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One day I received an e-mail that included an invitation for my brother Louis (14) and me for an international kayaking camp in Nottingham.

I was so happy about it. It has long been my wish to paddle in Nottingham. The playspots in the videos just look very cool. For quite some time I have annoyed my family to spend our next family vacation in the UK, to drive to the best playspots there.

Before it started, there was a lot to organize. Finding an airline that takes children traveling under 16 years alone was a bit of a hassle, but solo kayaking was a real challenge. But everything worked.
And so one day my brother and I stood at Munich Airport. So that the boats were not recognized as kayaks, we packed them in protective covers and gave them as bulky luggage. That was really easy. Finding the right gate was more difficult as the Munich airport is really big. When we finally sat in the plane, we were a bit relieved and nervous, what else may come.

The next challenge was landed in the UK … We have been learning English at school for some time, but it was still difficult at first with the conversation. Gradually it got better and we could understand more and more. One of the most important findings of these days was for me: “Smile has the same meaning in every language!”

Arrived at the camp, we were happy that we finally got to meet the other boys. The other participants came from Catalonia and UK. I was the youngest participant at the age of 12. That was just an incentive for me to do more work.

The days flew by. We practiced new tricks on the water and had a lot of fun on land. We were lucky because many really good paddlers were preparing for the upcoming European Championships during this time. For me, it was great to be able to see so many incredible paddlers at once. That was a fantastic experience.

Unfortunately, the days passed much too fast and the journey home was on. My brother and I immediately closed our eyes as we sat on the plane. We did not even realize that our start was delayed over 2 hours and that we only landed in Germany a few hours late.
It was an incredible experience for us, we are very thankful that we got this chance and we are looking forward to the next year!