wearing our GVI tops. My GVI program both a rewarding experience and significant lifestyle change. After my time in Thailand, I feel that I understand not only the world a little bit better but also myself. Being in the conservation team taught me how the actions of individuals are interconnected to a larger picture. After returning to continue my double degree in Biotechnology and Business, I have sought opportunities to participate in niche areas of sustainable economic development. To ensure that the skills and knowledge I accumulate from both my studies and GVI are applied in causes that aim to bring a positive impact on the lives of others. GVI is perfect for curious individuals who desire knowledge, a change in the world and have an unsatisfiable wanderlust.