Saturday, May 14, 2011

The ABCs of South America (14) - Lessons Learned

The ABCs of South America is an alphabetical arrangement of the most memorable parts of my South America trip in the summer of 2010.
You can start at the beginning here.

X is for eXactly One Year of Traveling
When I touched down in Vancouver on August 21, 2010, marking the end of my South American trip, it also was the end of my spectacular year of traveling. By my count, I visited thirteen countries on four different continents. That's more than most people get to in a lifetime! Looking back on it now, it's mind-boggling how fortunate I was to be able to work, study and vacation abroad and experience so much in such a short amount of time.

The year spent traveling made a huge difference to me personally. Since then, I've become more confident in myself and my ability to be successful anywhere. It helped shaped my career path and spurred in me a passion for the Third World. I wrote about my travel experiences in my application to Stanford and I'm sure that it played no small part in my acceptance there.

Y is for Yellow Shirts
When you travel for one month with someone, you eventually get into stupid arguments. One of the more inane arguments my brother and I got into was whether or not yellow shirts look good on Asian people. My brother opined that yellow shirts never look good on Asian people because their light skin blended in with the colour of the shirt! I disagreed and bought this shirt:

Z is for Zanahoria (Spanish for Carrot)
Something I'll cherish a lot from the trip was the opportunity to practice my Spanish. I hope to target my research towards Spanish-speaking countries, so the time I spent in Peru and Bolivia was invaluable. I ended up taking a second Spanish course during my last term of undergrad so I've hopefully developed enough of a foundation to aid my Masters research!

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