With my first summer season living and working abroad behind me, I’ve reflected a lot on what the experience has taught me, what I have learnt on my own, what I have gained and how it has changed me. At the beginning of 2015, I never thought I would be ending the year where I am now or who I am now. I never thought I would have gone through the things I’ve gone through and I would never believed I would have this opportunity. After seven months away from the UK, away from home, away from family and friends, I am a completely different person. I thought I was leaving my comfort zone but after a summer in Mallorca and Tenerife, I realise home isn’t comfortable either. I now feel slightly on edge here after building my life abroad and finding myself abroad. So I thought I would share what I’ve taken from my first season, what I learnt and what it gave me.
– I learnt that I wasn’t running away. After applying for this job on impulse to escape a bad time in my life, I doubted myself a lot thinking I wasn’t doing this for the right reasons, I was just trying to avoid reality. This summer has taught me that I wasn’t running away at all, instead I’m running toward all the incredible experiences, opportunities and places that I never would have experienced or had the opportunity to discover if I hadn’t plucked up the courage to escape.
– I got my first tattoo. I’ve always been a combination of terrified and indecisive when it comes to tattoos. The only reasons I haven’t had one in the past is that I was scared of what to expect and I never like a design for long enough to actually get it. To document both my first season and also my personal journey, I plucked up the courage and got one. Only a small arrow on my foot but with a lot of meaning. ‘An arrow has to be pulled back in order for it to shoot forward. When life is dragging you back, it is aiming you into something great.’ Something I thought was very appropriate after a very rocky start to 2015 which led me into this amazing opportunity.
– I am perfect for my job role. In the past, there has honestly not been a job that I haven’t been great at, not to blow my own trumpet or anything. However, this job is the one I was made for. Again self doubt had me believing I wasn’t good enough for this job. I have no idea what they saw in me on my assessment day because I personally thought it went horribly, during my training I waited for bad feedback after every presentation and it never came, I was awarded star pupil plus recommended for a flagship hotel and head rep position based solely on my training, I was placed in one of the biggest destinations within the company, I was in the biggest flagship hotel in the company for my very first season and I’m not gonna lie, we kicked butt. I have never been happier in a job role and although, like every other job, there are bad days and I wake up on a morning wishing to go back to sleep, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
– I can be happy single. Since the age of 15, I haven’t really been single. If not necessarily in a relationship, there has always been someone on the edge of my life. Having just got out of an intense four year relationship in which I was ridiculously happy, I dreaded single life. I’ve learnt to enjoy it however. I am in no rush in life, still only in my early twenties, there is plenty of time for all that and if it finds me, it finds me. I’m gonna just concentrate on me for a while, have fun, be young because it’s a waste of time crying over spilt milk… or boys. What’s meant to be will be.
– People can be amazing. I have met some incredible people, some life long friends, people who have been there for me when I laughed, there when I cried and all in all, people who made my summer awesome. A repping cliche that goes around is that it’s the team that makes the summer, not the destination. I could be placed on the most beautiful tropical island but if the people aren’t spot on, then it’s a let down. I was lucky to find some incredible friends who made it for.
– People can be arseholes. I knew this one already but after one particular dickhead this summer, I realise just how true this is. You can be in the best job living in the most beautiful location and still be a twat. No matter how hard you try, no matter how nice you are, no matter how much your patience is tested, no matter how much you grit your teeth, some people are just total knobheads.
– Mallorca is beautiful. Before Mallorca, I thought it was cheap, crappy tourist destination where Brits went because it was highly affordable with sun and booze. My bad! The island has some of the most stunning locations and breathtaking views that I have ever seen in my lifetime.
– Life goes on. After a bad breakup and the belief I would never get over it or be happy again, I am. I am still sad about the situation and I wouldn’t say I’m over it, I miss it every day but I’ve let go. I’ve moved on and until I let go, I wasn’t happy. I believed that was my happiness gone but I have had the best summer of my life and been probably the happiest and most at peace with myself than I have ever been. Your happiness is tied to no man, at the end, you can still get your happy ending.
– I’ve developed my world map of scars. On my travels in Florida last September, I had a bit of disaster in a wave pool resulting in a lovely scar on the knee of my left leg. At that time, little did I know it’d be a world map. In Mallorca, something as stupid as walking into an open drawer, has left me with the most defined scar… again on my left leg. Then in Tenerife, after a drunken night, I fell down some stairs and again was left with a scar, you guessed it on my left leg. Now from my knee to my ankle is covered with scars and I love them. Little permanent reminders of where I have been and to be honest, if my next destination doesn’t leave a scar, I will be secretly and weirdly disappointed… freak!
– There is nothing wrong in a little fling. I have always had a very monogamous way of thinking. I disagree with cheating, I never understood sleeping around, I didn’t get going on a night out to pull and while I still believe in loyalty, am still a long way from slut status and still feel awkward when a guy approaches me a club, I did enjoy a little fling this summer. Or maybe make that two. Two people who I knew full well it wasn’t gonna go anywhere past the summer or even a few weeks, it wasn’t the road to marriage and I surprised myself in enjoying it. I was young and fun without the commitment and ties I have been so used to. I realised you have to live a little and there is nothing wrong with that.
– The travel bug has bit. I have always wanted to travel, always dreamt of seeing the world but until this year, it was just that, a dream. Once you start travelling, you can’t stop. Once you have seen once part of the world, you want to see every corner. I have been poisoned by the bug and will happily spend the rest of my days without a cure.
This is just a small snippet of what I have taken from this season. I am forever grateful for the opportunites, experiences, people and the two beautiful islands who have been the making of me and provided me with the most incredible summer that I will never forget.