I had never traveled out of the country, but it had been a dream of mine for many years. Finding friends or family who were willing to tag along had been more than hard so on my birthday I decided to just go for it and pay the deposit. My biggest fear was that everyone in the group would have come with a friend and that I would feel like a third wheel. That wasn’t the case at all. My roommate was awesome and everyone on the trip was amazing. It didn’t take very long for us to feel like we’d known each other forever. I guess that’s what happens when you experience an amazing trip like the one we took. We met amazing people everywhere we went. Our trip was well organized and the OLTC team did a phenomenal job of us building an amazing itinerary. Because we met great people who the OLTC had “vetted” in a sense, when we had free time on the schedule, we felt comfortable exploring the city. The travel club building good relationships made it possible for us to explore on our own and feel safe doing it. I loved being able to do the group activities, but then also being able to break out into smaller groups during free time to really explore. For example, I ate the best food at a tiny, unassuming Ethiopian restaurant that I never would have stopped at if it were not for the people who organized our volunteer activity recommending it. We danced all night at the best spots because the hotel staff recommended places. I bought spices from a Muslim-owned shop that I never would’ve recognized on my own. I bought so much fabric that the hotel helped me ship it because I couldn’t fit it into my luggage. It was the blend of the powerful tourist attractions (Robben Island, Table Mountain, volunteering in a township) and also being able to truly explore the city that I loved. I’m so thankful for this trip because I met people who were a part of an experience that changed my life. It was humbling, rewarding and the best trip I’ve ever taken. I could go on an on and I literally tear up thinking about how amazing the experience was. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve done a lot of cool things, but when I got home, I immediately started mapping out my plan to save for my next trip out of the country. There’s a big, amazing world out there and sometimes it’s scary to go for it. OLTC took a lot of the scariness out of it traveling. Everything was laid out and the travel club was so professional and went out of the way to make the trip fun for everyone. I was amazed at how well organized things were. It was well worth it.
Tavia and Elliott, Dallas, TX
Kassi, New Jersey
My biggest fear was experiencing culture shock. Though I was physically prepared, I felt mentally and emotionally unprepared going to a country such as South Africa due to post Apartheid living for people of color. Fortunately I left the country so full with perspective and beauty because Chloe was very knowledgeable and brought specific individuals to our group to guide us on our unique excursions.
When I do go back to South Africa, the first thing I will do is go back to Table Mountain. Nature is my reset button and I could have spent all day experiencing the views and landscape while exploring, meditating, and picture taking.
If I were to recommend 1LTC I would say this club doesn’t give a vacation, they provide a life changing journey. This club felt like a safe space for people of color and you deserve a 1L travel experience.