In this volunteer blog addition, we will be focusing on Travel Teacher volunteer Megan Griffiths from Southampton in Hampshire. Megan applied to our program in March 2016, having already completed a volunteering experience in Kenya, she will be joining up with us in summer 2017 in Fiji. Read below to kind out more about Megan and her thought ahead of her experience with Travel Teacher.
Tales of a clumsy traveller (In Megan's words)
July will see me struggling with an over sized rucksack (correction, suitcase, I’m a Fashion student) through Heathrow airport heading to the idyllic scenery of Fiji, Namatakula. However, this trip isn’t all clear waters and warm sands – my trip will be taking me to Ratu Filise Memorial School to teach as part of a group organised through Travel Teacher and I am so blooming’ excited!!
What does volunteering with Travel Teacher mean to you?
Prepare for the cringey line – It’s the chance of a life time! I can’t begin to explain the excitement of being able to make a difference to school lives of the children at Ratu Filise Memorial School. Whilst my teaching will be a tiny drop in the huge Coral ocean for the smiling faces of Ratu Filise, I know that this is something I will treasure forever and will give me the confidence to go on and achieve other things in life. I see volunteering in Fiji as the opportunity to broaden my horizons (quite literally – Have you seen the beaches?!) from my small town on the Isle of Wight and show me what the world has to offer by throwing me in the deep end (fingers crossed for warm waters) and connecting with the people of Namatakula.
What are your Initial thoughts on the concept of Travel Teacher?
A truly incredible organisation. From the moment I sent an initial interest email, I have been totally engulfed in the Travel Teacher family and feel truly blessed to be going through this experience with them, supported every small flip flop,step along the way. Having seen videos and reviews of previous projects, I know that Travel Teacher really does change the lives of both those of the communities that volunteers have been in and of the volunteers themselves and I’m so proud to be part of a project that is having such a positive impact – we all need positivity and generosity in our lives and I feel that Travel Teacher is the definition of this.
How do you feel knowing that your going to be impacting a global community?
Richard Branson once said “Education doesn’t just take place in stuffy classrooms and university buildings, it can happen everywhere, any day, to any person.” Well said Rich! We are going to be teaching children from underprivileged backgrounds in a school that is vastly different from the luxuries of the schools and universities that we are fortunate enough to have. Knowing that we will have made a difference to these children’s education is heart-warming and something that I will be very proud of and cherish forever. As young people we unintentionally do a lot of damage to this world so it will be great to give something back.
What does it mean for my personal development?
In today’s world I feel that the word ‘anxiety’ is thrown around a little too casually but I’m going to use it here in complete confidence that it is being used in the correct way – I’m a super anxious traveller!! As soon as my British feet hit the ground of “one of the happiest places in the world”, I know my worries will melt away (along with my body in the Fijian heat!) but getting there is going to be a huge challenge for me. I see this trip as the catalyst of me kicking my fear of the actual ‘travelling’ of travelling. I’m very fortunate to have been to some beautiful places in the world, but the smiling photos on the top of mountains and hot dog leg Instagram snaps have been paired with panic attacks and sweaty palms in airports! I hope that knowing my trip to Fiji will actually make a difference to children’s school experience will get me through the flight and help me overcome my fear of the sky… with my eyes shut and headphones in I am determined to kick the fear – I’ll keep you posted!
How will this help you in the future?
The skills I will learn and the challenges that I will overcome on this adventure will stay with me throughout adulthood influencing my choices. In true traveller speak, I really feel as if this trip and the experiences gained will give me a new way of looking at life. (Cue meaningful Instagram posts!)
What do you feel are the main benefits of volunteering with Travel Teacher?
Everything! I can’t think of a single reason why anything on this trip would not be a huge benefit to me as a volunteer. Lifetime memories and skills will be gained and I feel that I will come home a more rounded young person and will have learned so much about Fiji, it’s people and myself – the children of Ratu Filise will be teaching us as much as we will be teaching them!
You can follow Megan's journey with Travel Teacher via Facebook
Thank you for reading! Travel Teacher aims to create meaningful global impact through engagement. Our engagement stems through the delivery of volunteer projects abroad in the South Pacific. Our provision combines education and opportunity for exploration, we encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and broaden your own horizons.