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Kris Locker Travels the Globe

Kris Locker Travels the Globe
Wat Chedi Luang temple. Photo provided by Kris Locker.

By Kris Locker

Graphics Editor / Contributing Writer

Hello again! In my last article, I said my 2019 summer brought me to southeast Asia. After spending a short time in Hong Kong, China, I flew over to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The city of Chiang Mai is known for its beautiful temples. The day before going to the Wat Chedi Luang temple, I learned the importance of appreciating culture. My guides informed me of a few things: I must have my shoulders and knees covered, I should never speak to a monk unless spoken to, and I should never turn my back on a Buddha statue. It’s a respect thing. By wearing pants at a temple, I acknowledge where I come from and choose to put aside my traditions to admire another. Travel only gets better the further you immerse yourself into a new place, culture and experience. Below is a photo of the Wat Chedi Luang temple.

Thailand’s landscape is another breathtaking part of the experience. Although the monsoon season was in full swing, the rice patties didn’t see much rain. Rain is crucial to agriculture in Asia. Locals plot fields parallel to mountainsides to ensure fields flood with run-off water. The village I stayed in, Muang Khong, is pictured on the left. At a closer look, you can see the plot shapes.

How to save money before and during your trip

“Before my trip to Thailand this past summer, I was looking for any way to save money and lower my costs,” said Roxana Ruiz Rodriguez, the treasurer of FGCU’s GIVE Volunteers student group. “One of the biggest things that helped was purchasing items on sale.”

Rodriguez said she would track items for months to find cheap prices and asked friends and family if she could borrow things.

“Another thing that helped me save money was matching how much I was bringing with my itinerary,” Rodriguez said. “As a notorious over packer, I struggled to find ways to reduced how much I packed.”

She recommends laying out what you already have, what you can borrow, what can be bought at a thrift or discount store, and then decided what needs to be purchased. Limiting yourself to only the necessities keeps your bag under the weight limit too.

“Finally, for the trip, make sure you bring a set amount of money. I recommend in cash but bring a card just in case. Try to stick to that money,” Rodriguez said. “Looking at exchange rates between countries will help guide you on how much money is needed for what you want to buy.”

Traveling is a learning process. You’ll only get better the more you do it. I hope these tips help you save money on your next adventure!

Happy travels,

Kris

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