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Shakia on the beach with kids playing in the background

Shakia Stewart - Travelling Intern

By Shakia Stewart

Last updated: 11th October 2011

Hola todos, and welcome to my first blog post!

I am one of Gap 360’s very lucky travelling interns, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I grew up in South London and moved to Bristol after completing my A-levels to study Spanish at the University of Bristol. In my third year I spent a year studying in Barcelona, and after graduating I spent a year living and working in Seville, London and Rio de Janeiro. I then returned to the wonderful West Country city that is Bristol to do an MA in Latin American History, which I finished just a few weeks ago.

Following the all-too-brief elation that was handing in my dissertation, I started to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I really wanted to travel, experience more of the world, its many different cultures and people…but how to go about it?? Purely by chance, I stumbled upon an advert for free gap year trips on gumtree. A free gap year trip? Too good to be true! And even if Gap 360 were crazy enough to send people on these amazing trips for free, surely they wouldn’t pick me? I can’t explain the feeling of happiness when I was chosen to jet across the pond to the lovely Costa Rica for two amazing weeks. I am now counting down the days till I leave in November….I am TOO excited!!

When I arrive in Costa Rica I’ll be staying with a host family, which I’m really looking forward to as it will be a great way to get to know the people and culture of the country. My first week is packed full of exciting activities like Spanish lessons, Costa Rican cooking lessons, and Latin dance classes – I have two left feet so this is going to be great fun!! I’ll then be visiting a Turtle Project and helping to take new born turtles to the ocean – WOW. From there I’ll be visiting various local communities, visiting their primary schools, participating in community projects, and volunteering at an orphanage. I will also be visiting Montezuma Waterfall, Poas Volcano and a coffee farm! Along the way I’ll be taking photos and blogging about my experiences, keeping you updated on the exciting goings on of a travelling intern embarking on an amazing Costa Rican travel experience organised by Gap 360!

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