The following was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Adamaris Delgado.

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After applying to college it never crossed my mind that I would be taking a gap year. The only timeline I believed that I had was graduating high school and then starting college the following year. A gap year the stigma that it’s unconventional to take one and that once you’re on it you won’t go back to school.

My only concern was whether or not I was making the right decision for me and let me tell you, so far it’s been amazing. How many people can say that they had the opportunity to take a year off from school to reset their mind and travel the world? Not many, but I have the honor of being a gap year student. I began my gap year experience on August 22nd in Keaau, Hawaii. I was WWOOFING for a farm in Hawaiian Paradise Park for a month. During my stay, I learned how to harvest pineapples, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, and more. I also learned how to use a compost toilet and how to use a weed whacker for the first time.

I’ve always loved nature, but never got the chance to immerse myself into it until then. On my days off, a group of us would go out and explore the Big Island. I saw an active volcano at night, beautiful waterfalls, and went on numerous hikes. I saw white, black, and green sand beaches. I also learned how to make kombucha and German pancakes! I took a couple of acroyoga classes that were taught by the lady at the farm.

The farm I stayed at taught me the importance of living off the land and advocating for myself. The people I met and the memories I made are indescribable. I challenged myself everyday to focus on building meaningful connections. I also started a healthy sleeping habit and learned how to cook. What I can take away from my experience to bring back home is that I now want to start composting, eating healthy, and continuing doing yoga. I will always be grateful for my stay at the farm and I’m so proud of myself for doing things I never thought I could do alone.