By Andrea May
I will never forget where my journey started. On the morning on 20 October 2015, I raced to the airport with my family. It was as if they were never going to see me again. I hugged them all goodbye, knowing that I will just be gone for 6 months.
It was a long flight to America. After three movies back to back, I was sure we were about to land but I looked at the time and saw we still had 10 hours to go! Eventually we landed and I met my house coordinator, Annie, for the first time. She has been truly amazing to me.
As we exited the airport, the first thing I saw was palm trees everywhere! We got to a store called Publix (which is similar to Woolworths) before we got to our accommodation. Annie and her assistant helped us settle into our apartments. The apartments looked better than I expected. It was like a holiday resort – we had a hot tub, pool, creek, tennis courts, gym, pool tables and Apple Macs.
Time went on at Boca West and I must admit that Christmas was the most difficult time. I missed my family so much. I felt disconnected from the people I love and I wanted to go back home on more than one occasion. However, I had the support of friends and colleagues and that made things much easier. I ended up making so many amazing memories of my own. I am grateful for the connection I made with my colleagues as they soon became family.
Being on the Workaway International programme has allowed me to experience things I never knew I would. I went on amazing road trips like driving to Florida Keys on the Overseas Highway! We also drove to Tampa. I went jet skiing in Mexico and attended Ultra in Miami, where I got to see the biggest EDM artists live. I traveled to the Caribbean and fed flamingos on one of the most beautiful beaches. As an animal lover, swimming with dolphins was one of the biggest dreams come true.
I went to Disney World, kissed Mickey Mouse and met my favorite Disney princess, Ariel. I even overcame my fear of heights by going on the SheiKra, a dive coaster at the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay amusement park. Going to Universal Studios was just as amazing as I got to see some of my favourite childhood movies come to life.
Workaway has also made it possible for me to move to New York. There is just something about the city that captivates me and makes me feel alive. I even attended New York Fashion Week. I have fallen in love with this city and I never want to leave, but sadly I have one month left.