Make the most out of your journey

Someone said the destination isn’t the goal. That it’s about the journey. Traveling through and living in Asia is immensely different from living in the western world. There’s a lot of things that you take for granted at home that you can’t do here. Places to avoid and things to stay clear off. But there’s also wonderful experiences to be had. Amazing places to discover and wonderful people to meet. The purpose of this article is to help you enjoy your time in Asia to the fullest. Whether you’re staying here or just passing by.

silhouette of an island in the ocean during sunset
Enjoy views like this on a daily basis. Photo by Mikk Tonisso / CC BY

Insights from a fellow traveler

My name is Jonas, I’m a marketing intern at Asia Exchange’s Bali team. Before this, I went backpacking through Asia for five months and this is my third time in Bali. This is my attempt at giving you some insight about life in Asia, to prepare you for your upcoming journey and make your trip as smooth as possible.

Nothing ever goes as planned

As I wrote in the beginning, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey to get there. If I could only leave you with one thing it would be this; Nothing ever goes as planned! I believe what’s essential here is to have the right mindset. Even if things don’t go according to plan, relax and enjoy the moment! What happens along the way is usually what you’ll remember. If you’re lucky it will make for a great story! Isn’t that what life’s all about?

A hand is reaching out to the sun with a watch around the wrist.
You might as well leave your watch at home, it won’t matter anyway. Photo by Collin Hardy / CC BY

Time moves at a different speed here

It’s hot here, too hot to work sometimes, and the locals seem to share this view. Official business takes time, everything takes time here! If you’re doing business, need to extend your visa or doing just about anything that includes paperwork. Be prepared to wait for a while! There’s an unofficial siesta culture here. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a big a thing as in Spain or other Hispanic countries, but it definitely exists!

You might also be interested in: Essential Things for Traveling 

Another thing to keep in mind is that busses, ferries or other means of travel never leaves when they are scheduled to. From my experience, it’s more of a rule than an exception that something won’t depart on time! Just keep this in mind when booking connecting flights, ferries etc. Waiting for departure also gives you a perfect opportunity to complain about the company running the service with other travelers, it’s a great way to make new friends. I mean you’re all going to the same place, right? So once again, just relax. You’ll get there sooner or later, just enjoy the moment!

A laptop and closed hands on a white surface
Sometimes you’ll need to pray to the internet gods. Photo by NordWood ThemesCC BY

The mythical “Superfast Wi-Fi”

As a guy from Stockholm, I’m used to watching Netflix while riding the subway and always being connected. Here, it’s a bit different.

While many hostels, homestays and hotels like to advertise their Wi-Fi as “superfast”, the reality is that most of them don’t work that well at all. For example, in Bali, Internet works pretty well early in the mornings and late at night. But most of the time, you get speeds around 1-5 Mbit/s, and it’ll keep disconnecting throughout the day. I’ve stayed in a lot of different places in Bali, with varying degrees of fanciness and it’s all the same. 3G is more reliable so consider getting a pre-paid sim card! The point I’m trying to make here is that internet connections in Asia, especially South East Asia will be unreliable, it will be frustrating, and it may take longer to get your work done. Don’t wait until the last minute to send in your assignments!

Waterfall and water splashing up in the air
Daily adventures that’ll become treasured memories.  Photo by Ruslan Valeev  / CC BY

Do(n’t) go chasing waterfalls

Now, this article doesn’t contain any groundbreaking secrets about Asia to remember, it’s about you, how you’ve got to think, to be able to enjoy every single day to the fullest! Keep an open mind, stay calm and patient and you’ll have the time of your life in Asia. Try focusing on the 90% that’s good and don’t get hung up on the 10% that might be bad. Keep exploring, keep making friends and collect life-long memories. Enjoy your break from the hamster wheel called western society. These are the moments you’ll remember when you’re old and grey. So, make it the best time of your life!

Find out more about studying in Asia or New Zealand 

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you!

This article was written by our Marketing Intern Jonas! 


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