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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Helena Ascough: Independent travel to Spain

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    01 Oct

    Having used Gateway funding last year to travel without family for the first time and learning a huge amount from the experience, I was delighted to receive it again this year as it allows me to travel to places I haven’t been before and improve my independence. This year I visited Isla Canela, located near the town of Ayamonte in Spain, with two friends from College. It gave us the responsibility to plan the trip and the activities we wanted to do whilst we were there.

    In order to properly explore we decided to hire bikes. This lead us to discovering the opportunity to do water sports! We chose to go kayaking as this was something none of us had done before and was one of my favourite parts of the trip! On another day, we went into Ayamonte where we looked around a zoo, attempting to translate the information about all the animals. This along with talking to the locals at the activity centres and restaurants allowed me to practise my Spanish. I hadn’t had a chance to do this since learning it at GCSE and it was something I was really looking forward to about the trip. We also visited an art gallery and were able to get a short boat ride that took us across to Portugal too!

    During the trip, I fulfilled my goal of being more adventurous with trying the cuisine. The tapas restaurants allowed me to try a variety of different foods.

    One of the best things about organising your own travel is improving skills such as teamwork and time management - having to arrange flights and transfers. Planning of the trip also required budgeting throughout the year as well as during the trip for food and activities. I really enjoyed the whole experience and am grateful for Gateway funding allowing me to do this!

    Helena Ascough
    Veterinary Medicine