Monday, 19 May 2014

Warm Experiences

By Struan Goss

My name is Struan, I grew up just inland of Durban, I spend all the holiday time I can in Mozambique, and I enjoy Tiger fishing with my Dad. I studied commerce at Rhodes, worked in agriculture in the Middle East and I trade on the JSE in my spare time. I’m currently the Durban representative for Workaway International. I went on Workaway’s programme to learn more about the hospitality industry, so I may be better equipped to run our family’s B&B, as well as to experience living in America for a few months. Today, I’m sharing a little about my experiences over the past 6 months in Florida.  

For everyone who goes on the Workaway programme, Florida and the New World separates our home by interviews, paperwork, time zones, airport counters and a very lengthy 16 hour plane ride. With this in mind I set about making the most out of my off-time in Florida. If you enjoy outdoor activities, sightseeing and meeting new and exciting people, you won’t be left found wanting in Florida.

One of the first things that struck me about the state is its natural beauty. The whole of Southern Florida is very flat, which allows for many interconnected waterways, ponds, rivers and canals. There are docks with beautiful yachts, cocktail bars, restaurants and public parks all along the edges of these shimmering waterways. I was very grateful for the opportunities I had to travel with friends on their boats along these. I met people enjoying sundowners on sand bars, saw manatees, dolphins and turtles.

For only $400 my roommate and I booked a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas as well as Key West on the last day. All the raving people do about the Bahamas isn’t for nothing. The water is light turquoise blue, the beaches are white, and coconut trees sway in the sunshine. I would highly recommend taking a mask and snorkels with you to see the beauty beneath the warm lapping waves.

Renting a car on a South African driver’s license is easy and this allows for trips to places like Miami, Key West, Orlando and Cape Canaveral. I followed NASA’s rocket launch schedule while in Florida and managed to see a night-time rocket launch. The flames really lit up the night sky.

These images and memories still fondly linger in my mind, as for the 16 hour plane ride to get there, well, at least it gave me motivation to make the most of my time. For all of you interested in making some memories of your own, as well as gaining some great hospitality work experience, I look forward to meeting you at our presentations.

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