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Return trip: 3 things that have changed

"Return trip: 3 things that have changed", travel story written by Mai Loan, an experienced traveler also known as Instagram @mailoisinoz, exclusively for Yogis on Roadtrip.

My name is Mai Loan and in 2014 I took a plane ticket to Brisbane, Australia, a trip without return. My plan was to stay 2 years to study. Finally, like any plan on a trip, I decided to change.

Instead of staying 2 years as a student, I stayed studying 1 year and a half and I stayed 1 year in PVT (Visa).

Return trip: 3 things that this experience has changed in me

I reconciled with France

Before leaving, I had the easy criticism of France: "The French are cons", "everything is slow in France", "we are late", "All policies are zero" etc. (And do not throw me especially on the subject of the French administration!)

And finally ... On my return from travel, after 3 years abroad, I understood that everything was not to throw in our beautiful country, including access to health and school (and yes if you want to be treated and educated in Australia, you better be rich). And then the gastronomy too! My God, I forgot that good bread, cheese and pastries were not everywhere!

I learned to be grateful.

And yes, not so bad France finally.


(me in front of a bakery in France on my return trip)

Traveling opens the mind

Okay, you'll tell me it's cliché, of course. But it's so true: traveling opens the mind. I remember that before going on a trip, I had an Italian roommate. She told me that she was learning French but she still had a small level. I then remember saying to myself "I'm going to talk to her like I'm talking to everyone and if she does not understand, she'll ask me to repeat, that's all! "

Well, she was just avoiding me because she was embarrassed to speak French with me. I thought it was a pity and that was not the way she would learn a new language.

Well when it was my turn to talk to my roommates in English and they spoke super fast, I can tell you that I quickly understood the discomfort. That feeling of inferiority that you feel when you ask someone to repeat 10 once ...

Today, after my trip back, I can tell you that instead of judging people who do not speak French well and who learn it, I admire them. (Especially since French is much more complicated than English).

Beyond the language, meetings with Australians but also backpackers and foreign students (including Colombians, Brazilians, Chinese, Italians ...) allowed me to confront my ideas ready made.

I am thinking in particular of all these discussions that I had with Chinese people about the political regime put in place there. I understand that some media tell us what they want. After several hectic conversations, I also understood why I was angry when I called my Taiwanese friends "Chinese people". The conflict between these peoples was not necessarily what interested me the most when I was in my little room in Paris, centered on my problems of European. At that moment I really said to myself: "Wow, traveling open mind." I also made friends from Dubai who explained to me in the greatest calm how their families had slaves who worked for them. In these cases, you can not just get upset and scream scandal. It's your friend, and you have to (at least try) understand their way of life.

These are only examples of others, but they reflect how different my topics of conversation were (I insist, I mean "different" and not "better") than what I can have in France . Traveling opens the mind, especially if you are open to change.

Why traveling is a positive experience?

Before going on a trip, I had the impression that the project of going so far for 2 years was the project of my life. Once you're back from the trip, you realize that it was not that complicated, you realize how much travel opens your mind and you think you're thinking about doing bigger projects. . It started from the moment I decided to stay 3 years instead of 2 years.

"Why do not I leave for a while in Argentina? "I'm going to start freelancing! "Why would not I start my own business? "

And yes, traveling opens the mind but not that! Traveling also allowed me to develop my entrepreneurial spirit! As it is difficult to find a permanent contract in your branch in PVT, I developed during my stay there my freelance activity in digital marketing. I also created my company (see here) which helps French travelers to start their adventure in Australia by accompanying them in all the administrative procedures to be done at the beginning. So I give travel advice. It allowed me to overcome lack of self-confidence, to meet many people and to surpass myself. Yes, go on a trip that forms.

In addition to all this, after my trip back, I became less shy (forced when you speak English well, there is a moment, you have no choice but to start even if you make mistakes). I cut the umbilical cord with my parents, and learned that fear should not be a hindrance to my projects.

And for all that, I can not say it enough: Thank you Australia.

1 comment

  • I thank you for this article. I like your way of writing that makes you accessible and authentic :)

    Claire MICALLEF

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