By: Jesse Richards, Work and Travel Summer 2014 Ambassador Scholar

Jesse is a Work and Travel participant from Jamaica, working at Jumpin Jakes in Maine. In his latest blog post, he shares his travel story during his program. Watch his video below to learn more.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le4JkBlAV0k&w=560&h=315]

It is very easy to be so sucked into your work cycle that you forget how important it is to enjoy the free time that you have. I made sure that I would thoroughly enjoy my time working and my time with my friends. It would be very easy to see ‘free time’ as time lost from working; but I see it as time gained in creating memorable experiences with those closest to me.

If it’s a day off from work or a free weekend…how should I spend it? With friends of course! After working hard, it is important to take some free time to relax. I didn’t want to spend all my time working while missing out on all the fun activities that the USA has to offer. Usually I spend my free time walking on the beach or going for a long bike ride to see new places. On occasion, when my friends have time off at the same time that I do, we normally find something fun to do, whether it is going in Old Orchard Memorial Park to play some basketball with the locals or getting some tennis rackets and enjoying a high energy game of tennis. If there was a social gathering among International students, we would definitely be there to share in the fun and the making of memories. Most of us love going to the movies, so why not while being international students? So, yes, in our free time groups of us went to the Cinemagic Cinema in Saco to see movies we’ve been waiting to see.

Being a musician, I appreciate all types of music, so if I have the time to go to a concert, I definitely go. There was one concert that stood out to me this summer and that was the album launch for a band named “Superfrog.” My former supervisor, Jason Walker, took me and a friend of mine to the concert. This particular concert was really an enjoyable experience as I got the chance to listen to groove rock music live. I also had the chance to meet all the members of the band; they were really sociable individuals. My supervisor was also the designer of Superfrog’s album cover. How cool is that?!

I love travelling around the U.S. because there are so many wonderful and historic places to see. Visiting these places always leaves a lasting impression on one’s soul, which creates some form of bond of attachment. Traveling and taking time to enjoy what the U.S. has to offer was one of the most rewarding experiences of participating in the Work and Travel program. There are many beautiful places to see, especially in New Hampshire and Maine. I love hiking, so once again my friends, Gevaun, Orville, and former supervisor, Jason, and I took a day to go on some hiking trails in New Hampshire. We went to Sabbaday Falls, Silver Cascade, and other small waterfalls in the area. The scenic views were simply amazing and picturesque. If there was more time I would travel to see more sites around New Hampshire. I definitely enjoyed my free time and the time I spent travelling and hanging out with old and new friends. It was a wonderful experience. I would encourage all international students to make sure that they take time for themselves, spend it with friends, travel the USA, and simply have fun.