“Please return to your seats and buckle up, we are preparing for landing,” announced the flight attendant. I could feel my palms grow sweaty as I clenched my hands tightly around my legs. My body turned hot as my heart thumped against my chest. I starred out the window with excitement. The view of the ocean and endless palm trees were breathtaking. I had never seen anything like it before. When I departed the plane I starred in awe at the beautiful island in front of me – the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
During my freshman year, my roommates introduced me to the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. They told me about an opportunity to volunteer on a farm in Hawaii to help organic farmer growers. I was wary of the idea at first, but after talking to my family who encouraged me to go on the trip I decided to apply. Farming was foreign to me and I was unsure what to expect from the journey. However, I booked my flight and waited to see what Kahumana Organic Farm had to offer.
Since I had never lived anywhere but a city, the thought of living in a rural area and working on a farm was very foreign to me. Not only that, but I was concerned that working in Hawaii would do nothing for my public relations major. However, once I got to Hawaii my uneasy feelings disappeared.
Trading in the city skyline for the silhouettes of mountains and hills was unforgettable. I worked long days squatting underneath the sun weeding, shoveling, and planting. Rays from the sun would heat my skin and I could feel the humidity sticking to my skin. I pushed myself to accomplish physically demanding tasks every day – something I never knew I was capable of. Additionally, the opportunity provided invaluable experience about seeing the world from a different perspective. Not only did I witness how hard the people around me worked, but also I grew a greater appreciation for physical labor and the world around me.
Although the experience was not related to public relations, the chance to travel and explore a new place provided priceless life experience – which can also be valuable as a pre-professional. I was not visiting Hawaii as a tourist at a hotel, but I was among the locals, working for the food I ate on my plate. Since my trip to Oahu, I’ve strived to explore new places and stray away from the comfortable city life.