A little over two weeks ago I found myself on one of the most amazing trips of my life. I was in the middle of literally nowhere, in the bush, without access to warm water, but it was undoubtedly one of the best weeks of my life. I had the opportunity to go on a mission’s trip to Guyana. This trip not only meant so much to me because of the opportunity to work with kids who are living in an orphanage but because I was able to cross off three things from my bucket list.
- To visit the birthplace of both of my parents: My mom is Jamaican and my father is Guyanese. When I was a child my mom took me to Jamaica for Spring Break. I’ve grown up with my mom’s side of the family so I am more connected to my Jamaican heritage. I’ve never been close to my father but have never denied the fact that I’m Guyanese, I just don’t know a lot about that side of my family or their background. I was hoping that this trip would help me to gain a better understanding of my father and the circumstances that have made him who he is. I wasn’t prepared for the connection that I felt to Guyana. In the weirdest way, it felt like some place that I had been before. After spending some time in Guyana, I can say that it helped me to see why my father is the way that he is, if only partly. We’re often a mixture of who we are and our environments and being able to see Guyana firsthand helped to explain quite a bit. For anyone who has had issues with their parents, once you get to a place where you can look at the situation more objectively take into consideration their upbringing as well. It doesn’t take them off the hook for anything that they’ve done, but it just helps you to see everything in context. Your pain might be too great depending on your particular situation and that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes there is absolutely no explanation for someone’s actions.
- To visit 6 out of the 7 continents by the time I’m 30: It’s on my bucket list to visit all of the continents except Antarctica just because it’s too cold and that trek is too serious. North America is done, I went to Australia when I was 15, and I went to Europe in 2016, and Asia last year. All that was left was South America and Africa. South America has been checked off for 2018 and I am trying to begin planning a trip to Africa next year, which will be the year I turn 30. I like the idea of saving the motherland for my 30th It was amazing to travel to Guyana and just see a completely different country than I’ve ever visited before. Guyana is mostly jungle and as you fly into the country that’s what you see. I love to travel because it opens your eyes to the world. There is so much more than what we’re used to or even what we see on TV or get from a Google search. Nothing beats being able to see something with your own two eyes. I would honestly tell anyone that one of the best investments that you can make for yourself is to travel. It might be expensive at times, but the rewards can’t be bought.
- To go on a volunteer trip: I spend a good amount of my time volunteering for various causes and organizations. In the past couple of years, I’ve been looking into traveling and volunteering. Why not blend two things that I love to do and I feel that it helps to make a bigger impact locally than just going on a vacation somewhere. The biggest part of what made this trip so amazing was the kids. The kids that we got to spend the week with. They were the sweetest children despite going through hardships that some of us couldn’t even imagine. It was so amazing to see their creativity and to watch them slowly begin to open up not only wish our team but with each other. I wish that we had stayed longer than a few days because the kids need the one-one-one attention and I’ve really missed them. You never realize how just a few days can endear someone to your heart so quickly, but it’s true. There are multiple ways that you can volunteer within your community and also abroad. If it’s something you’re interested in, I would definitely say to check it out. You will learn more about the culture you’re visiting than just going and being a tourist and you’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the culture in the process.
I’m still slowly unpacking all of the different things that I learned while I was in Guyana. That’s why I love to travel so much because it’s an experience that doesn’t stop the moment you return. I can’t wait to see where life takes me next!