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Erasmus European Youth Exchange Programme: My experience

Posted Thu 1st Aug 2019 at 10:37 by Dylan Frost

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First and foremost I must say I appreciated every moment of this trip. There were a lot of highs and a few lows. But the highs definitely outnumbered lows.

 

I think it's fair to say we all got along incredibly well, I think there were very few disagreements during the whole length of the camp. I am delighted at how well we all got along. We were all there for each other when we really needed each other. And there were quite a few times when we needed to rely on each other. 

 

Unfortunately there were quite a few of us who suffered tic attacks as a result of how intense all our tics were. I personally managed to avoid one with help of my own coping strategies I've developed. However the support we have given to each other is like none other. The camaraderie was essential to get us through the hard times and we all delivered on that.

 

We've all engaged with each other to some degree. Some have had a harder time joining in but memories have been made with everyone, we've all had our moments.

 

The establishments we've been going to have all been very understanding of our conditions and grateful for our business. Ommen has been a wonderful town to explore and in many ways I feel like my mind is still there.

The activities were very fun and I was able to get some astounding action photographs. I only wish that the time there was a little more structured, I have a feeling that we wouldn't have spent so much time sitting around ticcing in front of each other and certainly not having so many tic attacks.

The whole experience, whilst it was in the end draining, it was so very much worth it! If I could do it all again I would take it up in a heartbeat. I've made so many good friends here and abroad. I've found people who live fairly close by - a train journey away! I'd love to see them all again at some point and I hope I do again.

If there is anyone out there hesitating about partaking in these sorts of trips because they're afraid of getting new tics. I would tell them this: There's no telling what Tourettes will throw at you from one day to the next; what Tourettes won't give you is confidence in understanding of yourself. A camp like this on the other hand will give you that. Before I've never had the experience of twitching around in public places with a group of other ticcers, telling staff at shops or restaurants that I have Tourette Syndrome, or even using an ID card to prove disability at an airport to skip a 30 minute queue! It's empowering to know nothing bad will happen! You come back feeling like you can take on the world. And with a disability that has so much stigma and misunderstanding around it, you need that! Rejuvenate yourself. 

 


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