This summer, I was paid to work outside in the beautiful countryside of rural Maryland, USA and went to the USA with a work and travel company called BUNAC. Although working at a kennel did mean I scooped a lot of poop, I also made life-long friendships with some amazing Americans, visited 6 different states (Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and New York!), got into a pool every day after work, visited 3 different beaches, and ticked multiple landmarks off my bucket list! I can honestly say that being able to work on my tan, socialise with new friends and pet, play with and walk some cute dogs was not a shabby way to spend my summer.
BUNAC enabled me to find my own job in the States, and that meant I could work with my best friend who I’ve known for over 4 years! Being able to spend 3 months with a person I usually only speak to on Skype and see rarely? Priceless! Working in Maryland meant I was a stone’s throw away from America’s capital, Washington DC and I saw so many landmarks that I’d only ever seen before on television, like the Washington Monument, the White House (Hello, President Obama!) and the Capitol Building. DC also boasts amazing free museums, including the Natural History Museum which allows you a cheeky look at where one of the Night at the Museum movies was filmed. Living in Maryland meant all of this was easily accessible, and really cheap to get to by the MTA Metro.
Through working at a kennel, I gained a wide skill set that has meant I’ve been able to expand my CV since I’ve been home. From basic pet care to more advanced animal handling. I was also given the opportunity to lead a team of co-workers and organise various schedules. Through being able to try everything and anything meant my Work America experience helped me to gain more confidence, some rare skills I never thought I’d learn and also have enormous amounts of fun every day. The job never got boring, and also allowed for a lot of free time for travel and exploring.
Along with visiting DC, I travelled the East Coast of the USA after I had finished my time at Shady Spring. This meant I visited everything from Amish Farmer’s Markets in Pennsylvania to the bright lights of New York City. The ability to have such contrasting experiences on one trip and to live in the USA meant that when I left the UK that dark, rainy day in May, I didn’t leave home, I just found another one. BUNAC helped me so much along the way, from getting my visa to 24 hour support while I was out there. I really gained summer experience which has helped me immensely in my future, and would happily go again!