By Alice Wang, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team
I wish I have more coherent nuggets of ideas to share with you. But alas, I have exhausted the creative well of my journey. For now. Will you indulge me in sharing a few snippets of thoughts leftover from this prolonged journey of self-reflection?
- When travelling, if you have the resources, leave the big cities to visit smaller townships. It will feel like a vacation within your vacation.
- Balance your financial standing regularly. I had been lazy about doing that, thinking that to “spend on things that are absolutely necessary” would be sufficient to keep financial anxiety at bay. It did not. Immense clarity and comfort can be gain by having the courage to look at your wallet and compartmentalize spending.
- This is a suggestion: do not worry so much about taking pictures. I try not to pull out my phone too much to take pictures when travelling. Travelling can be visually overwhelming, your field of vision is saturated with new information. Just take it in; absorb it with your eyes, for yourself. Find a balance between taking pictures and enjoying the moment.
- If you need a local SIM card, get it at the airport, do not wait until you arrive at the city. Especially if you do not speak the local language.
- Send postcards home. There is something incredibly quaint about receiving objects in the mail that have travelled halfway around the world. For extra charm, gain access to a typewriter and compose a legit letter.
- Bring a lock. Hostel lockers do not have locks.