In early September last year Bergeron got on a plane from Montreal, Canada, set for Brussels. She left her home country to be an exchange student at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). But over the past few months she has almost spent more time outside Brussels than she has in the city she set out for. She has been to several different European countries such as Denmark, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland, all within one semester.
«I went to Ireland with a couple of friends from Canada in October and we stayed there for almost two weeks. We started out in Dublin where we rented a car before we drove to places like Belfast, Connemara, Cork, Limerick and Giant Causeway. It was amazing,» Bergeron says.
She has been traveling for several weeks out of the months she has been in Brussels and out
of all the places she has been to, she has two favourites.
«My absolute favourite places so fare has been Copenhagen, and Ireland. Copenhagen has an amazing vibe and the nature in Ireland is so beautiful,» she says.
Planing the trip
In just under two weeks the student is setting out to explore yet another continent. The next stop on her adventure around the world is Asia. She ordered her one way ticket to Bangkok almost two months ago and ever since there has been a lot of things to get in order. Getting vaccines, applying for visas and doing research has taken up a lot of her time over the last few months.
«It has been pretty hard to study for my exams when I have so much else to think about. But I just got my visa to stay in Thailand for four weeks, and that makes it all so much more real. The whole trip will take me three months I think,» Bergeron says.
"I am going where the wind taks me"
Places like Bangkok, Phuket, Bali, the Philippines and Vietnam are in her traveling plans, but she still has no idea when and how she will go from one place to another.
«The trip is not planned out at all. I have no idea what I am going to do for most of the trip, so I am just going to see where the wind takes me, so to speak. But one thing I do know is that I will work and live at a surf hostel for a few weeks when I am in Bali,» Bergeron says.
The plan is to work as a volunteer at a surf hostel in Bali and in exchange she will get to live and eat there for free. She also has plans to work as a volunteer when she goes to the Philippines.
«I was planning on doing some humanitarian work while I am in the Philippines. I would like to work in an orphanage where I can teach the children French. It would make my trip so much more fulfilling if I got to do that,» she says.
But her very first destination is
Bangkok. She will stay there for three or four days before getting on a night bus to the southern part of the country.
Traveling is expensive
«Traveling in Asia is not as expensive as one might think. The most expensive part of my trip is the plane tickets. The bus from Bangkok is only going to cost me 7€, so that is not too bad,» Bergeron says.
But Bergeron says that a big part of her budget this year has gone to traveling. She saved up money before moving to Brussels but she now admits that she has put herself in to debt in order to make her Asian dream come true.
«It is going to be worth it. I am going on a once in a lifetime backpacking trip through Asia, alone. I do not really care how much it will cost me because I do believe that the experiences and the memories will be worth it,» she says.
But traveling on a budget has been a struggle at times for the student. She has stayed in hostels all over Europe and she has had both good and bad experiences when doing so.
«I usually stay in hostels when I am traveling because it is usually the cheapest option. But hostels can be a rollercoaster ride sometimes, you never quite know what to expect when you book a bed at a hostel. I got bitten by bedbugs all over my body when I was in a hostel in the Netherlands, and in Bratislava our hostel was nowhere near where we thought it would be. But it is all worth it as long as I get to see new places and experience new cultures,» Bergeron says.
In just under two weeks Alexianne Bergeron is getting on a plane to Bangkok to start her Asian adventure. She might be in depth and by herself, but she is determined to make the journey into the trip of her lifetime no matter how many sacrifices she has to make.