Location: British Virgin Islands

This morning, our boat woke up at a sensible time of 6:30 a.m. It would have been alright if last night some rude group of people on their boat hadn’t decided to blast Spanish rap music at 1 a.m. Don’t get me wrong; I like Spanish rap as much as the next guy… but not when I’m attempting to fall asleep. However, we got over the shock of morning pretty quickly because after a hurried bowl of cereal we were given our task: to hike up a hill! (Or mountain. It was probably somewhere in between. A hillton? Mountill? Choose your pick.) Anyways, we went out on the dingy and arrived at the dock to begin our brief hike. Sounds pleasant, right? A nice fifteen-minute hike through the beauty of nature? Well… “pleasant” isn’t exactly the word I would use for the hike itself. It may have looked like an easy task, but I swear, this mountain must have been 90 degrees; perpendicular to the ground. I’m pretty sure all of us were huffing and puffing two minutes in. A bit pathetic, but hey; we all made it! Yes, sweating and exhausted, but we all felt pretty proud of our treacherous journey. The view on top was incredible. I honestly can’t even imagine how to describe it; mountains on islands and crystal clear water, that surpassed blue and shined bright turquoise in the morning sun. Even from up on the hill, you could see the bottom. There were also large clouds of mist around the mountains which made everything mysterious and almost magical. This mist is sand and dust all the way from the Sahara Desert! Also, fun fact; Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard) stationed his fellow pirates on the top of that hill to look out for trade ships to attack. You caught us, guys– over here in Lifeworks; we’re training to be pirates. At the hill, we traced our hands on a piece of paper and wrote in our handprints a goal that we wanted to accomplish for this trip. It was pretty difficult to come up with them, but looking over them all was incredibly inspiring. So many people had so many aspirations, and hopefully, we all make them come true! After we returned to our boat, we were ready to set sail, and giant plot twist: I was the skipper! Which meant I had to… steer. The boat. Hah. HAHAHA. I was petrified. As I was walking up to the steering wheel, I was sure that I’d end up either crashing on land or sinking the boat underwater. BUT, neither of those two things occurred! (A shock!) One of the staff (Elliot) who is the main skipper on our boat helped me out the entire time, and I had unbelievable amounts of fun. I sailed for four or five hours straight, but it didn’t seem that long at all! I navigated through boats, around islands, and got us there in one piece. It was one of the most helpful things for me; I did not start with an ounce of confidence, but by the end, I was so proud of what I accomplished. Me, a girl who can’t even drive a car, drove a giant sailboat against the pretty aggressive wind! When we finally anchored, we took showers (in the ocean; I’m sure it has been described already!) And ate a magnificent dinner of alfredo pasta, hot dogs, salad, and garlic bread. Along with hot Gatorade. (Don’t ask; I’d rather not describe).

All in all, it was a fantastic day. I’ve already done and seen so many things l couldn’t have even contemplated a day before. If I were at home right now, I’d probably be on my sixth straight hour of Netflix. Instead, I’m floating in a boat with the moon shining overhead and a gentle sea breeze blowing. It’s been truly incredible so far; I can’t wait for the rest of the trip!