Brooklyn, NY
Language and Hiking Spain
Grades 8-10

Wylie’s Experience

A growing love for traveling

I live in Brooklyn, NY, and go to Beacon High School in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan. I spend my school year involved in school clubs (such as Student Government and Teensy – a club that writes magazine issues on small business and non-profits throughout the city), playing tennis, baking, exploring new neighborhoods with my friends, and of course, school work. I really enjoy cooking and baking, and I am a very adventurous eater which goes hand and hand with my love for traveling. Prior to Overland, I went to a more traditional sleep away camp, but I was left wanting more. Overland provided that; I have now done four Overland trips: Yellowstone Teton Adventure, Alaska Explorer, Costa Rica Language and Service, and Spain Hiking and Language.

a journey to remember

“It was really cool to see all of the Spanish hikers and interact with them.”

the best part

experiencing local communities

On the two weekends of the trip, we hiked all day through the beautiful wilderness of the Spanish Pyrenees until we reached a small building in the middle of nowhere. These buildings, “refugios” in Spanish, provided shelter, food, water, bathrooms, and showers for hikers and travelers deep in the mountains. It was such a cool experience because the refugio acted as a hub for all these travelers from all walks of life, and they all met and shared an experience in one, central place as a community. Not only that, but the environment surrounding each refugios was so stunning; the first overlooked an expanse of large lakes and tall mountains, while the other stood on the edge of the seven-mile-long Ordesa Valley. My group and I sat out in front of the refugios for hours just looking at the surroundings while the warm atmosphere of this communal hub carried on behind us.

unexpected parts

herding local goats!

One day, for one of our Spanish lessons, we traveled to a small town with a goat farm. I thought that we would just hang around the farm and learn about the processes and how it operates in Spanish, but instead, we actually herded the goats through the town, and to their grazing fields along a small river for their breakfast. Essentially, we walked through the streets of the town with about one hundred goats following us. It was totally unexpected but a really cool experience!

Our groups are carefully crafted to provide experiences where students are close in age, from a variety of hometowns, and are eager to learn and grow in new places.
Spanish instructors on Language & Hiking Spain include students in the learning process, helping them build conversational skills.
Every evening, each group shares reflections and practices gratitude for someone or something that made their day better.
When not in the classroom, students on Language & Hiking Spain explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Pyrenees.

My leaders

supportive & Fun leaders

My Overland leaders, Franco and Ollie, were great. They really did everything they could to ensure that we had the best experience we could have. One thing that they did with the group that was especially fun and memorable is that when it was our last day in Biescas (a small town near the Pyrenees) they took us to their park where we met and talked with some of the locals and ended up playing soccer with them for a few hours. All in all, my leaders were really great and they did everything they could to support us and make sure we were having fun all of the time.

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