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The Gap Year Blog

The Week Of The Seventeen Surveys? Challenge Accepted

20 Mar 2018 10:55 AM

There comes a point, when things aren’t working out, that the only way to interrupt your current way of thinking is to do something completely different.

For me, that something was Costa Rica.

Five weeks into my ten week trip, I decided to add up the number of surveys I had conducted since being here. The number was seventeen.

Now, I’ve been getting involved in other projects and running workshops whilst being here, so it’s not like I’ve been bone idle. However, it struck me that seventeen surveys over five weeks wasn’t particularly impressive. I knew I had a lot more to offer this project, and the global conservation effort in general!

So I set myself a small challenge: seventeen surveys in five days. Well now, it certainly wasn’t easy, but I somehow managed it – and I’m told it’s a camp record! It felt incredible to be working so hard collecting data for such a valuable cause, and my body was reminded of how strong and capable it is. Despite the blisters, aching muscles, sunburn and insect bites, it was definitely worth it to win “volunteer of the week”! I clambered all over this jungle, saw innumerable species and smiled more than I ever thought possible. All this, whilst contributing towards important research which will form the basis of Frontier’s next quarterly science report.

If you are lucky enough to find yourself doing something you love, then you will never have to work a day in your life. The work will come naturally to you and leave you feeling fulfilled and accomplished.

By Ella Wilkinson - Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates and Turtle Conservation Project

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!