Before I start recording all my holidays from now on, I thought I would do a bit of a recap of all my major trips over the last 5 or so years. This won’t cover the reasonably uneventful cheapie breaks to Spain etc, and will focus on the bigger more interesting ones. I guess it should start with my first trip to the USA, when I worked as a camp counsellor at a summer camp in Maine 2007.
This was my first long haul trip since I was at school and my first ever long haul flight by myself. This is where I caught the travel bug, although this trip proved I needed to start doing some research as there were more than a fair share of sticky situations during my post camp travels.
Firstly there was our hostel in New York where the roof had caved in, and we had to deal with a confrontational owner and find a place to stay very last minute, then there was the time in Boston myself and a friend were nearly mugged, and Chicago when we were confronted by a lady trying to force us to buy her wedding ring and would not leave us alone! Also my boyfriend and I ventured to Vegas on the greyhound (an experience!) and had no accommodation booked. This is where we learned of Trip Advisor and that research is a must do – we ended up staying in hooker central and it was a very shifty place at night, and not too glorious in the day either. Still it ended up making Vegas one of my favourite places to visit so it wasn’t all bad.
All in all though it was an amazing trip – starting at the summer camp. During the day I taught textiles and crafts to classes of girls aged between 7-16, this was quite fun as we could get creative with the projects and do what we wanted. During the rest of the time I was a ‘Bunk mom’ to a group of 12 year olds, a very interesting experience! The camp was in a simple living environment; no hot water in the bunks, a small stroll to the showers, no electricity – or hair straighteners! It was interesting to go back to basics, sleeping in a bungalow without windows, listening to the coyote’s howling at night. On this trip I tried many things I had never done – water skiing, technical friendship bracelet making, driving a boat, kayaking (mostly round in circles) and manning a snow cone machine!
There were also interesting day trips, always with a nature theme; natural waterfalls, beaches, tubing down the river… quite often these days would end with a trip to the amazing ice cream huts dabbled all around Maine. And then there were the off duty trips to Walmart. These were always a highlight for the international counsellors – unusual food, gigantic portions, and interesting characters!