Representing the Indigenous Young Achievers side touring Europe, 16-year-old Tyson Hodge opens up on his once-in-a-lifetime journey, as well as shares his newfound appreciation for being back home.
The last two weeks has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I can’t believe we’re leaving now.
Spending the past day on the plane has given me time to think about this trip.
I was feeling a little nervous at first as it's such a long way to travel but I had my brother Cody in the team along with my mum, sister and grandparents on the trip so that made me feel less anxious.
Travelling from Wagga Wagga to Europe is a big trip to take which not too many of my friends have ever done before.
This trip has done many things for me. I’ve witnessed so many things that most wouldn’t ever get to experience. The European culture in France and Italy is something to be seen to be believed. The Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, even Euro Disneyland – it’s so different to anything in Australia.
Two things that stand out is that I am lucky that I have had so many people support me in helping to raise enough funds to make sure I went on this trip.
The other part of this trip has showed me how lucky we are to live in Australia. In the European winter, the sun came up after 7:30am each day and it was dark by 4:30pm. I definitely love long hot days; not dark cold afternoons.
Being 16 and able to travel like this is something I will appreciate and take with me for a very long time.
I can't wait to get home to my own bed and have a nice long bath. I hope these tours continue for years to come so other young Indigenous men get to experience what I have in the past three weeks.
Follow NSWRL.com.au for all the information on the once-in-a-lifetime journey.
The NSWRL would like to thank KARI, Santos, Maari Ma and the Juice Plus company for their support of the Young Achievers tour.