Hi, I’m Ottilie. I’m 18 years old from south west England and in 3 weeks I’m off to Costa Rica with The Leap for 10 weeks! I chose to go with The Leap as the programme in Costa Rica is exactly what I wanted to do as part of my gap year! I love the idea of spending time in Santa Teresa on the beach whilst learning Spanish and surfing - I surf a fair bit in England and the prospect of surfing at one of the best beaches in the world is so exciting! Alongside this aspect of the programme I’m looking forward to working at a turtle hatchery in and working on community and conservation projects. Plastic in the oceans is such a huge issue and I’m looking forward to contributing to remove it from beaches. After the programme ends in November I’ll be travelling to Mexico and Cuba for a month. Starting off on an organised trip with The Leap should be a good way to prepare for heading around the world. I plan to travel, possibly to south east Asia and Australia, until I go to university in September 2019. It’s a completely new experience travelling by myself and I think The Leap will be the best place to start. To raise funds for this trip I have worked throughout the summer as well as asked for money for my birthday and Christmas. Joint together with all of my savings I’ve been able to save enough! I can’t believe I fly out to Costa Rica in only 3 weeks, I’m slightly nervous which I think is natural for someone flying by themselves halfway across the world with a group of new people. However, the overriding feeling is definitely excitement. I cannot wait to make some amazing memories and friends in a new corner of the world!