From the Airport to Home Base

VISIONS DR participants are getting to know one another and forming lasting friendships.

My first impression of the Dominican Republic was very intimidating. I suddenly had all these questions in my mind. “How will the lady at the center know I’m trying to be polite if I mess up?” “How do I communicate the duration of my stay?” “Is it rude to approach someone for a conversation in the DR?” Which all ultimately did not matter. Every minute in that airport felt like a new challenge to overcome. When I met with two other VISIONS participants soon after I landed my courage strengthened, as well as my determination to brave through scary situations (like socializing.) The first time we went on the bus I felt as socially isolated as I did at school. When I spent time near other members however, I felt like I was near some of the newest of friends. After three days here I realized that no one judged me and I would be in a friendly environment for the next 18 days. Even though I still have some worries I’m very excited to overcome whatever challenges come over me and make friends.

Owen Clarke is a writer for VISIONS. A career outdoor journalist, his work appears in 30+ international magazines, including Iron & Air, Climbing, Outside, Rock and Ice, SKI, Trail Runner and The Outdoor Journal. He is also the executive editor of Skydiving Source and Indoor Skydiving Source.

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