The point of this travel supplement is to get you excited about traveling and give you the resources to get out there and see as much of the world as you can in one week, with only a few days to plan.
First, several stories from UBC students who have travelled abroad might inspire your sense of adventure — though if you love our piece about Ghana, we’re sorry to say you’ll have trouble getting there by reading week. But if reading about a trip to Pakistan makes you want to get out of Vancouver and see the world, we’ve offered you some more realistic trip options available just by using your U-Pass, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, grabbing $20 and your passport and heading south of the border.
It’s easy to waste reading week sleeping and procrastinating. But even if you’ve set up a rigorous studying schedule, we can assure you that taking a quick trip to Portland or even to Fort Langley will be a better use of your time. Especially given that most of these trips can be accomplished in anywhere from a few hours to a day or two, you’ll have time to get out of the house and stay on top of schoolwork.
—Arno Rosenfeld, Features Editor, and Rhys Edwards, Culture Editor
Explore the Lower Mainland with your U-Pass: 239 bus routes, three trains and a ferry: they’re all available for no cost with a U-Pass. A lot can be learned about not just Vancouver, but many other locations around the Lower Mainland as well, and contrary to popular sentiment, TransLink usually does a good job of getting you there and back.
Reading week on the Bolt Bus: Departing from Central Station, the Bolt Bus heads to Bellingham, Seattle and Portland. It’s the first-class of Greyhound buses at an economy-class price.
A misunderstanding in Ghana: On our first day in Ghana, some of my friends and I decided to spend a relaxed day on the beach. However, even on this day, adventure found us.
Christmas in Pakistan: I found this country to be one of extremes: of extreme richness and extreme poverty, extreme power and extreme weakness; high-end restaurants placed in rural towns; luxury automobiles gliding alongside motorcycles with four helmet-free passengers riding them.
The difference between Americans and Canadians: Canadians and our country seem to have been overlooked on the world stage. Other than the public travesties that are Justin Bieber and Rob Ford, Canada is usually a silent and accommodating country reduced to cliches about hockey and maple syrup.
Shanghai shambles: We were scheduled to be in Beijing for a few days at the end of our journey, and we had heard awful things about the air quality. After some convincing on behalf of my friend, I begrudgingly bought a package of heavy-duty facemasks at the Home Depot. And I’m glad I did.
Cliff jumping in Macedonia: It is my second day in Skopje. The July humidity is heavy on the second floor of the family-run hostel. The black nightgown and pajama shorts I am wearing cling to my sweaty frame.
An emotional welcome to the Gambia: I had visualized this moment for months, and fantasized about it since childhood. Yet standing here, the moment arriving and passing by the minute, all I can remember and all I felt was a rush. That pure and indescribable rush.