The Griff

Learning to travel on a student budget

Events

Learning to travel on a student budget

Upcoming Speaker Series features tips from experts and opportunities for affordable adventure

Robin Esrock and Ami Vitale will be speaking at 4:30 p.m. on Mar. 24 at Heart of the Robbins in Building 9, as part of SAMU’s Speaker Series: Travel Edition. The event will feature local travel exhibitors, as well as a chance to win a variety of cool prizes.

Guests are entered in the prize draw upon purchase of a ticket. Prizes include a Nikon DSLR Camera Kit, which includes the camera, case, and an additional lens. Also up for grabs are a two-night stay at Mountain Park Lodges in Jasper, Marmot Basin lift passes, as well as a year’s subscription to National Geographic.

The first and last hours of the event will give guests an opportunity to communicate with local companies offering travel options for any budget.

“Our exhibitors understand that they are catering to a student crowd… their budget is going to be much more varied,” confirms SAMU event producer, Mike Cristello.

Exhibitors will be offering a variety of trip options, both within the country and overseas. Cristello suggests that some of the most affordable trips are also the most exotic, such as Thailand and Nepal.

“You can go on a couple of dollars a day in these countries, and you can do it on a budget,” he says.

Robin Esrock is an adventurer, television personality, and travel writer from Vancouver. His impressive resume includes the books: The Great Canadian Bucket List and The Great Global Bucket List. Esrock has travelled to 100 countries, and has worked with companies such as National Geographic and Detour.

Ami Vitale is a Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic photojournalist who has travelled to 90 countries on a quest to capture the grace and tragedy of our world. Her interests include “rickshaws, rhinos, and revolutions,” which she incorporated into the title of the presentation she’s given in multiple cities around the world. Her concern for the environment is evident in her work with Chinese pandas, as well as her recent chronicling of the transportation and release of one of the last living white rhinos.

Vitale is also a member of Ripple Effect Images, an organization dedicated to bringing attention to issues affecting women and girls worldwide. On her website, Vitale makes herself accessible to aspiring young photographers via Skype and email.

“The overall vision for Speaker Series is… once you’re out of postsecondary and you want to travel, the world is your oyster,” says Cristello. The event will include slide shows in addition to the guests’ lectures.

“It’s talking about how you can go and take some amazing photos while you’re out there.”

There will also be an opportunity to interact further with the guests in the hour following the event, according to Cristello. “People will have time after the engagement to ask questions… it could be as simple as ‘where do you recommend travelling to as a young female’ or ‘where should I travel to if I want to be safer?’”

SAMU regularly polls students in order to discover what services and events might best serve the interests of the student body, and this Speaker Series is the result of such questioning. “We conducted a survey… students are absolutely most interested in travel. It was roughly around 80 per cent (that selected travel as a top interest),” says Cristello.

On why this event may be of particular interest to a wide variety of MacEwan students, Cristello says, “I think there’s something inside of every student that thinks ‘I’m young, it’s time for me to live my life’… the world is so big when you’re young… I think (travelling) is important for personal development, it’s important for realizing that there’s more than just what’s in front of you.”


Cover photo courtesy of SAMU.