#HealthyHabits 3: Self-leadership

Participants' photoreports August 2018 United Kingdom Magdalena Juchniewicz

On August 1, 2018, we got to the Crystal Palace in London. Unusually great weather and a wonderful park, where we lived for the following days during the project called #HealthyHabits 3: Self-leadership, filled us with joy and energy.

The first day was devoted to get to know the program and participants, as well as for team building activities. The very first conversations were starting, breaking language and cultural barriers, the first meetings in extended groups were happening at this moment. I must admit that it did not last too long, as we quickly found common things and the whole group has integrated extremely well. We felt very comfortable with ourselves, and the organizers made sure that it lasts, because it was crucial for the last two days that were waiting for us. But lets start from the beginning…

The project, as its title says, focused on healthy habits and self leadership, so basically it offered something for the body and mind. We have learned how to take care of your body, got to know more about nutritions and importance of sleep. We also had the chance to try our skills in the volleyball tournament, overcome our limits and build trust in others during the activities in the swimming pool. We found some time to meditate as well. We spent a lot of time getting deeper into the topic of self-leadership, descovering its definition and the meaning it has for us, to get to know our strenghts or how we motivate ourselves, and on the other hand what holds us back from reaching our goals. It was one of the most important moment for reflection. Surrounded by nature, we have not missed a chance to stay as much as possible outdoors.

The project would not take place without a cultural evening, where all participants from Romania, Croatia, Greece, Great Britain, Lithuania and Poland, creatively presented their countries, culture, traditional food, drinks, and dances. It is also worth mentioning the other evening, which was important for team work and leadership skills development. It was the night challenge of the Leaders Tribe, when international teams had to deal with the tasks that we have received through the application, in order to reach the finish line. The darkness and the noise of the trees caused us the thrill of emotion. We were extremely happy when after few hours, we solved the last riddle and ran back to the base.

Day 4 was dedicated to prepare us for the upcoming outdoor challenge in the last two days of the project. During this day, we had a first-aid workshop, preparation on equipping and packing the necessary things for our trip. We have also been divided into groups with whom we have been sharing a tent, food and anything else that we could need to survive the next two days. We woke up early in the morning to go to the meeting place. We had to travel in pairs by hitchhiking and get to the south of England, to the place called Eastbourne Piere. We went to the streets and hoped that someone would give us a lift. Despite the fact that the distance was not long, what happened to us on the way, and how friendly, wonderful, interesting people we met during the ride, and how incredibly positive energy filled us up, will stay in our memory forever.

When participants started arriving to the meeting point and told their stories, sometimes it was hard to believe in it. Participants who arrived earlier had some time to relax by the sea. When everyone came, the whole group went to climb the Seven Sisters cliffs. The distance was about 15 km. With our heavy backpacks filled with all our belongings, we arrived at the campsite around midnight. From time to time, we would stop to rest, or just admire the star-lit sky. We tried to set our tents in the darkness, and finally had some rest after an exhausting but exciting day, a day when we realized that we can make everything possible. Time in the Seven Sisters was a great opportunity to build our new friendships stronger, as well as to reflect on ourselves. The unbelievable beautiful nature that surrounded us has only made our experience greater.

On August 8, the project came to an end. With the baggage of new experiences, great new friendships, and healthy habits that we commited to introduce in our lifes, we returned home safe and sound, but above all extremely happy.

Project organized by: abroadship.org

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