Sarah Stevenson, GapBreak, Argentina
Early this year I got on a plane for 13 hours and landed in Argentina. I had no idea at the time how life altering this experience would be. When I decided to defer Uni, I didn't have a clue what my year would end up like. That answer, it was amazing. The three months I had in Argentina were spectacular and try as I might words and pictures will never - ever do it justice. This experience, first and foremost took not only me, but our entire group, way outside of our comfort zones. We were living in a house with 25 people in a city where we didn't speak the local language. Thrown into a culture we didn't understand and a way of life that would become the norm after 3 months, we were excited and nervous and curious and eager, we knew our lives were beginning, and we knew these three months would change us.
I decided to take a Gap Break, not really for any one particular reason, just circumstances that fell together. I was keen to travel and see the world, but I didn't want to 'waste' my year as such, just travelling for me, I wanted to change the world. And I know that even though our volunteer work in Buenos Aires and Peruti Village probably did help a lot, it was no where near earth shatteringly. We made our mark on the children we met and worked with, and though we may be just another face to them, they will always remain a part of who I will become, they changed us, they softened us, they made us see.
While we were in Argentina, I was also lucky enough to do a substantial amount of traveling. We went to Mendoza, trekked and white water rafted through the Andes and went wine tasting. We went to Iguazu Falls, volunteered in a remote jungle village, visited Paraguay and San Ignacio. I saw Peru, went to Macchu Picchu and trekked through the Sacred Valley and spent the night camping underneath the stars. We took a ferry to Uruguay for the day, and at the end of it all, were happy to return to our 'home' in Buenos Aires.
Even as I read this now, it seems so weak, these words don't do it justice. They can't show you how remarkable our time in Argentina was, so I guess I can only hope that when you read this, you can feel the emotion behind it, and understand that although it might not seem like all that much, it was the greatest three months of my life.
Sarah Ann Stevenson