Other than the previously mentioned Mexican day-trip, Ghana was my first time out of the country. Yes, I count Mexico as my first time outside the United States because it was definitely a new experience. But I didn’t even need a passport! I didn’t have to go through immigration and customs, I didn’t have to have any bags x-rayed…it was simpler and much less of what I am now experiencing in my travels.
So how did I get to go to Africa for $800? It was indeed that affordable, and it was really just a chance encounter that I even heard about the trip.
One day, my curious college freshman self wandered into the International Studies office at my school. The lady at the front desk asked what she could help me with, and I said something along the lines of, “I don’t really know. I just know I’m interested in studying abroad.”
This lady was (and still is) incredibly helpful. She got me every piece of information available on getting started with the study abroad program at my school. Right as I was thanking her and about to leave, she handed me a paper at the last minute about a trip offered to Ghana in May 2014. The deadline to apply was quickly approaching, and with a price that affordable, I assumed tons of other people would also apply and that my chances of getting accepted to go at that point were slim.
I’m so glad I was wrong.
After filling out some applications, writing an essay, completing a friendly but intimidating interview with some important people at my university, and a wait that seemed like forever, I got the news right around Christmas that I was accepted to go to Ghana.
If I hadn’t gone into the International Studies office that day, I may have never even heard of the trip. It was not really advertised and I had never heard of anyone going on the trip previously even though it’s an annual trip for my school. People ask me how I “get” to go to some of the places I’m going to or have been. The opportunities don’t just fall in my lap. I go out and actively seek them. So if you want to travel, there are opportunities. You just have to find them! I’ll continue to write about our opportunities in future posts.
More about my Ghana adventure soon!