This mission trip combined my education, love of traveling, and volunteering. I loved every moment of it from meeting new people, trying to improve my Spanish, and exploring with the group! One thing that I don’t love is that I’m currently sick since leaving Panama, and I have a cough that won’t go away!
Although we had one week, we grew pretty close. We fundraise before our trip several times, so there was no weird awkward day of getting to know each other. On nights and days that were not spent volunteering we ate dinner together, sang, dance, drink, swim, played cards, and explore together. A few things we did:
- We played drunk hide and seek
- Taught each other salsa and dance moves
- Had a little dance circle in the front of the club
I also realize that I never go clubbing in the U.S. But I always go to the club at least once when I’m outside the U.S.
The whole week felt like a month, I was so tired, but I had so much fun. It was a good group of smart and fun kids. Now that we’re back in the U.S., we’re still blowing up our “Despacito” group text, I took a dance/exercise class on campus with a few of them last week, and we have a reunion coming up to go paddle-boarding this week.
However, it wasn’t all fun and games. Traveling with a group is hard because there is always one group that doesn’t interact with other people no matter how inviting and friendly everyone is. I noticed in this particular group that they secluded themselves, only cared about themselves, and they complained a lot.
What’s the point of traveling if you’re going to complain, be disrespectful, expect it to be like home, be scared to try new things, and not even immerse yourself in culture? This is one of my biggest pet peeve. There were a few instances where I could not help, but judge, and I try hard to be judge-mental free. Traveling isn’t all about blue waters and picture perfect sandy beaches ya know!
Otherwise, it was a good trip and I’m still listening to Spanish music! Also, I spent less than $200 for the entire trip. Granted, I’m lucky to have had this opportunity to have all my accommodations and meals covered.
Thank you Panama for your hospitality and your friendly people! Until next time Panama!
My personal expenses for the week:
Here’s my current Spanish playlist on repeat:
The despacito song