My road to happiness

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In Youth 4 Global Goals: The Series Season 2, sponsored by PwC, 10 young people went across the globe on an AIESEC Global Volunteer experience to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Read the story of Andrea Apostolo from Italy, who went to Costa Rica to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.

One of my key values is “never stop learning”. I do believe that the more you know, the more likely you are to become the best version of yourself and therefore having a bigger impact on the society. That’s why I commit myself to do as much as I can to learn, to improve, to grow and that’s why I’ve always took all the opportunities that life offered me as a chance to become a better person. But something was still missing. Something was missing in the road to become the person that I want. That something was my own personal story. 

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In everyone’s life comes the moment when we feel that maybe we didn’t do enough, that we can contribute more for our world, for the others and maybe also for yourself and so you start feeling that you need that experience that can allow you to become the best version of yourself.

The choice of the best project for me wasn’t easy because I didn’t want to volunteer in a big structure, but I wanted a very small and unique organization where I could help in a specific project and really see my impact. And so I found Naturatica Bribripa, in Costa Rica.

This project gave me the opportunity to live with an indigenous community, called Bribri, and contribute directly for their development. In fact, every day we were doing different manual works according to their needs: from planting trees to build a wooden house, make trenches for water draining close to the houses or even work in the school.

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But as time was passing, even though we were working a lot and with many different people, I realized that the impact that this experience was having on me was bigger than the one that I was having in the community.

Inspired by amazing and humble persons that touched me so deeply just being and behave how they are, I’ve learned many things that were totally unexpected and that I can summarize in three main points:

1. Generosity could exist even if you don’t have nothing: if you have the power to give, it’s your responsibility to give. Sharing is the key in the road to happiness
2. Every action matters. It’s all about small actions and if you do good, then good will come to you.
3. Enjoy all the little things in life and don’t complain: one must take what one gets.

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Every day of the project, every moment spent there impacted me by changing my perspective of life, by transforming the way I perceive the simple things around me and in saying goodbye to Costa Rica, I’m also saying goodbye to the person I used to, persons that now I can definitely call “family”.

Being a global volunteer helped me to become a better person, to open my mind and appreciate all the things and the opportunity that I have, as well as the importance of small daily actions while contributing for a bigger purpose and if I were to leave you with a message, it would be this: explore, dream, discover, then find your purpose and start doing something because in twenty years you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do!

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Would you like to know more about my journey? Have a look at Youth 4 Global Goals: The Series! Would you like to live an experience like mine as well and create an impact for the Sustainable Development Goals? Sign up and become a Global Volunteer yourself!


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