Loretta Lewis

"Oh the Land Down Under. Not everything I expected, but more then I ever bargained for. I’m not one for campfires, smelling like smoke and waking up at 5:30 to see a sunrise and hiking the big part of the trip.

I had a certain mental image whenever Australia came to mind. Never thought about rocks, dirt and sand. I had the Opera House, Harbour Bay Bridge and Manly Beach. However, this trip gave me a broader yet more intimate view of Australia. But the Outback proved me wrong, very wrong. Even the simple sand dunes create shadows that people are in awe over, and the delicate river creates still reflections of orange gorges and green trees. I had never realised that within a few minutes the sunset could change so drastically.

I had a cluttered mind the first night here on this amazing continent, but now it is clear and relaxed. That is what this program does to you. You start out one way and end up the opposite. It is an escape, a safe haven, a getaway. All while having friends that have been forced upon you and creating a bond that only you and that person know about. Even though it’s only for three weeks, it is a bond that will be there forever, with Australia and with those people.

It is an experience that I will never forget, and it is a place that I will be visiting again. I had a lot of ‘firsts’ happen here. I wouldn’t pick any other place for them to happen in. When you leave here, the message that Aussies leave you with is one to live by – ‘No Worries’."