Klykii is a globetrotter as well as a student, writer, and lover of life. She is on a mission to see the whole world, one continent at a time. Check out her blog, “Klykii’s life: the journey of a pseudo adult”.
Klykii’s first travelling adventure was “eye opening and hilarious.” Sporting pink hair and five piercings in her face, she flew to Boise, Idaho less than 2 months after her 18th birthday. She stayed at a seedy motel, and her room was in the floor below the lobby – “it was kind of a basement full of hotel rooms.” Although it was early May, the cold motel dipped into the mid-20s in the evenings. She met up with the one person she knew in Boise, a blogger. The gentleman was gay, goth, and a vegan. She had this stereotype in her head about Boise, and he completely shattered her expectations in a great way. She hadn’t anticipated diversity, but happily found it. Her memories about this visit are from 10 years ago, but she can still recall a lot of road construction, churches, motorcyclists, and mullets.
She pioneered this dream to travel given that she didn’t really have an example to follow. Sure, she’d had family members who enjoyed light travelling, but the last big trip took place when she was just a toddler. She actually drew inspiration from reading a blog by Wonderleafy, a girl who did a cross country trip by herself in her early 20s. Reading Wonderleafy’s story validated Klykii that she was not just another misanthropic young adult who wanted to escape. The story validated her truth: “travelling with this kind of drive behind it (no pun intended) was something some people just had to do, and leaving your family and friends behind to do it wasn’t wrong.”
Klykii explained, “Traveling is how I evolve best, escaping my every day in favor of new experiences always challenges me in new ways, even if I’m going to the same place…I just have to…I feel like a shark sometimes, like if I stop moving I won’t be truly living.” There are only one or two people whose opinions she takes into account in her life choices otherwise she is not hindered by the words of others. Moreover travelling is one aspect in which she’s never doubted her choices. When she began travelling, she did have emotional support from friends and family with the caveat that some of her trips were occasionally met with skepticism and concern. Though her loved ones were happy she did go on those trips partially because she came back “a lot nicer.”
Having visited other places has put into perspective how much she treasures her culturally diverse home. She enjoys befriending individuals who bring a different culture or other interesting aspect. As a result, when she travels to places that lack diversity she notices this right away. She prefers to explore other societies especially if they differ economically from ours. She travelled to developing countries, and she was surprised at how happy people can be even when they’re living off of 25 USD a day. Having seen this in person really changed her life. She grew out of being a person who “owned a ton of crap but valued little of it” into an adult who can live out of a backpack for 2.5 months and feel a sense of relief and contentment.
Generally, Klykii learns something new after each trip except for places where she’s been to more than once – except for New York City. She brings home a part of the place she’s visited; sometimes it’s a tan that took 4 months to acquire (and then 4 weeks in San Francisco for the fog to fade it away). On the trips, she writes in her journal, takes photos, and collects souvenirs to some extent. The souvenir can simply be a postcard. She rarely journals, but she definitely takes photos as much as possible. These activities are done at a pace where she doesn’t miss out on the actual trips, maintaining experience over snapping the lens.
Her favorite aspect of travelling is self-reinvention. In her hometown, she is pigeonholed into being one way the majority of the time. But when she travels, she’s forced to climb out of her comfort zone, talk to strangers, and go out into situations as opposed to play it safe and staying home with a book or a movie. Recognizing the limited time of her trips forces her to get the most out of these experiences.
Klykii has travelled both on her own, and also with companions. She’s learned that travelling alone suits her personality better. Understandably, it is difficult to compromise with others on a trip let alone trust them to pull their weight in the financial sense after agreeing to a budget. And in the end, she feels that she grows more every time she travels alone. She travels with an agenda even it’s to unwind and to get lost somewhere. Ironic but true.
In addition to travelling, she also pursues higher education. Currently, she is in a graduate program abroad. But balancing travel and education has proven difficult. It’s been easier to make domestic trips by taking 2 days off from work and tacking them on to a 2 to 3 day weekend. Alternatively, she’s taken vacation time from work and coordinated it with winter vacations at school. But it is not the best course of action if one is on a tight budget. One trip, in 2008, she actually missed a week of school so that she could travel. (Well worth the sacrifice!) Yet the most challenging decision she made was taking a leave of absence from school and quitting her job at the same time in order to travel and teach abroad. She struggled with this plan because she feared the aftermath. What if upon her return it would be impossible to find professional contentment and motivation to complete her undergrad program? However, the desire to take this leap consumed her thoughts, and she knew it was time whether it felt right or not. By the end of the deliberation, she reached a point where she had to take the teaching job abroad because she was compelled to do so.
As far as suggestions, depending on the length of the trip and destination, Klykii recommends budgeting early. For instance, if you’re travelling somewhere that is expensive to travel to, save the equivalent of approximately 2 round trip flights before even purchasing items for the trip. This way, your preparation is already started. For example, if the trip is to Hawai’i for a week, the pre-budget puts you ahead in preparing financially: you’ve already saved up for the flight and some of your hotel. Klykii tries to think in terms of, how many paychecks is this going to cost?
Travelling has shaped Klykii into who she is today. She’s taken risks that she never thought she would. She quit the best job she ever had because she knew she had to act quickly and trust her instinct. Travelling has also taught her that there’s no escaping who you are ultimately. She’s still a shy person whether starting a new job in the bay area or trying to negotiate the prices of pillowcases in India. There is a great line from a book called, “Karma Cola” by Gita Mehta which KlyKii read on her down time while on a trip. In it, Mehta talks about tourists coming to India in droves, “to be born again, with the conviction that in their rebirth they will relearn to live.” Klykii carries this quote where ever she goes.
By Ruby Fa'agau