By Aria Nader-Turner | Posted: Monday February 20, 2017
Outward Bound was a dream nestled in the back of my mind for much of my childhood, as my wonderful Aunty had been on it when she was younger and there was nothing that excited me more than the thought of embarking on the exhilarating adventure that Id heard so much about but really Id heard so little - I knew it was full of outdoorsy stuff, but nothing could have prepared me for the most incredibly challenging, soul changing experience of my life to date.
My adventure started at the Dunedin airport. Alone and scared I triple checked that I’d brought my ticket and that I was catching the right plane and wouldn't end up on some remote island off the coast of Africa. I said goodbye to my family and stepped onto the plane, and by the end of the day I’d somehow managed to navigate my way from Dunedin to the beautiful Anakiwa (will the help of some fellow youth with a better sense of direction than myself who were also headed there, who I was very thankful to have met along the way!!)
It would feel wrong to disclose all of the secrets of Outward Bound, as everything you do is a surprise, and there is an unwritten rule about keeping it all a secret for future adventurers, but I can say that after a hard year at school, Outward Bound mended everything that was broken and put my jumbled, disorganised mind back into the clear, focused state that I had forgotten existed. It was the most refreshing, glorious experience of my life, and I loved every moment of it with all of my being.
By the end of it, many people were ready to go home (3 weeks full of physical exertion and exhaustion in bush and at sea can be a bit tiring), but I swear I could have spent my life there; leaping into the ocean after daily runs, feeling the sun’s warmth and the cool, clean breeze, the peaceful experiences and the ones that made me fear for my life... despite being a bit terrified, hungry and cold at times, it made me feel more alive than I have in a long time and it opened my eyes to what I’m capable of doing, how far I can push myself, and how strong my mind is. It is incredibly empowering to know that I can achieve virtually anything I put my mind to.
And since my Outward Bound course finished I have travelled to Wellington to stay with some of my incredible friends I came to be so close to over the three weeks. The 13 others from my watch are the only people on earth who understand what it was like for us on our unique course, the challenges we faced as a group, the fears we overcame.
We are, and always will be
Would highly recommend.