Serious decisions or how to realize the enormous scope of the experience you can get from GCELE

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a break, run away from your problems, and travel all over the world? Meet new people, try new things, and enrich your knowledge? This is a very wishful change many people seek for when their life turns into routine. Not exceptionally I am one of them. In this entry, I would like to share an introductory story of the out-of-this world experience, that still gives me bittersweet guts, even after three weeks I’ve come back.

By a mere accident and luckily I happened to study in Centennial college that runs a GCELE program – an opportunity of indulging change I needed so much. Right away I obviously applied for this project, but neither did I take it seriously at that time, nor even when I went for an interview. I convinced myself that there are plenty of other smart people out there that will get in, you know? Yes, I need to stop thinking that way, I know.

I guess that based on paradoxical principles of this world, the less you expect from it, the more you get. So let’s be less eloquent and break that intrigue. Here I am, going on GCELE to Kenya. Such statement was shocking not only for me,  but for my dad too, who did not expect it to be such a faraway place from home. He hoped me to give up till the last moment by the way. I think dad does not realize that I got that persistence and stubbornness from him.

Honestly, no matter how bad I wanted to go on this trip, being a full-time nursing student already makes your life very tough, and realizing the amount of time I will have to invest to catch up on content that I am about to miss before I even go to Kenya made me feel doubts and anxiety many many times. At that time I really needed someone’s encouragement and support, but because I am such a lovely introvert, I can easily use fingers of my one hand to count people who knew that I am going somewhere. Yes, I already had self-management skills, because you cannot survive without that in nursing school, but there was no self-efficacy at all.

Universe had a mercy on me one more time, and I have finally heard those needed words, which ultimately were crucial.

“How many times in your life will you get a free trip to Kenya? That’s why you should go”.

Those words I heard were so simple, but yet so true, and I realized that surprisingly no one have told them to me up to this moment. And you know what? No matter how simply it sounds, I risked it all and went.

There is a saying in my culture that man who doesn’t take risk will not drink champagne later on. My champagne had the best taste in the world, and this I truly realize now (for some reason it takes me a long time to process really meaningful moments that I have experienced). I can confidently say that the outcome I got absolutely payed-off all that hardness I went through. It is definitely possible to get something if you really want it, just don’t forget that there has to be a balance. Saying that,  input must be equal to output. Miracles do happen, but don’t expect them to happen on a regular basis. The amount of work you put in determines the extent of your desire to get something. Therefore, work hard and you will get rewarded for that. Even though it sounds as a common sense, I hope this statement will be inspiring or encouraging for someone, whose struggles include, but are not limited to serious decision of stopping your routine for a second and taking some time for yourself to make this short life memorable.  


Photo: Mount Kenya, Ol Pejeta Conservancy. November 2016.

– by H. Yurkiv

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