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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tips for Future Travelers

I came back from Peru and Argentina having grown a lot. I was able to experience so much and change my views of those places, of the world, and of myself. To keep track of how I grew, to make sure I could share my experiences when I got home, and to ensure that I could apply what I learned to my life in Dallas, I took certain measures and learned new things I could do during and after my trip. Here they are:

  • Bring a camera!!! And extra batteries. If possible, download pictures each night in case something happens to the camera 
  • Take said camera everywhere with you, but be careful not to be a flashy tourist or there will be no more camera!
  • Bring jackets and coats with inside pockets: you won’t have to carry a purse and all your important things are close to you 
  • Write down what you did every day and how you felt. Even between the beginning and end of the trip, you’ll find places that you want to go back to! That being said, it’s always a good idea to have a small notepad and pen to write down names, addresses, and emails of people you meet.
  • Keep a blog…it’s a good idea to keep in touch with family and everyone, so this makes it a lotttt easier than writing individual emails to different people 
  • Tell your friends about the things you’re seeing and doing and how it changed your views 
  • Bring back lots of things to show and share with your family and friends. I wish so much that I hadn’t hesitated a second on what to buy and bring back. Seriously, it’s probably cheaper than you think and you will want to share a small piece of your trip with everyone, so come back prepared!
  • Keep practicing the language when you get back or look up the national news from that country 
  • Make the most of each experience and do all that you can because you’ll never know what it could have been 
  • Budget ahead of time and look up schedules for things you want to see so that you can fit everything in 
  • Take lots of pictures as memories!
  • Make sure you bring back something for yourself to remember your trip in addition to gifts for family and friends More than anything, be okay with being uncomfortable! This whole experience is about getting out of your norms and trying new things, so assume that you will be in awkward or surprising situations: that’s how you learn :) 
Good Luck and have a wonderful trip!
Centro, Buenos Aires in front of Rodin's El Pensador
Argentina group at Iguazu Falls in Argentina. The 18 hr bus ride each way was entirely worth it!