Three years ago I found an advert for a Tourism Management internship at Chilcotin Holidays. Ever since then this destination and internship was stuck in my head. Since I have never been to Canada before, it was my preferred destination for my next trip abroad. During my dual studies with a company near my hometown in Germany, I felt the desire to challenge myself in a new environment. This desire lead me to plan an internship at Chilcotin Holidays in October.
I chose to come to Chilcotin Holidays because I wanted to be on my own, meet new people and to grow and evolve with the goal to become more self-confident and self-aware. Although I have been abroad twice before, I got very nervous before my flight to another continent and stay on the ranch. A quote that I keep reminding myself is “Comfort, the enemy of progress.” and now I realized that it fits perfectly to the philosophy of Chilcotin Holidays.
When I arrived at the ranch my stressful mind became balanced pretty soon after because the whole team welcomed me and encouraged me to feel at home. I wasn’t used to sleeping in a tent at first, but that was part of the deal to connect with nature and get the full experience. My first days were full of meeting new people, getting to know the ranch and learning new stuff like driving the skidder, help with the firewood or prepare meals for 20 people. This made it hard to process everything and I needed to remind myself that I can finally enjoy the time at the ranch which I looked forward to for a long time. You just need to take a moment for yourself and enjoy the beautiful nature within the mountains, which I have never seen before in such dimensions.
Before my arrival, I felt the need to invest in myself in a different environment. I was distracted at home and felt stuck, like I wasn’t moving forward personally. I felt that taking time off after University or school is perfect timing to invest in myself. However, I personally think that, when you feel the need for a change, you should do this at any stage of your life, rather than just getting used to the things you are complaining about. Chilcotin Holidays‘ culture pushes you out of your comfort zone to grow personally and develop in a way you might not have experienced before. Although there can be doubts and struggles, you have to believe in yourself and have the will to learn and work on yourself to get the most of your time here.
October is the end of the trip season and, therefore, very busy. I was used to my old office job that was routinized and quite similar every day so I found daily life at the ranch to be chaotic and stressful. From this I learned that one must be flexible and adaptable in order to be successful. The thing that amazes me most is that, when you take the initiative, a new challenge is waiting for you everyday. I am very curious to see what impact my time at the ranch will have on my future and how I am going to deal with my life when I return back home without the special environment of the ranch and people here. I know for a fact that I already learned a lot in just one week. My riding orientation took away my doubts of not having enough experience with horses and I fully enjoyed the ride out to Pearson’s Pond. The next day, there was a meeting with all the staff members to reflect on your interests as well as your goals and if you achieved them since the last meeting. Questions about reasons for coming to the ranch, your lessons from your successes and challenges make you think of your stay intensely. Although I don’t enjoy speaking in front of other people much, the meeting is very inspiring and helps me to deal with my habits and procedures at the ranch.
My first week at the ranch was full of new input that I missed at home and exceeded my expectations. Now I am really looking forward to the next few weeks and all the stuff that I am about to learn whether it be in the office, outside or with our horses! Everybody who is playing with the thought to take on a new challenge should think of the fact that the rejection of going for something that you want to do is always better than the safety you feel by not going for it.
Marilen, 22, Germany
October 20th 2019