Disclaimer: This title was borrowed from Jules Verne’s book by the same name
One thing I can say I have learnt at ALA is the art of appreciating other cultures, AKA, diversity. I have always wanted to travel the world and see how beautiful the sunsets in Australia are, see actual penguins at the Cape, attend a luau in Hawaii or cross the Sahara on a camel. (Can anyone say YOLO?)
Travelling is a wonderful option especially for those taking a gap year. Although ALA is a melting pot of cultures, somehow I think that having injera in Ethiopia would be a far cry from having injera in South Africa. But I digress.
However interesting the idea of travel sounds, it can be a challenge both financially and logistically.
So here are a few of my tips on planning an awesome trip, on a student budget.
1. Do a budget
This will largely determine the nature of you trip. Need I say more?
2. Plan, Plan, Plan
Think about accommodation, transport and other overhead costs. Backpackers are great places to stay, especially if you are visiting for a short period of time. Also, how easily can you move around the area? Do you need to pay for this? How safe is the area you are staying in? All these will ensure a hassle-free trip. Alternatively, you could just board a bus/train/plane with no luggage and no accommodation plans. Plan or no plan it all comes to the same thing no?
Ah the almighty visa. The bane of my existence. If you do not hold the kind of passport that enables you to simply board a plane and be welcomed with open arms at your destination, you will need to obtain a visa. This can be difficult. Especially if your passport is green or powder blue.
One way around this is to visit countries near your own country or research countries that you can travel to without visas.
Or you could simply fall back on domestic tourism and in case of ALA students, go to Cape Town.
4. Culture and norms
It is important to understand the people you will be interacting with. The parallels between cultures are fascinating. What may be commonplace to you may be completely unacceptable somewhere else. Google is your friend.
Finally, sit back relax and enjoy your journey to another little world within earth. Chronicle your travels. You never know what amazing things may come out of it.