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World Challenge: when the travel bug bit!

So I figured the best way to introduce you to my blog is to tell you how it all began…

My love of travel has been fairly constant throughout my childhood; my parents would take us on family holidays at every opportunity, whether that be a weekend in the Lake District, road tripping around the South of France, or visiting Father Christmas in Lapland.

My first ‘big’ trip, however, was with Outlook Expeditions, where every few years a group of kids in my school were given the opportunity to sign up for 3 and a half weeks of unparalleled adventure in a country we hadn’t even heard of. My big break: Nicaragua and Honduras.

Situated in Central America, these two countries were places I barely even knew existed, many people (including my geographically-challenged boyfriend) mistakenly believing they are in Africa… Although it was an expensive trip (over £3000 altogether including kit, vaccinations etc.) I believe it was worth every penny as without it I may not have gained the confidence and thirst for travel that I now have.

I will go on to explain in more detail about Nicaragua and Honduras in separate blog posts, but here’s a rough run-down of what the trip entailed:

  • Two weeks in Nicaragua, one week in Honduras
  • 4 days volunteering in Santa Rosa where there had been a drought so we planted trees along the empty river
  • 3 day volcano trek
  • Boat trip down Somoto canyon
  • One week PADI Open Water scuba diving course on the Honduran island of Roatan

It was a whirlwind few weeks and was the best first experience of being so far away from home, as we still had the comfort of being with friends and being looked after by our teachers and team leader. That glimpse into another culture was so important at such a young age (I was 17 at the time) and out of our group I think half have gone on to travel more and I’m sure they would also credit our expedition as being the experience that kickstarted the rest of our individual adventures.

I urge anyone contemplating going on any school trip, whether it’s a week skiing in the Alps, a weekend in Paris or three weeks on the other side of the world, to go for it. Don’t be put off by the cost; if you want it badly enough you can do it.

Liv x

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