Why I did Camp America and what made me return to camp!

You know when you were a child and you saw a toy that you just had to have and would then obsess over it until you got it? Well that was me after I first found out about Camp America. I was in year 7 at school (11 years old) and saw a flyer in the back of our school planners. I remember thinking what could be better than spending a whole summer in the states doing something I love? Well for the nine years that followed that was the aim.

The whole experience didn’t feel real until I was sat on the plane crying my eyes out because of how hard it was to say goodbye to my mum. I’ve spoken to her since and she said there was a point where she wasn’t sure whether I would get on the plane at all.

My first summer was amazing and I met friends who I knew I would always keep in contact with. That doesn’t mean that the summer didn’t have its drama. I had a very rocky summer and there were a lot of moments where I felt like I didn’t fit in but those moments taught me a lot. The hard moments in life are what make you the person that you are and teach you a lot about yourself. Now I’m not going to throw the clichĂ© ‘travelling changed me’ card but the lessons I learnt are hugely important and I will always carry them.

It’s because of these lessons and the connections that I made, that I returned to camp for another summer. I believe that everyone has that place that they feel they can be themselves and feel so at home even if its as far away from home as they could possibly be…for me that place is Camp Arbolado. The place where I decided to become a better person and face some of my greatest fears. A place where the person I am the person I want to be and not the person that I feel like people expect me to be. You meet so many people in life who say they wont judge you etc. but you don’t feel that when you are around them, well at camp being yourself is encouraged everyday and to any parent I will say send your kid to camp as it will change their whole world for the better.

Aside from how camp has improved me as a person, it is also so rewarding in many ways. You see kids who are so painfully shy come out of their shell and bloom into a completely different person. You see friendships form that never would of had the opportunity if not for camp. And most importantly you just see happiness everywhere you go which is magical and so pure.

Over the last few days I have been in contact with many people from camp and have received many stories that people want to share so their will be a post coming soon that will feature these stories.

Until next time

Tasmin

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50 tiny things every 20 something needs to realise!

I read this article this morning when I woke up and it spoke to me a lot and I can relate to many of the points! Thought I would share it with you lovely people and see if it brightens your day!

Also I wanted to share something that I’m sowly starting to realise myself…

Never let someone else full your shine. The people who matter will never try to make you less shiny so that they feel better about themselves. I’ve experienced this so much but I’ve also experienced how amazing it feels when you are surrounded by the people who love you for who you are. Those are the people who let you shine like the diamond you are. Go out today and help someone shine 💎

50 Tiny Things Every 20-Something Needs To Realize

Until next time 

Tasmin

Why is meeting new people so scary?

‘Everything you want is one the other side of fear’ – Jack Canfield

Obviously I can’t speak for everyone but personally I get so nervous when meeting new people. Over the years I have kind of mastered how to fake confidence but I still get all clammy and stumble over my words. Am I alone in this feeling? I don’t think I am but everyone is different. Over the last two days I have met a lot of new people who I’m going to be living with and studying with and they are all so lovely and I feel so welcomed.

There is always that voice in the back on my mind that worries that I’m going to say something wrong or do something that isn’t deemed socially acceptable and make myself look silly. I have learnt over the years that the best way to approach every situation in life is with a smile on your face as it instantly makes you look like a more approachable person. Also when someone smiles at you it makes you want to smile back at them.

My approach is that if you smile at someone you could be the one person that smiles at them and you could make their day – which I think is a pretty incredible thing for a complete stranger to do. In a world where there is so much hate there is also so much love and it’s always nice to spread that love and just enjoy making other people happy. We live in a society that is so focused on work and earning money to buy all of these nice things when at the end of the day those things won’t make you happy. It’s the people that you meet that make you happy.

With this in mind then why should meeting new people be so scary when you could be opening yourself up to meeting a new best friend or potentially the love of your life?

This was a very short post but I just wanted to share my morning thoughts as I’m still waking up very early over here but slowly getting into a sleep pattern. I’m looking forward to all of the posts that I’m going to have the opportunity to post so stay tuned and in the meantime check out my other posts and social media.

Until next time

Tasmin

Welcome to Study Abroad

‘Life is short and the world is wide’ – Unknown

After months of planning, filling in applications, going through a huge lengthy process and just all around high stress levels I am finally all settled into my new home in Japan. I officially moved into my dorm room yesterday and it’s lovely. I have a room that is overlooking the railway line which is really cool and we are in an area that seems to be close to everything. Of course my one downside is that my sleep pattern is super messed up and I’m now waking up at 4am haha.

So I left the UK on Wednesday 22nd and flew to Hong Kong and then from the headed onto Tokyo. I flew with Cathay Pacific and I can safely say that I would fly with them again, the service was fantastic, the seats were comfortable and considering the journey was nearly 12 hours it seemed to fly by (excuse the accidental pun). Not going to lie I was nervous about arriving at both airports but I managed to make my way around pretty easily with a little bit of help and pre planning.

On I arrival I made my way to my hotel (Narita Airport Rest House) and stay for the night before heading back to arrivals in the morning to pick up my friend who I’m studying with. At the hotel I was given a kimono for the night which was really nice and so comfy – I’m definitely investing in one whilst I’m out here. In the morning I headed back to arrivals on the free shuttle that the hotel runs and then when I met Morena we brought bus tickets to our accommodation (Airport Limousine Bus  – 3100 yen one way) where we were met by two volunteer students that’s would show us to our accommodation.

Our accommodation right round the corner from Asakadai train station and is really close to the shops. My room is a good size with everything that I need and I was able to unpack fairly quickly. Some of the students who had shown us around the building were able to show us where the shop was and so we were able to pick up the basics that we would need whilst we are out here.

It’s super sunny here but also really cold so my body really isn’t sure what’s going on but oh my it’s good to see some sun haha. Luckily I have really good internet and I have managed to hotspot my laptop so I am able to upload my photos from my phone and update friends and family back home. Speaking of which I always forget how hard it is to say goodbye.

I’m blessed that I have such an amazing relationship with my mum but it makes it so hard to leave. She is my mum, my dad, my best friend, role model and singing partner all rolled into one. I said to myself that I wouldn’t cry but of course I did haha. My mum and one of my best friends are coming out to visit me in May so I’m so lucky to be able to share this experience with them.

I can’t believe I’m finally here and having this experience but I just have this feeling that this is going to have such a huge impact on me that I’m going to throw myself into every aspect on the journey. Make sure to check out my Instagram page @theworldaccordingtotaz for all of my pictures which I shall try to update daily.

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Until next time

Tasmin

33 and 1/3 reasons there is no place like camp


​This artical by Camp America sums up perfectly why I choose the summer camp life and why I’ll hopefully go back in the future! Heres to my second home! 

https://www.campamerica.co.uk/explore/blog/st-patricks?_cldee=dGFzbWlucmV5bm9sZHNAaG90bWFpbC5jby51aw%3d%3d&recipientid=lead-0ecc629ccd5be5118120c4346bad628c-8657b1ea3ef84244972688200cbbf7fb&utm_source=ClickDimensions&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email&esid=758c359f-380b-e711-8107-3863bb355dc0

Tips for applying to work at a summer camp!

There are many different companies that provide opportunities to work at a summer camp stateside and each have their own different application process. But when it comes down to it the camp directors will all be looking for the same qualities in their future staff and so here is the low down!

Personally I worked with Camp America but I do have friends who have worked with various other companies. These companies were built to help you make the most of your skills and get the job of a lifetime. Just keep in mind that they are there to help you and to make the most of the resources that they provide.

Remember it’s a job and not a holiday –

I know I’m going to sound like a mum when I say this but mine did remind me of this when I was applying for the best summer ever. 3 months in the states sounds like magic and trust me it is, but it is also a challenging full time summer job that requires a lot from you. treat this application as your dream job and everything has to be perfect (lets face it – its the dream job) so make sure to triple check!

Be flexible –

There are many different types of camps in the states from Co-ed to Jewish to YMCA and on top of that every camp will have a different requirement for their start and end date. My first year I wasn’t able to be as flexible with dates as I wanted to be due to my college term times but I was flexible with my choice of camps. I was placed at a YMCA camp in California starting in June until August which was ideal. Remember the more flexible you are then the more camps you are open to and the more chance you have of being hired.

Make it clear how passionate you are –

Passion drives everything in life and that’s what you need to do a job like this. Show passion in every aspect of your application from your skills through to your answers on your written questions. No one can tell you what to write but its important to know how to write it. Make sure all of your grammar and written skills are perfect, get friends and family to check as they will pick up what your tired eyes wont and most of all be yourself, let your personality shine through.

Make sure you show off your skills –

There are so may people that go for these jobs every year and your skills are what sets you apart from the rest. I was hired based on my water sports skills and lifeguarding but every camp will be looking for something different. Make sure to empathise the level of experience that you have had through your skill or hobby and make it work for you. you need to be honest but you are also selling yourself to a future employer.

Make sure that your photos show you in your best light –

Your photos need to show you clearly ( so no group pictures where its a game of guess who is you) and they need to show you performing one of the skills or hobbies that you have included in the application. They need to show you in your element and in a good light. Your photos are what will show you off and act as proof of what you have stated beforehand.

Clean up your social media –

Everyone seems to have some form of social media and it is so important that it shows you in your best light. No future employee wants to check an applicants social media and see photos of drinking, drugs and irresponsible behaviour. Camp directors want someone who is going to be a role model to their campers and inspire them to be the best that they can be. If you wouldn’t want your grandma seeing it then it shouldn’t be on your profile. Make sure that your feeds show you in your best light and include your hobbies and skills in a subtle way.

Make a video that will wow –

I’ll be honest I had no idea what I was doing when I made my video for my application but I muddled my way through. If I was to do it again I would bring in the big guns and ask for help from friends or family that have a bit more of a clue about the whole idea. My video is rough but it is still on YouTube so I shall include a link. Whilst you are at it have a look at other Applicant video for some ideas. Try and make your video stand out from the crowd.

If you have any questions then feel free to leave a comment or contact me through any of my social media pages as I am more than happy to answer.

My applicant video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWnGKcmsTQ8

(If the link does not appear then please copy and paste the link into your search engine)

Until next time

Tasmin

The wonders of public transport! 

Everyone has had that one time when they are super tired, wanting to get home and relax but there is another passenger that is making the journey unbearable….I’m in that situation now!

Over the years I have been in this situation  many a time and luckily I can look back on some moments and I can laugh! To keep me sane on this journey I’ll give you a run down of my encounters and you can be the judge of how unlucky I am.

* I am currently on a coach home from London with a woman in front of me who has made 4 phone calls so far, has no concept of inside voice and has told the same story everything! This plus a baby ( I know it can’t be helped) who is crying.

* Last week I was on the train home and was sat opposite a man who was talking to his reflection in the window and then started an argument with himself about fascism.

*Last year on the train when I was very ill I was rudely awoken by a man slapping my legs and grunting at me. He then proceeded to sit basically on top of me, elbow me and complain that I was coughing too much.

*On a flight to the states one year I was sat in front of a baby that cried for 11 hours straight. The child in front of me kept touching my feet and to top it all off the guy next to me told me that he had the joker in his head and was doing impressions of the character for the duration of the flight.

*On another flight I was sat next to a child who once he fell asleep on his mothers lap was a bit of a wiggler. He spent most of the flight kicking me in his sleep.

*On a flight to New York as we were coming in for landing (the flight hadn’t landed) the woman next ro me got her phone out and called her drug dealer right there and then. Honestly was in so much shock haha

That being said I have also met some amazing people on flights, trains, buses. These people are the reason that when I board a new mode of transport I will also smile and be very polite. You can learn the most amazing things from the most random people at the most random time but that is the beauty of human interaction.

As always make sure to go and check out my instagram page. Also please give my blog a share with all your friends.

Until next time –

Tasmin

The people you meet whilst travelling will stay with you forever!

‘Travel isn’t always pretty! It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully you leave something good behind. ‘ – Anthony Bourdain

The people that you meet whilst travelling are your gateway to learning about a whole different way of life and the lesser known details of different cultures. It’s well known that you can meet some of the most incredible people and form bonds that last a lifetime but no-one ever talks about the downsides. I’m talking about the long distance, the time difference, the heartache and the oddly timed skype calls.

Okay so I will start with the positives because they do definitely outweigh the negatives:

You will always have somewhere to stay in many different places around the world -the beauty of travelling is that by making friends and keeping in touch there is always that warm welcome that is extended both ways for a place to stay. I have stayed with friends that I have met over the years and I have opened my own home to my travelling friends as well. When a home is opened to you there is the opportunity to experience the home set up of a different country and to learn things about the people that you wouldn’t normally learn. This is also one of the reasons that connections are so intense so quickly with the people that you meet. I have opened my home to exchange students and leaders over the past few summers and the connections there have been amazing, we have had the chance to bring in new ways of life into our home and learn new things. One of the leaders I met from Norway was allowed to take me coasteering and caving with her group, a summer experience that I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for meeting her.

Constantly learning – By keeping in touch with the people you meet it means that you still have the opportunities to learn more about different cultures whilst in your home country. If you think of things that you want to know then they can be your first point of contact and they can provide the inside opinion that you may need. One of my best friends in America is hands down one of the smartest people I have ever met and I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I have messaged her asking for advice or help with university work and she will always wow me with what she can teach me.

New best friends – I was lucky enough to meet one of my best friends at the summer camp I worked at in California. She won my heart by her attempts to copy my accent and how she thought we brits all had afternoon tea everyday haha! We keep in touch regularly and I was able to open up my home to her over Christmas and new year when she came over to England. One of the best  bits is the no judgement and nothing held back honesty that comes from having someone who is removed from the situation and can give you none biased advice when you need it the most. She knows who she is and I love you boo!

The chance to fall for someone – You know when you meet someone and you feel that instant connection? Well what if I told you that it’s even more intense when you meet them in a different country? When away you are more free and more yourself. This shows when you meet people because you are more open with people which leads to you making more of a connection with someone. From laying on a beach in the early hours of the morning talking about things you have never shared with anyone before, to meeting by the pool and spending your whole holiday together. These moments and connections come out of nowhere but leave an imprint on your heart forever. Some call it love, some call it lust and some call it the freedom to just be with someone that makes you feel so incredibly special even if it is just for a few days.

This all being said no one ever talks about how hard it can be. Keeping in contact takes so much more effort (I learnt that lesson quick), you have to schedule when you skype and take into consideration the time difference. This is more just inconvenient than anything. The worst part is the longing and how much you miss the people. If you miss someone at home you are able to just pop round and see them, if its your partner then you will see each other whenever you want, When you miss someone that is in a different time zone to you then comes the heart ache. When you need a hug from your best friend or want to just see the smile of the person you care about. Things become hard and sometimes it’s easier to let go because it saves you both the ache in the long run. But be stubborn and keep at it because keeping in touch with those people is the most rewarding.

Overall, all the late night skypes and a few tears here and there are totally worth the amazing and long lasting friendships that you make. The people that I have met over the years mean the world to me and I cherish that I have had the opportunity to meet them.

Until next time

Tasmin

 

 

Travelling – are you avoiding reality or is your reality just different?

‘We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls’  -Anon

I think I was 17 when I realised that I had a passion for travelling and at that age people just assumed  that I liked going on holiday…the thing is it’s so much more than that.

As I’ve mentioned before some people travel to escape but for some people its more than that, it’s a way of life. I travel to explore new places, meet new people and try every new experience that comes my way. It’s not an escape for me, its just the way I chose to live my life.

In 3 and a half weeks I’m setting off for my next adventure. I’m not going to Japan to escape university in England, I am going because I have the opportunity to study at a private university in a different country. For most, university is a right of passage and the next step in your career, for me I chose my university based upon the opportunities to study abroad and take a placement year abroad. I see Japan as a way to study in a new environment and experience how other countries learn. This will also improve my resume and impression upon potential employers.

My reality is that my passion for travelling is unlike any other passion that I have had, it runs through my veins and fuels my daily life. I constantly think about where I want to go next, if I’m not planning my next trip then I’m reading about new destinations or reading other people’s experiences. For some people their passion is a sport or their career or art for example, why shouldn’t mine be travelling? I want to pursue a career within travel and so I want as much experience of destinations and areas of the industry as possible.

My current reading list:

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List

Lonely Planet’s guide to travel writing

Off Track Planet’s travel guide for the young, sexy and broke

The Lonely Bones – Alice Sebold

People travel for many different reasons and in many different ways but mine is because its my one true love and I want to do it as much as I possibly can. I want to know all of your opinions and why you decide to travel, so either leave a comment below or contact me through my various forms of social media – links are on the contact page.

Also if anyone has any suggestions for posts that I can do then please let me know as I’m still trying to figure out what to write about! All suggestions and ideas are welcome.

Until next time

Tasmin