After graduating high school I took a gap year with Quest; I wasn't completing sure why, but I knew I needed to do something different. For years I kept telling myself I loved learning, but truthfully I felt like a robot on an academic treadmill. I yearned for the type of learning that embraced creativity, pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and forced me to engage fully. I gained a new level of self awareness on my gap year that allowed me to become a global citizen. Many of my experiences were challenging but they made me feel grounded, present, and alive. We need an education reform that allows the next generation to breathe and realize their great potential. The type of education I got on my gap year, traveling and living with people from around the world, working next to inspired people, illuminated the kind of environment I want to create, and created a space that evoked my authentic self. Don't be fooled, It was not just a luxury vacation- I battled giant jungle mosquitos and rainstorms, ran from possibly rabid stray dogs, ate only rice and eggs for weeks (as a vegetarian in a meat eating continent), and struggled with South American time (ie: sitting on a bus for thirty hours, without any more books, waiting for a mudslide to be cleared). The fact is I cant even begin to talk about my time with Quest because there are just too many moments that will stick with me forever. I became best friends with my Quest family and although we live on different continents, we have managed to do the long distance thing- still talking and seeing each other when possible- because these are the people you never want to live without. When the academic persona is stripped away where would I be? What makes me come alive? I asked and answered those questions on my gap year. When I started university, I knew who I was and what I wanted to accomplish. I took classes that I found interesting and focused on building meaningful relationships.
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I had the experience of a lifetime volunteering in Peru. Quest was fantastic, and the project was great. It was an amazing experience working with kids from Villa María and we got to do heaps of cool things, such as going to the pool, performing in shows and putting on fêtes. It was hard work, but it was really rewarding. ten out of ten would recommend!
Absolutely incredible company to travel with!! I went on the 6 week Andean Expedition through Peru and Bolivia and it couldn't have been better. We travelled so much and saw so much of the countries, from desert, snow capped mountains, rainforest, canyons, volcanoes and beautiful cities.We also got to visit and help out at the Quest volunteering sites in Lima and the Amazon rainforest. Our leaders were experienced and very knowledgeable of the countries and we always felt safe and got to see the non-tourist routes and interesting places to eat. For the price of the trip and having everything included, the value for money was brilliant. I would recommend the company to everyone. They have an amazing itinerary and approachable staff, also supplying great travel insurance in with the price, I strongly recommend them to anyone.
I volunteered on the Quest Overseas Summer Kenya Water Relief Project in 2012 and had, quite simply, the best time of my life.
My Quest group were amazing and I am still in contact with many of them to this day!
Not only did I contribute towards this positive, sustainable development project (under the supervision of the experienced engineers from the Africa Sand Dam Foundation), but I also hopped across to Tanzania and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in the final week of my travels with Quest.
The support by the Quest staff both before departure and upon my return was personal and they came across as honestly caring about the projects they support and the volunteers they send away.
I cannot recommend this company strongly enough. Anybody looking to spend a summer experiencing a completely different culture and environment, responsibly, should give Quest Overseas serious consideration.
I visited Bolivia & Peru with Quest in 2011.
It was honestly the best thing I have ever done. Although I had already studied Spanish for GCSE and A Level, the language course at the beginning was really helpful. We had varying levels of Spanish speakers in our group but we all found it as useful and enjoyable as each other.
Despite seeing some amazing sights and having exciting new experiences during the expedition part of the trip, the highlight for me was the volunteer work we did with Inti Wara Yassi. The construction work that we did was so rewarding and showed me how much I can actually do. I also worked with a Jaguar named Katie, and 3 Pumas named Inti Wara and Yassi. It was amazing get so close to them and walk them through the jungle.
Quest also helped me to learn how to travel on my own, making it possible for me to be confident enough to meet up with some friends, also in South America, after the trip was over.
I have been back from my travels for over a year now and still often think of my time out in South America. If I had the chance I would not hesitate to go again and I intended to return to South America after university.
My trip with Quest Overseas was not only an amazing experience but also taught me great life lessons. Not only do I feel more confident in myself but my friends and family tell me they can see the difference in me. I would recommend the trip to anyone!
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