Guest Post: Study Trip to China | Why Saying 'Yes' Gets You Places

It’s true what they say, saying yes really does get you places. Even another country you never thought you would travel to. 

Quick background, after high school I was stuck. I didn't know what I wanted to study, it took my parents sitting me down and getting me to commit to something! We decided that they would choose options then I’d pick one. They narrowed it down to accounting and events. Being me and not wanting a 9-5 non-creative desk job I finally said my first yes in a year, to studying events. Then the ball kept rolling. 

It threw me right out of my comfort zone but from day one the teachers said to get the best of the course was to say yes to all opportunities. Being a goody two shoes and overly studious I took on this advice and I am super glad I did. Multiple volunteering opportunities got my confidence back to reach out of my comfort zone, learn new skills and meet new people. 

It got to the last part of my course where a huge opportunity came up unlike any before. We had a chance to earn a place to go to China for 2 weeks. It was one thing traveling to the city by myself and working with strangers let alone go to a new country where I didn’t speak the language. Not many of the girls in my class were interested a few said they would apply so I decided I would say yes and apply as well. It ended up being me and only one other girl I knew, by then it was too late. I panicked a bit but then realized most of me actually wanted to win a spot.

A few weeks later of winning a spot we were packing for Hong Kong China! The trip would consist of the first few days in Hong Kong, the middle of the trip to Guangzhou China to meet with our sister school and work with the students there, then back to Hong Kong.

It was amazing, for someone who never thought she would go there I loved it. Picture this; packed streets, a million markets, run-down buildings next to sky scrapers, humidity and heat so hot you are never not sweating. It was a sensory overload but I loved it! Heading into Guangzhou you then saw all the farm lands and mountain landscapes.

The school was on a grand scale. The students live on campus, there is a whole building just for food (they really love eating!) and it was just a great way to see the differences and similarities between both our cultures. The students were amazing and gave us great tours, it was a blast!

Speaking of food, there was a restaurant we found in Guangzhou that did the best eggplant I’ve ever tasted, smoking was allowed inside and no one spoke English which was hilarious enough to make one of the waitresses have to leave the room as she was crying from laughing as we tried to order! Haha!

My favourite part was how Lesley our traveling teacher and organizer managed to convince the organizers that we needed to go to special venues for event experiences. We wound up having high tea in a fancy hotel (which funnily enough I ran into an old high school friend, that’s right, a reunion in the middle of Hong Kong!) But most of all we got to go to Hong Kong Disneyland! My inner child was released; I had never been so excited!

Traveling can be a series of firsts once you say yes. You can have your first alcoholic shot while your new group of mates are singing on stage to locals. You can be in two different wedding photos! That’s right two people asked us for photos with the bride and groom! Cultures can be shared and celebrated for both their similarities and differences.  You can see Princesses from stories you have loved all throughout your childhood. Overall, you have a blast when you stop worrying about the negatives and just give everything a shot! That’s the best thing you can have from traveling and new experiences you get memories that last a lifetime and a new found confidence!

Love Always, Rai Erin Rose

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Where have you studied abroad? When did saying 'yes' for you workout for the better? Let us know in the comments below!