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  • Writer's pictureCarys Havard

A Memoir of Miss Earth 2023: Unbreakable Bonds

By Carys Havard- Miss Earth Wales 2023

Now I have had time to truly reflect on what has been the experience of a lifetime, I want to share some personal moments with you from my time in Vietnam in the form of blogs. This blog is about the most important thing I learned on my journey. 

Since coming home, I have had many people ask me about my experience in Vietnam and I’m always lost for words as my time at Miss Earth is one that can’t just be summarised into a few sentences. A month’s worth of memories in a new Country, learning about different cultures, new experiences, and friendships,I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have experienced it. 

The love for pageantry in Vietnam was such a beautiful sight, something I would love to see grow within Wales. The people of the country welcomed us with open arms and even gave us contestants lovely gifts. Speaking of gifts, I received many, from loving fans, sponsors and even the other contestants but for me the most important gift I received on my Miss Earth Journey was the gift of friendship. 

Miss Earth brought together 85 likeminded strong women from diverse backgrounds, creating a platform for connection and collaboration. Although formally a competition, this was an opportunity for us all to bond over our shared passion for the earth and love for pageantry and subsequently was the start of many beautiful friendships. 

Before meeting the girls, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that on my arrival, I was so nervous, it’s hard to know what to expect and sat on that bus waiting to be taken to the hotel seemed like a lifetime. (I don’t think the lack of sleep on the plane from excitement helped at all) All I could think was “what will the delegates be like?” “Will everyone get along?” “I hope they can understand my Wenglish” “Would they even know where Wales is?” 

Like a typical overthinker I was realised I had let my thoughts run away with me and there was no need to be having them, as when I greeted other contestants it all went away and within ten minutes. We had all admitted to each other that we were all thinking the exact same things. We were all in this together. 

One experience I will never forget will be the welcome dinner, singing and laughter filled the entire room, the blue carpet was over and it was time to celebrate! It was still early days, so we hadn’t had the chance to meet everyone yet but what better conversation starter is there, than being the girl who doesn’t have any rhythm or singing voice at all singing and dancing her heart out?

I’m sure many of you have seen one bond in particular from my social media that was unbreakable. I met my Irish twin (Miss Earth Ireland 2023, Layla Doherty) somewhere in that first crazy week, from then on, Layla and I were glued at the hip. I think it helped as I was one of the only girls that could understand her accent. Layla had me laughing all hours of the day, the best way to describe her is a ray of sunshine who always made my day brighter. If it wasn’t for her, none of the zips on my outfits would have ever have been fully done up before going downstairs. We were so close, that other delegates started to ask if we were sisters. Since arriving home, I have bombard Layla with my vlogs on a daily basis, but life hasn’t been quite as interesting as the crazy schedule out there.  

Although my time in Vietnam is over, unbreakable bonds were formed and made all the difference on my international pageant journey. There are good days and even some bad days, but the trust I had in the friends that I made allowed me to show my authentic self. I told them my fears and insecurities and I was met with their advice, guidance, and motivation. Being in such a supportive environment formed deeper connections and bonds that I know will last a lifetime. These girls are not just my friends but my sisters and look forward to the different countries that they will take me to in the future. 


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