This summer I decided to enrol myself in Camp Thailand. This is an organised trip which explores the south of Thailand and provides incredible experiences and opportunities to those who attend. I decided to take part because I have always wanted to go to Thailand but was apprehensive to go by myself. Additionally, it provided me with the opportunity to teach Thai children English and this would have been very challenging to have arranged without the help of Camp Thailand.
Before my departure I was slightly concerned about how well I would perform at teaching English as a foreign language. I wanted to be useful and because it was a completely new task for me, I was a little anxious. However, before heading to Thailand, Camp Thailand provided online training which I completed and passed so this restored some confidence.
One of my favourite parts of the 3 weeklong trip was the day I spent caring for and learning about the elephants who have been rescued from dangerous and unhealthy environments. The day began with us learning about where the elephants had come from and how their previous environment had negatively impacted their health. We then fed them watermelons and helped to wash the elephants. I was also educated on how damaging it is for tourists to ride the wonderful creatures. Five years ago, on another organised trip to Asia I had another day with elephants, but it was very different. We were encouraged to ride the elephants and told it caused no discomfort or pain to them. At the time I felt uneasy about it, but I did take part. As I became older, I came to realise this was the wrong thing to do and my day in Thailand confirmed the reality of how awful it is. Therefore, I am doing my best to inform friends and family about the harm associated with riding elephants. The people who worked at the elephant sanctuary emphasised that education is key, and it is very important that I took what I learned that day home with me to be shared.
Furthermore, two weeks of the adventure was spent teaching English to Thai children. I really enjoyed this experience and it taught me how valuable the English language is and how useful it is to people abroad in places like Thailand. It was incredibly apparent how much the children appreciated our time with them, and this provided me with a great feeling of achievement.
Finally, I learned how much I love travelling. This trip gave me the confidence to travel more, either with friends or on my own.