Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hear it From a Girl Scout, Destinations Are The Ultimate Adventure

Kianna C. Hawkins, a 17 year old Girl Scout from San Jacinto Council tells us all about the life-changing Destination that took her to Spain.

What Destination did you participate in?
I participated in Experience Spain in July 2015, sponsored by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.

Can you share a brief summary of the trip?
We arrived in Malaga, Spain, and explored the beach before making our way by charter bus to Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, and Madrid. We shopped in markets, had a scavenger hunt, visited an olive oil farm, and toured cathedrals and palaces. We had student exchange day, took salsa lessons, went to a flamenco show, ate various Spanish dishes, and enjoyed free time in the cities together. For our final stop we rode the country’s high-speed “AVE” train from Madrid to Barcelona, before returning home to the U.S.

I had such a great time! I was very nervous at first. It was my first time traveling outside the United States by myself. After four years of studying international baccalaureate (IB) Spanish, having the opportunity to speak the language, meet the people, and explore the history I’d learned about was priceless. I made some really good friends who I keep up with on social media; I will never forget them! I keep looking at my photos and videos and just want to revisit the experience all over again! The time went by so fast.

In thinking about the future, how has the Destinations program inspired you?
I would like to travel to more Spanish-speaking countries to improve my Spanish and continue to learn about the many facets of Spanish culture. I am also now considering adding a minor in international business to my business marketing career path.

As an experienced traveler, care  to share any insider tips?
Even if you don’t know the native language very well, learn a few key words to help you communicate. The people will have more respect for you and be more willing to help you because of your effort.

What advice would you give Girls Scouts who are thinking about going on a Destination?
GO, GO, GO! Don’t hesitate because you’re scared. Don’t hesitate because you can’t convince other friends to go with you. Don’t be afraid to explore unfamiliar territory. Don’t worry about not making any friends. Just do it. You won’t regret it! [On my trip], all of us came from different parts of the country and all of us were nervous. I’m glad we didn’t go with people we knew beforehand because it made it necessary for us to get to know one another!