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I came to the realisation not long ago that the travel content on my blog was rather limited and there is a reason for this. I have not travelled anywhere in far too long. University commitments and lack of funds just keep getting in the way. None the less, I thought I’d create some travel advice content whilst I wait for that day when someone will just pay me to travel the world and not look back. Any takers? I’m PR friendly… I promise! Anyway I thought I’d start the advice with 10 things you should never do when staying in a hostel. I haven’t seen all of these happen but you’ll soon gather why I don’t see them to be hostel appropriate!

Number 1 – Do NOT leave the lights on

Do not be that annoying somebody who is the last one in at night and then forgets to turn the lights off before getting into bed. No one wants to have to get up and turn it off, especially when you’re half asleep and laying on the top bunk! This also goes for turning the lights on in the middle of the night. FUN FACT: in most dorm rooms you will have a personal light that is more than enough for when you decide to stay up all night reading a book. This also goes for turning the lights on at an appropriate time. If you have to be up at 5 am to catch a flight, how about having your stuff ready the night before so you can go change in the bathroom, gather your stuff and leave? That’s a smart idea you heard first from EarthtoConnie. Believe me, this is revolutionary to some!

Number 2 – Pack your bags the night before

Following on from my last point, if you know you have to be up at a ridiculous time in the morning to leave the hostel -please, please, please pack the night before. Being woken up with the rustling of bags in the morning is not fun for anyone. I will curse under my breathe if you do this to me. You are allowed a reasonable amount of rustling in the morning however if I roll over and spot you with your whole case unzipped and you’re reorganising the contents, then you may also get some eye rolls too!  You probably are thinking I must be a nightmare to share a dorm room with, but I promise I’m not. I’m only passive aggressive, you’ll barely know I’m there.

Number 3 – Keep the music to a minimal

Travelling and staying in hostels are so much fun. You will meet so many people and to some extent it’s perfectly acceptable to play music in a hostel. The social area is perfect for this and perhaps during the day in your dorm room too. But… you do need to be considerate of other people when you decide to play music. Are they sleeping? Reading a book and minding their own business? Remember they may be staying in a hostel and visiting the city for different reasons to you. They’ve probably paid the same amount of money as you and so just be respectful.

Number 4 – Do not demand anything

This is a bit of a weird one, but I’ll explain. I’ve stayed in a hostel and was sleeping on a bottom bunk (because who really enjoys sleeping top bunk?) It was possibly my third night in the hostel and so I was settled and had a place for all my stuff. We had a new roomy that day and within five minutes of entering the room and introducing herself she essentially demanded that she have my bed and I take the top. I felt so uncomfortable and avoiding confrontation I just agreed to it. I know every culture can be different but with no please and thank yous, this is particularly rude and inconsiderate. We didn’t speak since this incident and what annoyed me the most was that she was only there for one night only. Could she not have roughed it on top bunk for one night?

Number 5 – Find an appropriate place to leave your stuff

There is an unwritten rule as to where you leave your stuff when you’re staying in a hostel. For the most part, it is common sense. Top bunkers have the priority of the space underneath their ladder, there is a reason for this. If they’re going to accidentally jump down then at least it’s only their stuff there that might get damaged. Also, it makes sense for the bottom bunkers to have their stuff laid next to them on the floor. When you sleep it will be right next to them, I dunno about you but I wouldn’t want to be climbing over someone else’s stuff to get out of the bed in the morning. I hope this makes sense, I’m far too lazy to draw a diagram of what I mean for you.

Number 6 – Do not leave your laundry in the washing machine

If you are travelling for extensive periods of time, you will have to do laundry. Most hostels have laundry facilities however chances are they will only have one or two machines. Therefore, when you do your laundry you need to know when it’s ending so you can get it out of the machine asap. There’s nothing worse than an overly polite person avoiding doing their laundry because there’s some wet clothes left in there. No one wants to leave the clean clothes to smell damp on top of the washer, but no one wants to be waiting for your return. If you’re travelling the last thing you want to do is wait by a washing machine all day.

Number 7 – Have some personal boundaries!

This shouldn’t need to be a thing that is written in this post but unfortunately it needs saying. This hasn’t happened to me but it’s happened to people I know. It’s been the middle of the night and they’ve been woken up by two people having sex in the same room. I mean, why would anyone do this is beyond me. So yeah, I think there’s nothing more to be said on this…

Number 8 – Do wear clothes… Please?

Again, another odd one but there are people out there who aren’t ashamed to sleep naked. I’ve not experienced sharing a room with someone like this, but yet again I’ve heard these people are out there. I’m all for embracing the human body, but there are just some things you do not want to see first thing in the morning – or ever at all!

Number 9 – Sleep on the floor and then scare someone

Okay, this one is from a personal experience and I cannot explain just how odd waking up to this experience was. I have actually written a separate blog post all about this bizarre experience which you can read here. It is the second episode in my travel seriesThis one time…‘ and I can honestly say it was one of the most bizarre things to have happened to me… This is probably not a common occurrence (I hope anyway) but I thought I would include it just in case you feel the urge to do this.

Number 10 – Be the know it all

We’ve all met that person in a hostel who proceeds to tell you how they left there home town decades ago to find themselves and has no intention on returning anytime soon. They know everything about everything, and even though you didn’t ask them too they decide to give you a complete history lesson of the city you’re currently staying in. Did you just find all that on Wikipedia? Honestly, everyone is just going about their travels and no one needs their trip judged to be a holiday and not ‘real’ travelling. These people are the worst. Do not be these people!

Apologies that this post has become rather long – I didn’t know just how passionate about this topic. Perhaps I have a lot of built up aggression to all these annoying people I’ve experienced in hostels. I promise you I will write something more positive about hostels soon, I didn’t realise how pessimistic I was being. Staying in hostels are fun above everything else and I hope this hasn’t discouraged you from budget travel. Comment below if you have had any horrible hostel experiences that are actually quite comical! 

Want to write a travel story for my blog, contact me and I’ll be in touch with more details! 

 

 

 

Nan and her maid

Welcome back to my new series, “This one time…” If you are new to the series then you can read the first episode here, which is all about the most embarrassing moment of my life that took place at Yosemite National Park, California. In this series, I hope to write as many comical and/or inspirational travel stories as I can. If you are interested in me writing up one of your stories then please, be sure to contact me and I can give you further details on the plans I have for this series.

Today’s story is inspired by my amazing and inspirational nan who – when she was just nineteen – travelled all the way from rainy England to the other side of the world with her husband. She stayed for two years because her husband was in the army and in that time it sounds like she was living the dream. Swimming in the morning and the beach in the afternoon – what more could you ask for?

Back in the day, it was custom that once you had found your man and got married than a baby would usually follow. Pamela was 19 years old living in Paradise, what a better time to ask for a baby? Living in army quarters she had an amazing housewife who took care of everything. The heat was unbearable for an English girl living in George Town and so Pam spent the majority of her time swimming and taking trips to the beach.

The other side of the world from her family, she soon began to become friendly with the maid, whom everyone called Nora although Pam suspect that was an English name they assigned her. Unfortunately, this friendship was challenging due to the fact that Nora’s English was limited and English was the only language that Pam spoke. Pam tried to show her gratitude by attempting to help her with the housework but she was pulled away all too often.

One of the unique quirky behaviours that the maid adopted was that every day she would always hand Pam a banana to eat throughout the day. When this first happened she was amazed at just how tiny the fruit was, they didn’t get them like that back in England. She thought nothing of it, perhaps it was what was grown out here.

In 1966 England won the football World Cup for the first time. It was a joyous occasion and all the Brits living out in Malaysia were over the moon. Everyone had a spring in their step. Not long after this triumph Pam happened to grab her neighbour who spoke both languages to ask her maid why the bananas were so small. It turns out it is an old wives tale for the locals that eating a tiny banana a day will help a woman fall pregnant.

Pam laughed at this and found it the sweetest of gestures. Of course, she was in no rush to have a baby but she was happy regardless. From then on, every time the maid would hand Pam a banana she would express that it was for the baby, usually by rubbing her tummy and articulating ‘baby’.

With no success, Pam left the Borneo jungle with only her husband. She came back to living a life full of housework and little money. Being back in England wasn’t quite the two year holiday like it was in Penang. It was just then, when she was drowning underneath a pile of laundry, that she discovered she was expecting.

“I guess the banana’s worked after all”, she smiled.

My beautiful Nan

 

 

To any of you who have worked in retail before, you will probably have a good indication as to the purpose of this post. Why? Because we have all been there. Listening to the manager explain to the customer what you said five minutes previously. Reorganising a shelf after already tidying it twelve hundred times that day. Last but not least, having to hide the frustration and resentment you have towards a difficult customer with a smile. It can be hell on earth but here I am explaining why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life…

It gives you thick skin…

I got my first retail job when I was 16 years old. I work at Colchester Zoo, to anyone who has heard of it. And no, I didn’t do anything interested like feeding the Meerkats, I merely worked in a gift shop. It was slightly different to the average retail job, meaning that you would often get to wander round the zoo with a giant handful of balloons or dress up like Jigsaw at halloween. I enjoyed the unique aspect to this job. However what I didn’t enjoy was something which all retail employees get to experience – being yelled at!

I had my fair share of nightmare customers come my way. One in fact decided to call me a bitch in front of his children because the monkey enclosure was closed for refurbishment. I mean, did I – at 16 years old – look like I had any authority in the overall running of the zoo? No, I did not. Did I have any control over the fact that this man stupidly didn’t check the website for updates on the runnings of the zoo. Absolutely not. Did I deserve to be scream at like a naughty child, NOOOO!

Working in retail you learn to develop a thick skin. You can’t let customers get to you even if you have been working ten hour shifts and really don’t care to actually ‘check the back’ when they ask. I mean, we’ve all walked to the cupboard stood for a few minutes only to regain some strength and then returned to the customer apologising for the lack of stock. Anyway, the point being is you learn to handle rude people and not let it get to you. This is one of the reasons why I truly believe everyone should work in retail at least once in their life. You’ll soon realise that you no longer get treated as an individual and adapt.

Your levels of patience will be tested!

When you work in the same shop for however many shifts, your patience will get tested. It will be the same routine and you will be repeating yourself to every customer that walks into the shop. You begin to get a routine in your head of what you said to each customer. For me I used to get so tired by the end of the shift I would end up not making sense and getting my words muddled. For example, instead of saying ‘hi, can I help?’ to a new customer I mixed it up with ‘enjoy the rest of your day’. They were beyond confused.

Ultimately, working in retail can result in you becoming more patient. There will be customers that will need something explained to them a million times and you just have to bear with them. Especially when they’re not rude, you’ll be eternally grateful and happy to spend a little extra time helping them out. You will also find customers that are beyond lovely and will ask about your day, rather than just complaining about the price of something. These people honestly lift your day up and get you ready for the next demon customer you have to face.

You meet the best of people

When you work in retail, especially in a big store, you get to meet a wide range of people. Some of who you’ll remain close to for long after you leave. You bond over the simplest things. One Boxing Day I worked and we had the privilege to sit down all day counting stock rather than having to deal with people – we literally just locked ourselves in a cupboard all day and opened up a puzzle we sold. It’s the little things that make you happy.

You also gossip about all the eventful things that happen at work. One summer Ed Sheeran paid a visit to the zoo with his family and it was so exciting. When he came into store, we all laughed at our managers who were bothering him more than the customers.

You grow a new respect for employees wherever you are…

To sum up, why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life is so that they grow a new respect for employees wherever they shop/eat at. Since I started working in retail I will never put something back in the wrong place, because I know how frustrating it can be to the employer. I have also grown to always be polite to the employee and never treat them as if they are not an individual. Sometimes big companies don’t pass down information to the lower-level employers so it is just unreasonable to be rude or belittling because they do not know something.

What I hate most in the world is watching a customer be incredibly rude to an employee and the staff member not knowing what to do. As much as we would like to put you in your place, we are always told to polite to customers I just wished it worked the same way!

 

Anyway, there are my reasons as to why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life. I would love to think that this post has inspired you to apply for a new job, but lets face it, it probably hasn’t. Working in retail sucks but at least I have done it and can take lessons learned onto my next occupations.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Comment below your worst experiences working in retail or the worse things you have seen whilst shopping!

 

When I first heard that PsychoTraveller, my favourite YouTuber, was releasing her own book I knew that I was to read it straight away. I have followed Aly’s adventures for years and she even inspired me to create my own travel blog. 15 year old me would catch up on her videos after school and would always watch on with excitement for my own travels I knew I’d embark on. Where is she?: Travel to Trauma: One Woman’s Journey To Completely Losing Herself left me speechless with both sadness and frustration. However, because of the incredible woman Alyshia Ford is, the book takes you on a journey of incredible strength and courage.

In the initial few chapters of this book I found myself reading with excitement. She was headed off to embark on her one year working holiday visa in Australia. Living the dream, she soon began to experience the typical life of a backpacker. Meeting new friends, budgeting and exploring this amazing country. I read in envy at her experiences; from raising a baby lamb, to meeting real aboriginal people. On top of this, her writing style is very comical at parts – she described brilliants moments such as when a tour guide told her he ‘didn’t think’ there’d be crocodiles in a lake she was advised to wash in.

The title of Psychotraveller’s book reads, ‘One Woman’s Journey To completely Losing Herself’.  Initially I had assumed that by ‘losing herself’ she meant she was physically losing herself in the big world wide. I found I was wrong and by ‘losing herself’ she meant how she had to find who she was again after she experienced a horrific event. This book takes you on her road to recovery. I thought I knew her just from watching her on YouTube, and this book has taught me that you can never truly know someone in front of the camera. Aly is incredibly brave for sharing her story and I honestly believe this book is a service to society and can help so many people.

 

As I approach the end of university, I am surprised as to how I have managed to see the final days of my degree. For some people university is the best years of their life, but for others it can be soul-destroying. I sit firmly in between the two. So, I thought I’d give my top advice on how to survive university. Some of my advice may sound like the most obvious thing you’ve read today, but believe me, when you’re thousands of words behind on an assignment it can be easy to loose sight of the simple ideas.

Gain Perspective

My first piece of advice, to anyone who is wondering how anyone ever survived this nightmare of a degree before you, is to gain perspective. If you fail your degree, get a third, or drop out – you will still have air in your lungs and a life to be lived. I know university can be stressful and everyone wants to do well, however I find that having the perspective that you don’t have to have a degree makes it suddenly less stressful. It’s easy for me to say I guess, I was the first person out of family to attend university and so I’ve never had any academic pressure from my family. But, I do know that if you do have a family that expect you to get a first, there can be a lot of pressure put on you. Just remember that it’s your life – not theirs and being proud of yourself is the only thing that matters anyway.

Most of the time, when I’ve done bad on an assignment, I can almost always put it down to overthinking and stressing before the deadline. This just proves that stressing about something is pretty pointless. I read a quote the other day and it said that if you stress about something you essentially go through it twice. This enlightened me and from now on, I’m going to try and live by this. Although I always find it difficult to follow my own advice.

Get involved

I’m a strong believer that you only get one life and so there is absolutely no point in sitting around doing nothing. Yes, university is hard work. But – if we’re being honest at times it’s not that time consuming and so you can get up and do something productive. Volunteering? Part-time job? Gym? A benefit to all of this is that it will make you stand out on your C.V. after university. There are plenty of people who have a degree, but even less who have a degree and ran a society, for example.

In my experience, I also find that having a job has helped me with my studies. Before, I would procrastinate so much because I was worried about the assignment. Now, I have no time to procrastinate and it just makes me get on with it. I’m also earning money too, which is never a bad thing.

Just do it and worry later

If you’re like me, and you’re a complete stress head who will defend their procrastinating until the day they die, you may struggle the most with starting the essay you’ve been dreading. Once I have a flow of words going on a page I tend to just get on with it, however I always worry that It will not be perfect and so I delay starting the work. Sound like you? The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to just get anything onto the page – even if it’s just a few words. You can always come back to editing it later!

Another thing to remember is that just because you are a poor university student, it doesn’t mean you should put a pause on your personal life. If there’s a big party coming up and you’re worried about getting your work done, just go to the party and worry later. Chances are you would only be procrastinating doing the work anyway. Honestly, when you’re old and you’re looking back on your life I think you’d much prefer having memories than a first class degree.

Anyway, that’s just my advice. I’ve never been the perfect student and so I’ve always struggled. Now, I just do what I can to get by and thats all what matters to me now – seeing the end of it. But if you are struggling with university and it’s all getting a bit too much or you, please contact someone. I did, and it did me the world of good. Contact your university counselling service, your academic advisor or (if you’re in the U.K.) contact the Samaritans. From my own experience, they are brilliant at making me feel a lot better in myself!

 

 

I first began reading Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman a few months ago. I used it to past the time on my commute to work, but alas, university was stressful, and I felt guilty for reading anything other than boring journal articles. Once I began to read it again this week, it was completed in two days. I just could not put it down. Dealing with themes of loneliness, the importance of friendship, abuse (both physical and mental) and alcoholism, this book has you both running for the tissues one page and then smiling the next.

DISCLOSURE: This article will contain spoilers, read on at your own risk!

Hello, and welcome to my first ever blogging series called, “This one time”. In this series, I plan to write a collection of posts full of different travel related stories. I promise you these will all be real accounts of my adventures, however, what I can not promise you is that they will be published once a week. It’s me. As extremely sarcastic and annoying I am, I do not hold the talent of being organised, and so, this time next week I’ll probably be munching away at some popcorn at the cinema forgetting I had even starting this series. I promise you I’m a good blogger sometimes.

Anyway, this weeks story is all about this one time I was at Yosemite National Park and I had a close encounter with a bear. That’s right, a bear! My inner Bear Grylls was summoned and if you would like to find out just how much I embarrassed myself then read on…

Despite what society screams at you, you do not need to attend university to become successful in life. If you’re like me, a student who is in doubt about whether University is for her, you can still drop out and… EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY! Of course, before you drop out, you should plan what you want to do when you sign your degree away. Perhaps the reason I haven’t dropped out yet is because I am indecisive about what I wish to do with a degree or without a degree. If I could be paid 40k to lounge on a tropical island, where my only care in the world would be which cocktail to drink at dinner that would be fabulous.

During first year, although I didn’t realise it at the time, I knew there was other stuff I would rather be doing with my younger years than binge-watching a Netflix series whilst my shared kitchen slowly became a home for disease and mice. The only difference between 1st year and 2nd year was that my mental health became a lot worse and that’s when I came to the realisation that academia is not worth risking your health over.

Luckily for me, I was prescribed anti-depressants for my anxiety; have had amazing support from my boyfriend and I am now less stressed about getting a degree than last exam season. It is because of this reassurance that academia is not the only thing that matters in life, I’ve found that I’ve been working better with keeping up with my uni work; it was the stress and the panicking before that wasted my energy and concentration.

Below is some advice about deciding whether or not University is for you which I’ve learnt from two years of not feeling fulfilled from University and two years of absolutely hating A levels.

(PS. If you’re more interested in my advice on how to take care of your mental health whilst studying at university then check out my post on Taking care of your mental health whilst at University)

Careers

Okay, I am going to sound slightly like a careers adviser here, but, does the degree, or doing a degree full-stop, benefit you in your career aims? Years ago, a degree was something that few people got, but now, so many more people are going to University and plenty of people find themselves unemployed for longer than 6 months after they graduate; I have spoken to many Uber drivers who had degrees in a wide range of subjects, and when graduating just could not find a job in the area they were after. Of course this shouldn’t be the only reason to base your decision on attending uni upon, in fact, a lot of graduate jobs start on high salaries and if your CV is great and you have that element of luck associated with employment then you could be one of those fortunate souls.

However, there are different routes into many careers which do not require a degree. Sometimes it can be easier to start in a lower paid job and work your way up. This can be extremely beneficial because by the time the graduates finish their degrees and are looking for work, they will be up against you who will have 3/4 years work experience in the industry you’ve applied for. However, please bear in mind the obvious… some careers require a specific degree, for example, if you wish to be a brain surgeon, I expect you must know that a degree in medicine is essential.

Location

One of the main reasons I came to  university was to move out and become independent.   I chose to study in  Manchester for two reasons: to live in a city, because there are a lot more opportunities for me than in my home town; and I wanted to live far enough away from home that the distance would prevent my home-sickness from taking me home every weekend. When I applied, I didn’t know what a Russel-group university was. I looked at where I wanted  to live and I assumed that high entry requirements equalled a good University. In terms of choosing the right course, I would advise  choosing the course > the location, because after all, you are paying for the course and need to be able to put that first. If you can’t enjoy your course, how do you expect to enjoy University?

University?

I attend a Russel-group university and that doesn’t make me feel any more intelligent than someone who does not attend a Russel-group university. In-fact, I didn’t even know what a Russel-group university was until I arrived at one and some pretentious students were mocking a near-by university for not being one.  After studying in a ‘prestigious’ university for two years, I’ve came to the conclusion that I wish I were on a more practical course; I study Drama and envy my friend who is studying television production. If you take one thing from this article, take this piece of advice… do not just look at a university league table and then aim to attend the one at the top. It is not always the one most ideal for you, this is especially true for the students who do not wish to continue their academic career into postgraduate education.

 

Money

One thing you will be warned about when you come to university is… you will have no money! Even if you receive the highest of loans, one thing I’ve learned in life is that unexpected finance issues pop up and you may not be ready for them. My advice here would be to SAVE YOUR PENNYS before you arrive at University. Keep that money in a separate account until you really need it. To those who have their parents to get them out of sticky situations this still applies to you. What harm could having extra money really do? Do you want to have to turn down nights outs because you weren’t prepared, no? Then follow this advice and SAVE YOUR PENNYS! As my grandma always says, “look after your pennies and your pounds will take care of themselves!”

DISCLOSURE: The most annoying expense you will have when living in University accommodation is the outrageous amount those circuit washing machines charge! You’ll be paying around £5 a wash and dry!

Enjoyment

From what I’ve learned in my lifetime is that doing stuff you do not enjoy is just not worth it. If you know you hate academia then is investing more time and energy into something you don’t enjoy worth it? The only thing keeping me through this experience is I do enjoy what I am learning about. My issue is I suffer from anxiety. The stress I get from bad grades makes me feel like its not worth putting my mental health in harms way. I am currently still trying to figure out what’s best for me. No matter what I hear from anyone, I have to figure out what works in my best interest and if you’re struggling to make your mind up like me, know that you can listen to people’s advice and turn it away. Only you know what’s best for you!

 

Working as a Camp Counsellor in the United States of America is simultaneously one of the most challenging and rewarding things you could ever do. By challenging, I am referring to the late nights and early mornings; the 40 degree heat and last but not least, the homesick children. You will not understand what it feels like to be completely exhausted yet feel completely at home until you’ve worked as a camp counsellor. It is in those challenges where the memories began. It is when you feel you’re at your lowest, most sleep-deprived self when someone going that extra mile for you, makes you realise what true friendship is. Most importantly, it is when you see a child face a challenge they never thought they could and you see the gleam on their face, that you realise you have the best job in the world!

Being from the United Kingdom, a land far away that hosts tea parties and croquet competitions, we do not experience the ‘Summer Camp’ phenomenon quite like the Americans. This being said, having always fantasised about going to one and meeting my long lost twin and reuniting my parents, I decided to make my dream come true. (If you did not understand my Parent Trap reference there, you need to re-evaluate your film choices). My point being, I always knew I wanted to experience ‘Summer Camp’ since I discovered what it was. For me, it was unrealistic to dream of becoming a camper, however, after hearing about ‘Camp America’ and how they send people from all different countries to camp, the dream began to seem viable.

I decided, that the best time for me to go on this adventure, would be whilst at University. This was partly because I wanted to know what it would be like to spend so much time away from home in England before venturing abroad. My application began the moment I could for 2017. I didn’t have any skills that I thought would be essential; I didn’t horse-ride, I couldn’t rock-climb and I certainly did not see myself as a lifeguard. But the world works in mysterious ways, and before I knew it, I was at camp practicing CPR on a dummy. (Training as a lifeguard was INTENSE and if you want to hear more about how I survived then click here. ) You will always have doubts about getting placed so why not just apply anyway? Chances are you will, even if you believe yourself to be skill-less like me.

A Day at Camp Grove Point

  1. Wake up. This was the hardest part of the day for me as I am not a morning person. If you’re like me in that sense, do not worry. Believe it or not, there are people out there who are not night owls like yourself and so you can choose amongst yourselves who does the night shift and who does the morning shift.
  2. Breakfast. We were given a set menu each week at our camp. My favourite breakfast was American Scones. OMG I would fly back to the States tomorrow for another one of those.
  3. First two activities. As a lifeguard, I would usually be at the pool or waterfront. However, there were a range of activities that would be held, and this all depended on the theme of the week and what the weather was like. Some activities were: sailing, kayaking, archery, swimming, arts and crafts, nature and Drama.
  4. Lunch. At home I don’t eat three meals a day but as a camp counsellor YOU WILL NEED THOSE CARBS!
  5. Me time. Now you’re probably wondering what the hell this is. Hopefully, the name did not discourage you to look further because it is not what you think, I promise. I referred to it as NAP TIME. A 60 minute nap makes the world of difference.
  6. Two more activities. 
  7. Dinner. I remember one week at camp, ‘Bangers and Mash’ came on the menu and all the Brits were over the moon. It was just the best blessing.
  8. Evening Activity.
  9. Bed time. If you haven’t had a kid vomit or cry because they were homesick, you are looking to be able to hit your head on your pillow at around 11. As soon as that happens you will be dreaming in minutes.
  10. REPEAT


My Favourite Moments

My favourite week at camp was prank week. Although it was mainly designed for the kids, us counsellors also lost many hours of sleep plotting and scheming. A few of us had planned to spider web the leadership office with wool, clingfilm their belonging and fill the room with balloons. We met at 1am to carry this out, however for the first four nights something stopped us. It’s safe to safe by night four, the one where we carried it out, we were exhausted. We found it hilarious! However what we didn’t realise was that one of the children was allergic to latex and so immediately after leadership found it, we had to take it all down. Luckily, it was only our reputation that was hurt and so it turned out to be one of the funnier moments of camp.

Another favourite  week at camp was Harry Potter week. The leadership team planned it so well that even the counsellors were just as excited as the kids. At breakfast the sorting hat came round and we sorted into our houses. Leadership designed the weeks activities into which house could win the most house points. I no longer remember which team won however I do remember the Slytherin team always being accused of cheating, I wonder why…

I could ramble on all day about what my favourite moments at camp but unfortunately, I would need a whole other blog entirely (should I make that happen? Hmm…) The most important thing I will remember from camp will be the life lessons and the friendships.

What I took from Camp

Although there are challenges, these challenges make you a more rounded human being. The most important thing I learned  was to not take life too seriously. I felt so detached from the outside world that all I had to worry about was putting a smile on the children’s faces and being myself. I had the privilege of being away from any boy drama and not having to worry about my appearance or impressing anyone. Every morning was a new adventure, and now a new story to share. I just love camp and I will always want to return.

To anyone thinking about working as a camp counsellor in the USA my advice is to just do it! Taking risks is what life is all about!

The Water front at Camp Grove Point
The Water front at Camp Grove Point