About aukwaja

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So far aukwaja has created 4 entries.

One Hundred Happy Moments

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Ambar Khawaja.

My three months in Nepal were a blur, with some of the most amazing and difficult experiences of my life juxtaposed next to one another. I experienced physically and mentally draining periods like I never had before, one of which occurred my last night there.

I cried on my flight out of Nepal, at the airport during my layover, and once I had reached my new apartment in Vietnam. I felt an overwhelming sense of being lost and had no direction in life, like I was floating and watching my actions go by like a movie. I turned into the person I never wanted to be. I thought to myself that I did not come to Vietnam to barely hang on to my sanity by a thread. I thought for the first time about going home.

There is a […]

By |April 10th, 2019|Gappers in the Field|

Let Me Tell You about the Mountains in Morocco

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Ambar Khawaja.

Let me tell you about the mountains in Morocco. As you begin to climb them, you look up to see the sun shining through the clouds and the peaks peeking out above them. As you continue forward, you begin to find yourself in the fog. This fog can be bothersome, because you want to be able to see the top and the climb is no longer as scenic as it started out. It clouds your vision. It seems like forever until you are out of the fog, but as you keep walking you start to brim with joy and thankfulness because you can once again see clearly. You are high above everything, watching the world move along at what seems like such a slow pace in the grand scheme of things. Perspective.

I once was the girl who thought […]

By |October 30th, 2018|Gappers in the Field|

Learning Across Continents

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Ambar Khawaja.

Traveling means a different thing to each person who experiences it. When I was preparing to come to Morocco, I had no idea what it would mean to me. I listened to stories of other people’s travels overseas with wide eyes, peppering them with questions with the intent to satisfy what I believed I had not yet experienced.

I spent hours scrolling through my social media, seeing beautiful, vibrant images of adventures and locations in different countries. These images fed into the preconceived notion I had of traveling and living abroad, which I have now learned is highly misrepresentative of one’s true experience. Life here is not constantly the “picture perfect” snapshot you imagine when moving to a foreign country; Instead, it resembles life in general, with its ups and downs, but with tremendous space to grow.

There are many […]

By |October 1st, 2018|Gappers in the Field|

Pre-Departure: One Fine Line

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Ambar Khawaja.

There is a fine line between fear and excitement. This is something that has stuck with me in the past few months while spending countless hours researching organizations, musing over where I want to travel, and reaching out to my cohort, realizing we are all on the same, overwhelming page together. I find myself drifting between this fine line daily, simultaneously thinking about all the beauty the world has to offer me and wondering if I am capable of such a daunting task. The last time I traveled outside the United States I was 3 years old, and now I will be traveling halfway across the world for 9 months all by myself.

Even the thought of this solo adventure sends a wave of emotions throughout my entire body. A quote by one of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho, […]

By |August 16th, 2018|Pre-departure|