I have been on the Break Free trips to Vanuatu (2014), Mexico (2012) and Cambodia & Vietnam (2014) and I would still like to go to Peru, Fiji and possibly back to Vanuatu and Mexico. I have all enjoyed all of them but it is hard to pick a favourite as they are all quite different. If I had to chose one it would be Mexico because this was my first trip and we worked alongside the family to build the house. It was a ply house so it was “easy” to build, paint and furnish. The people who were part of the Break Free team were awesome too.

The best thing about Break Free trips is the difference you can make to people’s lives in a short amount of time and seeing how grateful they are for something that took only a little sacrifice of money and time on my part. Getting to experience the real culture of a place rather than just from a tourist’s perspective.

The most challenging thing about Break Free trips is the feeling there is always more you can do for others. Also it can be hard coming back and adjusting to the NZ way of life in which we have so much but always want more.

The highlights for me on all of my trips have been working alongside the local people to build the houses. Sharing a laugh while building despite not being able to communicate verbally. Usually handing over the keys is pretty special too.

Rebecca Dowdle
Auckland, New Zealand, 2012 & 2014

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