I am Jamie-Lee McGurk, I’m 22, and I’m a business student from Glasgow who is interested in environmental protection, climate change, physical and mental health. At the beginning of 2019, I was presented with an incredible opportunity to take part in my first Erasmus+ funded project called Explore the Wild Side. This project was created with the hopes of bringing together people from all over Europe and educating them about a healthy lifestyle through non-formal education. The project took place over two stages, the first being in the glamorous mountains of Greece and the second stage taking place in the Glorious mountains of Racha, Georgia. 

Explore the Wild Side brought together 28 different participants from 8 different countries including: Scotland, Romania, Greece, Georgia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Spain.  The first stage of the project which was held in the beautiful mountains of Thessaloniki, Greece was for all participants on the project to bond as a group and get to know each other. During this stage participants enhanced their knowledge of the outdoors, learned basic survival skills and practiced safe hiking procedures in preparation for our second stage where we would hike the Caucasus Mountains in Racha, Georgia. By time the second stage came everyone on the project was like a little family, no matter how hard the hikes became at times we all persevered as a group and got to have the experience of a lifetime. 

Both stages of Explore the Wild Side allowed me to network with truly amazing people, learn about different cultures, and learn more about nature. Taking part in this project opened my eyes to just how big and beautifully diverse the world really is. It really gave me the chance to develop myself as a person. I cannot wait for my next Erasmus+ project (now that I have the travelling bug) I just hope it’s as good as Explore the Wild Side.