Interview With a (Previously) Nervous Student

Tziporah Lax20 Dec, 2022

Leaving your comfort zone to travel for several weeks with a group of strangers can be nerve-wracking. There are new foods, sights, smells, and social dynamics to navigate. Even if we know this new experience will be good for us, it can still feel overwhelming. It’s normal to feel butterflies when planning your summer adventure trip. 

teens surfing costa rica
Nora catching a wave in Tamarindo

Often, excitement and nervousness can manifest in similar ways. We get a rolling in our stomachs when trying to visualize what a new adventure will bring. The same feeling is interpreted to be positive or negative, depending on which emotion you attribute to it. One way to shift our mindset from nervousness to excitement is to gather evidence from those who came before us.

Nora Baedeker joined us in the summer of 2022 for fourteen days of adventure in Costa Rica. She was a first time Bold Earth student who didn’t know anybody else on the program when she arrived. I spoke to Nora about her reflections on her time in Costa Rica and the people she met.

Q. How did you first hear about Bold Earth?

My mom really wanted me to do something besides sitting around all summer, so she gave me a few choices for camps and Bold Earth was on the list.

Q. What made you decide to take a trip with us?

After looking at the list my mom gave me, Bold Earth seemed like the best option, and it was!

Five teens sit in multi-colored hammocks on wooden patio
Resting at the eco-lodge on the banks of the Pacuare River


Q. You flew into San Jose, Costa Rica the past summer and landed without knowing anybody on the trip. How did you feel walking up to a group of new faces on that first day?

It felt so weird. I got in late at night, so I woke up without having met anyone the night before, but everyone was so nice.

Q. Can you describe some of your first conversations and encounters with other students?

The first people I met were the girls in the room I was staying in. They were surprised to see a stranger wake up in their room, but they were so nice and made me feel like it was going to be a good trip.

Six teens holding coconuts in Heredia, Costa Rica
Nora with friends outside of the Heredia market near San Jose

Q. Looking back on the friendships you made throughout the trip, how did your first impressions of the group change over the course of the time you spent with them?

As we all do, I made judgments about who I thought everyone was at the beginning of the trip, but throughout the trip, those changed. I became so close with people I thought I might not talk to!

Q. What did the other students do to make you feel welcome and comfortable?

Everyone kind of included everyone in almost everything. Learning about their lives at home and things like that made me feel like they were real friends.

Group of teenagers with helmets and climbing harnesses stand on zipline platform
Getting ready for the canopy zipline

Q. What was one of your favorite moments from the trip?

I loved going white water rafting through the canyons and staying at that super cool eco-lodge on the side of the river.

Q. Are you still in touch with any friends from Costa Rica Active?

I am! Me and Kait call at least once a week. She keeps me updated about her life back home. I still Snapchat Caelyn, Francis, and Grace, but don’t really talk to them as much. I’m so glad to have met everyone that was on that trip.

Teenage girl poses with surfboard at the beach

Thanks so much, Nora, for taking the time to share your answers with us!


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