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Why I Hate Talking About My Summer

By · 15 April, 2017 · Features, International Activities

You know that feeling, when you return from a trip and people ask you, “How was it?” and you just don’t know what to say? It’s frustrating, because you want to convey to them just how amazing it really was, but don’t know what words to use to say it. Never have I felt this more acutely than when I returned from my month away on the Young Diplomats Tour.

Once, when someone asked me, I tried being honest.

“How was your trip?” they said.

“It was the most life changing experience I have ever had, and hands down the best month of my life,” I replied.

“…Oh. Wow!”

My response may have been a little overwhelming but it is nothing but the truth. The Young Diplomats Tour was my first introduction to UN Youth in high school. When I arrived to meet the delegation, I walked into a strange house, my hands shaking with nerves and with no idea what to expect.  It took one ten-hour plane ride to Berlin for me to realise that these people were very quickly going to become some of the closest and more important friends I had have ever had.

The usual follow-up question to “How was your trip?” is “What was your favourite part?” Well, it’s hard to say.

Travelling Europe for a month was never something I imagined being able to do straight out of high school, and seeing the sites – from the Eiffel Tour to the Berlin Wall to Abbey Road – was truly spectacular. But, as amazing as that experience was, it wasn’t my favourite part of the Young Diplomats Tour.

The most amazing thing about the Young Diplomats Tour is the part that only UN Youth can offer. I recall sitting in one of our first consultations, at the Australian Embassy in Berlin, thinking “How on earth did I get here?” Each and every consultation we went to, from Hungarian politicians and NATO officials, to Greenpeace volunteers and Australian diplomats, fundamentally changed the way I understand the political world. UN Youth, both literally and figuratively, took me places I could never have imagined myself in.

Finally, I can never talk about the Young Diplomats Tour without talking about the 19 people I experienced it with. Each and every one of those people left a lasting impression on me, and have since become some of the most important people in my life. I was told by a fellow delegate on my first night, that UN Youth is where you “find your tribe,” and it couldn’t be more true. The Young Diplomats Tour changed my life for the better, and I could not recommend it highly enough.

Applications are now open for the 2018 Young Diplomats Tour, closing May 7. If you’re in Years 10-12 this year, find out more and apply now.

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