Stepping out of comfort zones is never an easy thing— especially as a critical person who imagine the worst scenarios. Even then, I decided to walk the talk; it was my best decision ever and I have not regretted this choice! From this experience, what I gained was boundless optimism and anticipation for the future.
My journey in Sri Lanka opened up me to be the person I am today; it pushed me to realize that, sometimes, we just have to stop overthinking! The trip changed me in the sense that I became more accepting of what comes my way, but honestly, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any difficulties at first.
In the beginning, I was so nervous about the whole program and how to get along with the other volunteers from different countries. Whenever something unexpected happened, I will keep on thinking and thinking of the worst situations. Eventually, when a few other participants started having conflicts with one another, I thought about leaving the program. In hopes of regaining some clarity, I took a leave and got my long-awaited diving license at the coast. It was a peaceful and “me-time” that I have never really experienced with the hectic schedule in Hong Kong. At that time, I was able to reflect deeply on myself and how important the people around me are to me.
Afterwards, I returned to the program refreshed, and it felt totally different! I got along so much better with the co-volunteers from different countries, and I am the one to unleash the enjoyment of the program to the fullest. I started reaching out to the other volunteers from overseas, and I finally had a great time. There was this one participant from Egypt who kept motivating us to stay positive, and there were these newcomers from Germany and Vietnam who we took under our wing. While doing volunteer work, we cheered each other up and bonded as a team. Eventually, we finished the program feeling fulfilled and satisfied.
Although circumstances are constant, it is our attitudes that truly matter. I didn’t realize how enjoyable life could be when I let go of my worries and just kept a positive mind. Because of that, I think that this volunteer trip is definitely one of the nicest memories I would ever have. It made me understand that connecting with people was one of the greatest things in life, and who knew if I would have ever experienced that without this trip? What you’ll gain may not be what you expect, but it will definitely be what you need! Going to Sri Lanka was a life-changer for me, and I would love nothing more but to do it again.