Now that my internship at Horizon Holidays has come to an end and I have returned home, I have been able to reflect on my experience. Having spent the entire summer in Mauritius where sprawling mountains, vast jungles, turquoise lagoons, and picturesque beaches coexist in geographic harmony, life back in America seems tame. It’s not just the geography that I’m missing, though. It’s also the people, internship, and lessons I learned while abroad.
Before coming to Mauritius, I was under the impression that I should strive for a career that boasts a high salary rather than one that makes me happy because that is what I have been told since I was young– that happiness can be sacrificed if the price tag is high enough. I think this has to do with our media because it seems to measure the value and success of people in our nation and around the world by how much they have in their bank accounts, not by how happy they are and while I think that wealth can certainly be a measurement of success, I do not believe it is the only–and certainly not the most important–measurement.
My mindset all changed when I met a guy my age named Nico while in Mauritius. He is a professional trail-runner sponsored by Garmin and works as a tour-guide for a company he’s a co-founder of called Yanature. When we got to know each other once we became friends our conversations became more and more personal. One day while we were hiking up Mauritius’ most iconic mountain, Le Morne, I asked him what he wants to do as a career. He responded that he is doing exactly what it is he wants to do–he’s running and he’s hiking every day and gets paid to do it. Of course you enjoy doing it, I responded, because you’re sponsored and have co-founded a company, so you must be doing well for y0urself.
He looked at me and said, “it’s not about the money, it’s about being excited to go to work every day. I would do this over any job, even if I barely scraped by.”
These words continued to replay in my head over and over and over. As I thought about my past work experiences, I realized that the only job I have ever been excited to go to was at Horizon Holidays. Being around such positive and friendly people every day made the work I was doing rewarding and fun because it was exactly what I had signed up to do. I never dreaded going to work, even when I was up to my neck in work. I hope to retain the lessons Horizon taught me this summer for the rest of my life.