By Rachel Essel
When I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, the only way for me to get around besides walking was public transportation. If you’re not familiar with St. Petersburg’s geography, the city consists mostly of two main islands and sections of mainland and I lived on one of the islands with my host family. Due to the nearest metro stop to me being closed for remodeling, I had to take mostly buses and trams everywhere which made things a lot more complicated.
The first day of school my host mom actually took me there, and we left while it was still dark out to get on a tram, to go to the next closest metro stop to meet my fellow students where a bus would take us the rest of the way to school. It was so confusing and took so long and then my host mom drops this bomb on me: I won’t actually be taking that route to school, that was just to meet at the correct metro stop the first day. So at the end of the day my host mom takes me out to where I will catch a bus that will take me all the way to school the next morning.
Continue reading The Triumph of Navigating a New Bus System
By Connie Choy
In spring of 2013 I decided to move away from home for the first time and live in one of the busiest cities in the world: Tokyo, Japan. Although it has been four years since my five-month trip I am constantly finding myself reminiscing about the unforgettable times I had with the lifelong friends I made.
Conversely, even with all of the happy memories I will never forget the challenges I had to overcome when I first got to the big city. Just to put things in perspective, I’m from Hawaii (Oahu island specifically), which has a population of about 1 million people. Tokyo is approximately home to about 14 million natives and transplants – that is 14 times the size! Moving away from home on your own, especially in a foreign country is a very difficult thing to do, but I believe it will be one of the most formative experiences of your life. Notably, my hardships were what pushed me into a mindset that yearned for adventure and growth.
Continue reading Island Girl Takes Big (Foreign) City
By Andrew Hemberger
We arrived in Anchorage around 2:00 AM, exchanging soft California sun for a biting cold. With the airport deserted and snow piled up outside of the clear glass doors of the warm airport sanctuary, we decided to spend the first night of our spring break sleeping at baggage claim. We would have 7 more days to camp and journey into the Artic and blistering cold of northern Alaska, so we would enjoy warmth while we still could.
Curled up in our sleeping bags constant noise blared through loudspeakers “PLEASE DON’T LEAVE BAGGAGE UNATTENDED.” Around 5am, and after a few restless hours of sleep Daniel suggested we start on the road. The Hertz rent-a-car was just opening up as a sleepy attendant dressed in the signature yellow and black vest wiped sleep from his eyes.
Continue reading Alaskan Adventure