An experience that changed my Life


There are many things in everyone's life that shapes who they are as a person. Experiences and circumstances mold the way we think and view our world and the world around us. Our choices, views and values all stem from things that have happened in our life and around us, whether we are conscious of them or not. For many people though, there is always one or two experiences that stand out above the rest. An experience 'to remember' that actively has influenced their life, for better or for worse. 

Luckily the experience that changed my life changed it for the better.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award, or better known as RYLA, was hands down the best experience of my life. Challenging my physical capabilities, problem solving, leadership, emotional and mental boundaries and pushing through the bubble of my comfort zone, RYLA encouraged me to push forward, to challenge the ideas I already had and to build the foundations of my life. From outside activities met with enthusiastic and inspiring young men and women, to emotional, teary contemplation by the warmth of a wood fire, the whole experience really was something I can never forget. 

I met so many inspiring and beautiful people on the week long trip. People who had fought through some tragic and difficult trials. People who could light up the room with a simple hand clapping game, or a simple phrase, 'where's the clap guys?' People who would willingly go give someone a hug when they looked down. People who silenced the room when they began to sing, and others who put everyone at awe when they pulled out their guitar. People who created the most amazing works of art you've ever seen, and others who absolutely lit up whilst telling you about all the places they've been. 50 amazing people with an appreciation for food, and better yet a deep appreciation for each other and the journey we all took together. 

Coached by young, enthusiastic and inspiring leaders, I found myself coming to terms with who I am and challenging my greatest fears and barriers. No, this experience didn't change me. It helped me understand myself and my abilities and provided me with the confidence and tools to utilise them. And if becoming my own friend instead of my enemy wasn't good enough, I also found the best support network I could have ever imagined and gained some amazing friends. 

I would have never thought that my life would be so much more positive and exciting after just a few days away with 50 people I had never met before. I would give an arm and a leg to go back and experience it all again! I highly recommend anyone given the opportunity to do anything they can to attend a RYLA camp. If you're interested, I highly suggest getting into contact with your nearest Rotary Club for more information. 

I would LOVE to hear about an experience that has changed your life so please leave a comment below and share your stories! 
Until next time...

xx Elise

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