“Plain old Jane told story about a man who was too afraid to fly so he never did land.” This is a line from my favorite song, Drops of Jupiter by Train. A part of me once felt like I was this person that Jane was talking about–not anymore. I was just like any other person afraid to take risks. It’s in our human nature. We want to be as safe as possible. Honestly, safe won’t get you anywhere but risks would. I took a risk when I joined World Youth Alliance and applied for their internship program. I knew it was a gamble of being accepted or not but I did anyway. Just last May, I started my internship and I have to say that I have come a long way from being an intern. WYA has opened a lot of doors for me more than I would have imagined. It was the greatest learning experience that I have ever had.
During my internship, we were invited to join WYA Asia Pacific Regional Director Mr. Lord Leomer Pomperada to the WYA Week in Jakarta City, Indonesia. This was a week-long trip to introduce WYA to different universities and colleges in Jakarta in order to establish partnerships and gain new members. I did not hesitate to join this trip because I knew I was in for an adventure. I went to Jakarta thinking that it was just like Manila. I have come to know that it was different in countless ways. I wanted to visit other parts of Indonesia but time did not permit us to do so. Although, I was glad we did not because we got to immerse ourselves more in Indonesia’s capital. One of the highlights of this trip was getting to visit the ASEAN headquarters with my co-interns.
After Jakarta, we went to Brunei for a quick trip. Brunei was not what I expected. You know that it is a developed country but at the same time it was a very serene place that can be mistaken for a progressive province. It was a Friday when we went to Brunei. We were unaware that all establishments close from 12:00 NN to 2:00 PM to give way for the Friday Muslim Prayer. We ended up walking for hours to nowhere and finally on a water taxi to see Kampong Ayer (Water Village) and the Proboscis monkey!
I never knew where the streets of Jakarta and Bandar Seri Begawan would take me but I enjoyed every minute I was there even when it was very hot outside or when we had to walk long. Being on this trip made me realize that I have no time to waste because there is so much to see and do in this world.
I took one risk and look where it got me. I flew and landed on places that I have never been in and got to experience their culture with my friends. I met good people who made my trip even more amazing. It landed me a window seat to one of the greatest adventures that I have had. WYA was just one risk. Imagine what you can do with a thousand of them. Do not wait for an opportunity to come by you because much is lost in waiting. You have to make or search for it yourself. Grab whatever you come across even when it’s not what you are looking for. You’ll never know what it has in store for you. It might just land you a window seat too!
By Gimly Melendres, a regional intern alumna at World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific.
If you are interested to become a regional intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office, please email email@example.com. Applications for 2015 (Batch 1: January 5 to March 18, 2015) closes on November 26, 2014. Click here to visit the Asia Pacific Internship program page.