I remember my last years of high school….a frustrating feeling of almost-control; standing on the precipice of owning my life but not quite knowing how to jump off….on the one hand sure I could fly and on the other not quite sure I wouldn’t just plummet and crash. So many almost-options, so many almost-chances, so many hesitations when I wasn’t sure I was ready and so many missed opportunities for fear I wouldn’t manage it alone, for fear I wasn’t ready. There’s a point at which the world opens….suddenly the possibilities are endless…. but so are the risks.
For several weeks each year at All Out Africa Marine Research Centre, alongside our normal Marine Research Program, we also open up to World Challenge Trips. These trips include awesome opportunities like trekking in Swaziland, touring for wildlife in Kruger National Park, South Africa and building classrooms in Mozambique. And, for those schools that choose it, culminate in 4 days on Tofo Beach with us, learning about marine life, going out on the ocean with our marine researchers and getting in the water with some of the biggest animals in the world!
For me, the real magic of these World Challenge trips with All Out Africa is that they benefit everyone. The countries they visit benefit from sustainable tourism and socially conscious funded builds which help the communities. The participants benefit from an exhilarating and eye-opening portal into another world, so foreign to their own, which lifts their gaze from what they know and opens their world.
17 year old me wanted to change the world. 35 year old me has learned that they key to it all was to open up and let the world change me.
Written by Katie Reeve-Arnold (Marine Research & Whale Shark Conservation Project Coordinator)