The Foundation was fortunate enough to be able to catch-up with Year 11 KAA student Sofia to find out how she was feeling for the British Exploring Society’s Dangoor Infinity Programme in Iceland, before her departure on August 3rd ! The expedition is in partnership with the Jubilee Sailing Trust and allows young people of any ability to take part in a trip with two weeks trekking on land, and two weeks sailing at sea, aboard the tall ship SV Tenacious.
Aldridge Foundation: Okay Sophia, could you tell us why you decided to sign up for the expedition?
Sofia: I decided to sign up for the expedition because it seemed like a diverse opportunity. I’ve actually never done something like this before, so it will help me challenge my fears and go out of my comfort zone.
AF: Of course, so is this the first time you’ve been on a trip like this, away from home for 4 weeks?
S: Yes, so this one is a big opportunity, as I’ve only previously been on much shorter school trips.
S: When I go on the expedition, I think Teamwork will be the most useful [attribute], as we will be in very different conditions from the city. The mountains and the countryside we’re going to will be very different conditions, and so we need to help each other. For example, we have this buddying team, so we can help each other throughout the expedition. The trip is also an opportunity to be confident and compassionate together, as we will learn how to treat one another.
AF: Are there any skills that you want to improve while on the trip?
S: Confidence would be the main one for me. I’m not naturally a loud speaker, and I haven’t often been the team leader on projects, so I think that is something I want to try more of and learn whilst on the expedition.
AF: What are you most looking forward to about the trip? How are you feeling about it?
S: I’m definitely looking forward to being able to go to Iceland and visit there. I don’t know how its going to be, how harsh the conditions and things, so am excited to see. But I’m also really looking forward to the Ship!
I’m both excited and nervous. I have my anxieties but again I also want to explore lots of parts of the world so this is a good step to start doing that. Luckily, the other people going are really nice – when I went to the BES training day for the trip, they were friendly and wanted you to talk to them. It was also great because we were all in the same year and had our GCSEs coming up, so actually helped each other study for the subjects.
AF: Lastly, if there are any of our students next year who are thinking about going on the trip but might be a bit nervous, do you have any advice or tips for them?
S: I would advise them to take the risk, and don’t close yourself in a box but actually try to get involved in the opportunity as it is a great chance to get out of your comfort zone. After I went on the training day, it helped me become more comfortable and excited to enjoy the trip, and I think anyone else could do the same!
We want to say a big thank you to Sofia for taking the time to talk with us, and we can’t wait to see how she and our other students get on on the expedition. Any information and updates will be posted on the BES website here – with conditions and signal depending. Good luck to all the participants!