Why has it taken me so long to get around to writing this blog?

Well, right when I got back from Panama, exactly the next day, I had class and work. I was in full swing of spring quarter at my university. Then, the next day after finals, I left to work at a summer camp. Summer camp is like a 24/7 job. During the free times when you’re not required to be at activities, you are either relaxing or sleeping. Then, I did have three free weeks before my senior year of college started, but I focused on finishing the vlogs, (check them out!)

Quite frankly, and this is probably the biggest reason why I have procrastinated, my mind just could not wrap around how I wanted to tell my life-changing experience. Thinking about writing it still overwhelms me, but I have put it off for too long and believe it’s too valuable to not share. The whole reason why I’m doing this is to inspire others and share some stories. I hope you get something out of this, so enjoy!

I have decided to structure a blog series to the 7 dimensions of wellness.

I learned about the 7 dimensions of wellness during my internship and think this will be a perfect way to share what I learned. Each blog will be tied to one of the dimensions of wellness. This blog serves as the introduction, and next week I will start off with the first dimension of wellness - intellectual. I will share what I learned intellectually from my experience at Kalu Yala and how I’ve been applying the lessons to life back in Oregon. But first,

why did I go there?

When starting college, I knew I wanted an internship at some point and I knew I wanted to go abroad. When a student made an announcement in class that you could do both, go on an internship abroad, that was my goal. I never thought about combining the two before, but I thought it was genius. Then, I saw Kalu Yala’s ad on my Facebook timeline. The ad looked intriguing so I clicked on it. I read through their website and thought to myself, wow they have everything I love all in one place - outdoor setting, like-minded community, using business to make positive impact, a design thinking internship in another country - I have to go!!

Photo by Carter Clark

and what is Kalu Yala?

The mission is to take care of our earth and each other, to build the world’s most modern-sustainable town. All the programs that an intern gets to choose from are co-dependent on each other to keep the town running and progressing. People are doing culinary, agriculture, construction, media, outdoor recreation, political science, engineering, design thinking, business, education, community health, hospitality or biology. To live in community, in nature, and doing impactful work, I believe is the best way to live.

Photo by Carter Clark

In addition to the living situation, the people is what enriched it all. The people is what made it a happy place to be. Everyone was so kind to each other. We said hello or smiled every time we passed each other, even if we didn’t know the person. If we didn’t know the person, we would stop and ask what their name is. Kalu Yala was the most judgement free, accepting, and open community I have been a part of. There is something special about all these people coming together from different parts of the world. The mission was what brought all of us together.

Photo by Carter Clark

Through my internship experience,

I have changed my outlook on life and my approach to life. I view life with many possibilities to create and do whatever I want with it as long as I have the opportunity. I approach life as a gift, and my God plays a part in it. Now, I will never settle for a lifestyle that I do not feel full from. I’ve discovered it is possible to wake up and be happy to start my day, every single day. This is what I want to share with you. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s first dimension of wellness and what I learned from it.

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