The leadership adventure in Australia and New Zealand featured a month straight of no-stop activities in some of the most beautiful areas in the world. Activities ranged from exploring cities, all day hikes, and kayaking to skydiving, white water rafting and surfing. Aside from the numerous activities each member of the group had the opportunity to lead the entire group through the day with guidance from the trip leaders.
The largest transformation I saw in myself while completing this experience is that I saw what I am capable of doing when I put my mind to it. Throughout the trip I found myself in unfamiliar situations whether it was being half way around the world or doing something I never had before and with each new situation I felt more and more confident in myself. I started to see myself take more risks and jump up to leadership roles that I would not have taken on before. I also began making choices that would take me out of my comfort zone and with each choice I realized that the anticipation of something scary or unknown was by far worse than actually completing the task.
One of the main goals of the trip was to learn about leadership, to accomplish this each day there were two leaders of the day. The day I was bestowed the honor was our second day of full day hiking in the Blue Mountains world heritage area. I have led similar trip before with my job at school but never in a foreign country. This was the first of many events that led to my transformation. As we approached the end of our walk, after walking for the past 6 hours, the trail we needed to get on was unexpectedly closed. To get around this the other leader of the day and I sat down and looked at the map to find ways around the closure. We eventually found away around the closure and we were back on track. Overcoming this obstacle and getting the entire group to the end before dark, something which has been rarely done in past trips, gave me confidence in myself as a leader and a problem solver. This set the stage for me decisions for my free day activities.
Over the course of the trip we had two free days that allowed us to choose our activities for the day, one in Cairns, Australia and the other in Queenstown, New Zealand. For my first free day I choose to skydive and for the second I choose to do a canyon swing. Before this the most extreme thing I have done was ride a roller-coaster, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. Each jump taught me that the anticipation is scarier than free falling. Not only did both activities increase my confidence but made me realize that if I get out of my head and stop worrying then I’ll be able to accomplish some amazing things.
Each day was packed to the brim with activities. The days started early and ended late, but even after a month of non-stop action I didn’t get tired of it which is something I didn’t think was possible. I though towards the end I would be ready to go but, in reality, I wish I was still there doing something new and mind-blowing each day. This made me think about how I structure my days when I am back at school and how much more I can get out of my day with the proper planning and motivation. This whole experience, the people I met, the activities I got to do, transformed my idea of what I want an average day to look like, to feel like.
I believe to be successful you must be more than just intelligent, you have to be confident in yourself, take risks and maximize the potential of each day. These are three things that I took away from the trip as well. Having self confidence will help throughout my life not only to make me successful but also fulfilled. In school it will lead to participating more in class with professors and peers, and taking a leadership role in group projects. Taking risks will help me achieve my future goal by allowing me to go after job opportunities and promotions. Lastly getting the most out of my day will help improve every aspect of my life from being more productive at work, and in school, and a more fulfilled life.