A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Arupnow

Two Weeks Left, WOAH that was fast!

So a lot of this is stuff for myself but I thought I'd post this in case
SASers in the future wanted an idea of what to do or how much to budget. I
am fortunate enough to have saved a lot and received a great deal of help
from Semester at Sea and my home institution. Everyone's budget will be different according to what they want to do and how much they have available
to them so don't be worried if you don't have the same number as I do on


Field Trips/Indy Trips: $5500

On-Ship Spending Account: $1000 (Laundry, snacks, ship store etc.)

In country spending money: $3000 (Unplanned trips, souvenirs, food)

Homecoming Money: $2000

Rent/Home Expenses while gone: $1015

Semester at Sea Field Program/Indy Trips

Country Date | Time Name of program Price
Dominica Jan. 16, 10am-6pm Bumping Tour $60

Jan. 16, night Either house party or clubbing $55

Jan. 17, 1pm-430p DOM26: River Tubing paid, 55
Brazil Jan. 23, 930-Jan 27, 12a MNS04: Amazon and Rio paid, 1500
Ghana Feb 6, All Day Nothing planned ---

Feb 7, 8a - Feb 9, 8a Home Stay at Senase Village $200

Feb 10, 8a-4pm TAK24: Drumming and Dance workshop (FDP) paid, 92
South Africa Feb 17 Horseback Riding Sunset $75

Feb 18 9a-3am (19th) Wineland Tour | U2 Concert 65/108

Feb 19, 2pm-4pm Robben Island (Feb. 19th) $30

Feb 20, Whenever Boulder Beach (Penguins) $30

Feb 21, Whenever Table Mountain Hike $40

Feb 22 Free Day | Maybe Two Oceans Aquarium $15
Mauritius Feb 27, 9a-5p Catamaran Cruise w/Irini paid, 60
India Mar 6, 130p-Mar 9, 4p Agra and Varanasi with Tour Company paid, 330

March 10 Nothing planned ---

March 11 Nothing planned ---
Singapore March 16th Wing it ---
Vietnam March 19th Nothing planned (Maybe HCM04: Cu Chi Tunnels) $50

March 20th Nothing planned (Maybe HCM12: Mekong Delta) $46
Cambodia Mar. 21, 11a-Mar 23, 6p HCM21: Cambodia/Angkor What/Killing Fields paid, 1089
Hong Kong Mar 26, All day Nothing planned ---
China Mar 27, 8 - Mar 31, 12p Beijing/Great Wall/Xian $1080

April 1 Nothing planned (Shanghai) ---
Japan April 4 Kobe, Ticket for train in Japan 7 day pass $350

April 5-6 Kyoto/Tokyo $80

April 7 Tokyo $60

April 8 Tokyo/Yokohama ---
Hawaii April 17 Nothing planned

April 18 Nothing planned

Actual Total (not yet paid)

$ Allotted

SAS Trips to consider | Advice from previous SASers:

South Africa:

SAS Trips? =

Feb 17th: Three Faiths Pilgrimage $30

Feb 17th: CAP14 KHAYELITSHA TOWNSHIP VISIT (1330-1800 Thursday, 17 February)

Feb. 21st Habitat for Humanity $37

Things to do:

Long Street for night life

Townships recommened

Ms. Vicki¹s B&B

Cape to Cuba for a restaurant

See the penguins at Boulder Beach and hike Table Mountain


Apocalypse Now is a good club to go to, specials for SASers

Mekong Delta recommended

Get tailored clothing made here (Dong Khoi)

Hong Kong:

Go club hopping in Lan Kwai Fong


Buy a Japan Rail Pass here and trade in the voucher in Japan.

Things I still need to do before I leave on January 10th!

  • Call car insurance company and chance coverage
  • Get cash from bank: $100 in 1's for tips and cabs, $100 in various other amounts

> * Bring $500 for Indy trips that others have planned so I can pay with cash. * Buy school supplies and an umbrella

  • Find converter, foldable shoe rack, money belt
  • Call and ask about passport for the billionth time
  • Take valuable stuff to Zach's place and give him car keys
  • Get International Student ID card from UNT
  • Deep clean room and car
  • Clean out cupboards/refrigerator at apartment so roomies don't have to

worry about it

  • Get three months worth of rent to apartment complex
  • Pay for the China Guide trip once financial aid goes through

> * Wire it to Wellsfargo account or get Swabb account as suggested by previous > SASer
This is all I can think of right now, probably because my brain is malfunctioning.

Posted by Arupnow 23:06 Comments (0)

Home for the Holidays

Finally time to relax and see my family and friends in Omaha

overcast 30 °F
View Semester at Sea {Spring 2011} on Arupnow's travel map.

It's a typical winter day in Omaha right now, overcast, cold and a dreary weather forecast - but that's what I was hoping for when I left the 80 degree weather in Texas this past Monday. I always look forward to a white, yet cold, Christmas because if there isn't a blizzard moving in on Christmas day than it simply doesn't feel like the holidays to me. As I got off of my flight around 10pm and walked through the very small Epply Airport I think about how nice it is to be able to come home to true friends and supportive family. Already my friend Clint has texted me asking if I need a ride from the airport and Joy has written on my facebook asking if I want to meet her swing choir girls. I walk up to the baggage claim area and spot my little (but not so little anymore) brother, Nick. We make comments about all of the people from my flight and he tells me how he's been after his most recent surgery. I tend to get a little sad when I see my younger siblings (Nick is 14 and Ciara is 12), because I can't help but think about all of the stuff I'm missing while I'm in Texas or traveling. I miss Nick's performances in theatre and Ciara's choir performances and I must say that is the thing I hate the most about being far from my family. Nick helps me with my bags and we meet Dad at the car. Dad gives me a giant hug and we all start joking and making fun of each other on the car ride to our house where Dad has my favorite dinner, his delicious spaghetti all made up and ready for me to eat. When I walk through the door our dog Ruby gets so excited to starts howling and running in circles around the house, as though she's trying to let everyone know that her big sister Audrey is back and they should be just as hyped up as she is right now. The past few days I've spent time with Clint, Kat, Greg and Joy. I had tacos y jello shots which is the traditional Tuesday for Kat and her roommates here in Omaha. I was even able to see an old friend from high school, Florence - it was so nice to be laughing and swapping stories from our high school day shenanigans with everyone so we decided to continue the festivities last night with a night of karaoke. I got up and sang a few of my favorites, "Black Velvet" and "Killing Me Softly" and Kat did a great rendition of "Santa Baby" and "Popular". Clint actually got to sing so we decided we're going again and to a better place this time. I even got to dance with a guy from Clint and Kat's dance place and it was so much fun! Now I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve with my step-dad, T.J. and my little sister. I'm feeling pretty sad about not being able to get Christmas presents for anyone except Ciara and Nick - but there isn't much I can do about it. I'm hoping this time next year I'll be in a better place financially and will makeup for it.

Today I woke up in a panic dreading all of the last minute tasks I have to accomplish for Semester at Sea, even though all that's left are the smaller things like setting up my phone service, checking my budget, canceling some services and blah blah blah. So to ease my mind I spent the morning catching up on all of that fun stuff and decided to catch my blog up as well. I ended up getting every single field trip I wanted to sign up for so that means I get to go to Rio de Janeiro and Cambodia through SAS. I have been talking to a really awesome lady named Ritika and we decided we get along so well so why not request to be roommates? So I'm not as worried about who my roomie will be. I've got all of my shopping done except for school supplies and little things like magnets for the walls on the ship so I can put up pictures of family and friends on my side of our cabin. On my next post I'll put my finalized itinerary for the trip and maybe my budget numbers so if future SASers read this they have an idea of the insane costs ahead of time. Hope your holidays will be filled with as much love as mine are and I'll blog again soon!

Posted by Arupnow 12:44 Archived in USA Tagged snow travel holiday family friendship karaoke omaha semester_at_sea Comments (0)

T-Minus 40 Days

It's starting to set in that I'm going again!

sunny 55 °F

Well the anxiety of having so much to do is finally starting to subside and my brain can focus on why I've been so stressed out. I'm sitting in the comfort of my living room with Zach watching a movie and trying to remember the last little list of things I have to do yet.

1.) Get vaccinated (yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and malaria pills for the entire voyage)
- which means I need to make another doctors appointment
2.) Request Sitika as a roomie (yay!)
3.) Call credit card companies and make them aware of my travels
4.) Triple check that SAS received my field program choices
5.) Go to Sam's to buy on-ship snacks
6.) Start making/checking off list of things I need to buy for my trip
7.) Take a second look at my budget now that I have all of my plans finalized
- check in with tour companies that I'm booking with to finalize details
8.) Buy sim card for my cell phone

That's all I can think of for right now. It's going to be weird being on the ship with a completely new community atmosphere, but I'm going to try to make it an entirely new experience. I don't like the idea of not having someone I know right when I get on the ship. It was kind of like a comfort blanket to already know Sarah and Terra, and get along with them so well. But everyone else can make tons of friends then hopefully so can I. I'm finishing Eat Prey Love and as cheesy as it sounds that's kind of my inspiration for doing this all over again.

I'm going to miss Zach so much, but we've done this once before and we have the rest of our lives to be together. I have to do this for myself or I'll regret passing this up for the rest of my life - and I'm not about to start having regrets now. I'll write more when I know for sure if I got the field programs that I wanted, and when I have an update on my visas (they should be here in 2-3 weeks!!!)

Posted by Arupnow 22:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Amazing Trips Planned :-)

Hiking on Dominica, Camp in Amazon, Rio, Home Stay/dancing in Ghana,Table Mountain/horseback riding on beach in South Africa, Taj Mahal/Ganges River in India, Food/shopping in Singapore, Campout on Great Wall of China and theatre/castles in Japan.

overcast 70 °F

Alright so pretty much all of my free time is spent researching these countries that I'm going to or filling out paperwork. Thank god this semester is almost over, except that means a lot of time away from Zach :-(. I put together a list of stuff I wanna do in every port and I'd say it's pretty damn epic. check it out:

Roseau, Dominica (Sun. Jan. 16th - Mon. Jan. 17th)
-January 16th (day) - ^Bumping Tour - hiking all day to Middleham Falls, Titou Gorge, Trafalgar Falls, and snorkeling at Champagne Reef
(night)- ^House party
-January 17th - SAS River Tubing Trip

Manaus, Brazil (Sun. Jan.23rd - Thurs. Jan. 27th)
-January 23rd -27th - Amazon and Rio with SAS $1500 (if I get it!)

-January 23rd - Amazon Explorer $97
-January 24th - Waterfall Reserve $200
-January 25th - Brazilian Dance Fusion $70
-January 26th - Service Visit - Raio Do Sol $50
Stuff to do Indy:
^Bar do Armando - near the Opera house in Brazil
^Centro Cultural Palacio Rio Negro - Palace in Manaus
^Coacao Blue - Club to go out in

Takoradi, Ghana (Sun. Feb. 6th - Thur. Feb. 10th)
-February 6th - 8th - ^Immersion with Fred $150 (also get to see the slave castles during this trip)
here are the details for this one:

MONDAY Depart port as early as we can driving westward to the historical town Cape Coast,our first stop at the Slave Castle that use to be the administrative house for the British and a salve cell for the slaves.After a tour through the slave dungeons we will continue to to the Ashanti Kingdom where we will make a stop in the biggest open market in Ghana Kajetia Market to shop for few things then continue to Senase a unique village with very welcoming and loving people. After a short introduction to your various new families we will take a walk to have dinner with my family in a unique traditional way. Join the dancers and drummers for your first lessons of African music and dance, where you will be taught about 5 different African Music and dance.
Overnight in your new homes

TUESDAY Be wake by the melodies from the birds and get ready to visit the chiefs and elders of the village to seek permission to be in their community and also made them aware of our presence in their village as tradition demands. we will then depart to the village school to engage in some activities like teaching, singing,painting,playing etc. Gift can be shared. Over 90% of this community are farmers so it will be good to help our families in the farms at noon after our visit to the school.
Return home with stuffs from the farm to prepare dinner, where each group will be with their new families helping them in the preparations of dinner. Meet the dancers and drummers for your second lessons.

WEDNESDAY Ready for the lifetime excitement, where we will all meet at the village circle at the durbar where the chiefs,Queen mother and the villagers will be present to watch us perform and say farewell to us as we depart after our performance. We will then in our sad way say goodbye to families and friend and depart back to port.

Cape Town, South Africa (Thurs. Feb. 17th - Tues. Feb. 22nd)
-February 18th - ^Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was help prisoner
-February 19th - ^Hike Table Mountain /Horseback Riding along the beach
-February 20th - Wineland Tour, visiting five different wine tasting "farms" and at the last one they have baby cheetahs there that we can see/take pictures with

Port Louis, Mauritius (Sun. Feb. 27th)
February 27th - SAS Blue Escape Catamaran/Snokeling

Chennai, India (Sun. March 6th - Thurs. March 11th)
-March 6th- March 10th - India Indy $400 - If I do this I will be seeing the Taj Mahal, Delhi, Agra (the red fort) and then going to Varanasi to visit the Ganges River and do a boat ride hopefully during the sunrise or something like that. I'll be on an overnight train from Agra to Varanasi which I heard is a must-do when you're in India.

-March 6th - SAS Welcome Reception
-March 8th - March 11th - SAS Agra/Varnasi (same thing as my Indy trip just all planned for me, but way more expensive

Singapore (Wednesday March 16th)
Shopping/Eating on own
, following a new friend around who's already been here and knows all the good stuff to do.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Sat. March 19th - Thurs. Apr. 24th)
-March 19th - March 21st - SAS Cambodia/Angkor Wat/Killing Fields
, if I don't get this SAS trip I'm seriously going to cry my eyes out.
-March 22nd - Chi Cu Tunnels

Hong Kong/Shanghai, China (Sat. Apr. 26th - Fri. Apr. 1st)
-March 26th - March 30th - Trip to Xian/Hong Kong/Beijing/Shanghai

Hopefully visiting the Terracota Warriors in Xian somewhere in the itinerary below

Arrive Hong Kong 8am
Free day to explore Hong Kong
Return to ship, overnight on the ship

Sunday Hong Kong - Beijing
Depart the ship and make your own way to Hong Kong airport by taxi
or Airport Express Train
Flight Hong Kong - Beijing
Pick-up at Beijing airport by your guide and driver, transfer to your
hotel and check in
Evening free

Monday Sleep on the Great Wall
Western buffet breafast at the hotel
Check out of the hotel, meet at 9am in the lobby
Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
Peking Duck Lunch: try Beijing’s famous traditional cuisine
Xiushui Silk Market: shop and bargain for souvenirs and clothes.
Drive to Jinshanling Great Wall
Sunset hike on the Wall
Dinner at the base of the Jinshanling Great Wall: local Chinese dishes
Sleep on the Wall: beer, soft drinks and snacks provided overnight, we
provide all the sleeping gear too.

Tuesday Beijing
Breakfast on the Wall: Muesli and fresh fruits
Hike Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall
Lunch at Simatai Great Wall
Drive back to Beijing, drop-off to your hotel and check in
Stroll on the Olympic Green and view the outside of the Swim Cube
and Birds Nest Stadium
Free time

Wednesday Beijing - Shanghai
Check out of the hotel, meet at 9am in the lobby
Summer Palace
Enjoy a local lunch in a Hutong family’s home: participate in making Chinese dumplings (jiaozi)
Hutong Tour: includes a cycle rickshaw ride through Beijing’s historic hutongs. Stop to go up the Drum
Tower and enjoy tea in a traditional style courtyard family home.
Chaoyang Acrobat Show (5:15 to 6:30)
Beijing train station drop off, overnight train to Shanghai departing in the evening. You are escorted onto
the train by your guide who will then bid you farewell. You may tip your guide for good service.

Thursday Shanghai, 8pm departure
Morning arrival in Shanghai about 8am. Met by Shanghai guide, transfer by bus to ship.
Free day to explore Shanghai
Depart Shanghai 8pm

Japan -(Monday April 4th - Friday April 8th)
-Get bullet 7 day pass $350
-Monday, Kobe - Kyoto
-Tuesday, Kyoto
-Wednesday, Kyoto-Hiroshima
-Thurs, Hiroshima - Tokyo
-Friday, Toyko - Yokohama

  • Still figuring out exactly what I want to do in each city, will post more on Japan later

Hilo,Hawaii (Sunday April 17th - Tuesday April 18th)
- Relax and swim/snorkel a LOT :-)

Posted by Arupnow 14:20 Tagged sea travel at semester Comments (0)

Classes and worries about the Field Programs

Final class schedule and figuring out what I want to do in each country.

semi-overcast 60 °F

This voyage we have class everyday on the ship, but this time around we have "A days" and "B days". I think it will be a bit less stressful. I've also chosen classes that should be a lot of fun instead of really terrifying like last time around. I got a work study scholarship again for the Spring so I'll be working in the student life office two hours a day when were at sea. I hope to do that later on in the evening so I have time to lay out, work out and relax during the afternoons on the ship. Here's my class schedule:

A days:
Travel Writing 10:45am - 12:00pm
South Asian Music 12:15pm - 1330pm

B days:
Global Studies 9:20-10:35am
Music Culture 10:45-12:00pm

All of the final field program info has been released so I've been scouring those trying to see what I want to have planned in every country. The summer trip was much easier in that respect for two reasons. The first was that Sarah and I pretty much wanted to do all of the same things so I didn't have to worry about finding people to travel with in country. The second is that it's pretty obvious what you want to do in places like Greece and Italy, but Singapore or Manaus, Brazil? Bit more difficult and not very easy to plan for so it looks like I'll be going with the flow a bit more (and if you know me you know how difficult that is haha). Later on I'll post the trips I've actually decided on doing and the ones I'm planning to do Indy.

It still doesn't feel like I'm actually going again. I keep waiting for it to set it, but I don't think it will until I'm actually on the ship. I've sent my passport into the company I'm using to get visas, bought my plane ticket to the Bahamas and done all sorts of other things, but I think because I was simply hoping to go this time and it wasn't set in stone - it's a little like a dream right now. I'll write more soon!

Posted by Arupnow 15:13 Archived in USA Tagged sea travel at classes semester Comments (0)

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