The moments you share with the people you travel are invaluable. You may get into disagreements, argue about which way to go, which foods to eat, but you also share some of the finest or funniest moments, ones that you’ll remember and cherish forever. One of the moments I’ll never forget took place in Paris. In a hostel. More specifically, on the floor of a hostel room. Eight people crowded around one piece of paper trying to determine the severity of different scenarios, both real and imagined, to create a disaster scale.
When to panic…
0.5 Kat slipping down stairs
1 Hangover, rain, improper gear
2 Almost getting hit by a car, losing key @ Bristol, Primark closed
3 Almost missing Paris train, failing [classes]
4 Missing train, sustained group separation
5 Bedbugs & scabies, food poisoning
5.5 Laptop theft
6 London wallet loss, broke out of Bristol
7 Mugged, acquired psych disorder/mental breakdown
8 Losing Erika, not having a place to sleep (in foreign country)
8.5 Breaking non-dominant arm
9 Passport loss, breaking dominant arm
10 Losing others, sustained injury/in-patient hospital, being deported
Sure, some of these are silly – improper gear for rain, places closing early. Some are serious – losing your wallet, losing people while traveling, being deported. All of the things on this list were worries that were on our minds. They may be some that you may have as you travel abroad too. While it is important to remember emergency contact information, such as your program coordinator or your main point of contact abroad, it is also important to remember to let go of some of your worries and have a good time while traveling and studying abroad.
(Thankfully, we never had to actually use this scale during our time abroad…)
If you had to make a disaster scale, what would yours look like?