It was in Bangkok where I reflected on the three most important lessons I learned from my bartering experience. First, you can’t start your journey without the help of your family and friends, i.e. the belt buckle and the speaker. Second, sometimes you must persevere and not quit when things don’t go your way, unlike what I did early on, because you owe it to those who helped you along the way. Finally, when life throws you a curveball, you must be resourceful and pivot in a new direction, by changing your mental approach. If it wasn’t for these important lessons, in addition to my study abroad experience, which was made possible by the State Department, I never would’ve obtained my first job upon graduation. Thus, no matter what stage of life you’re in, bartering is not only a vehicle towards discovering who you are in the face of uncertainty, but it is also an educational journey with no end in sight. As Ernest Hemingway once said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”. So friend remember this, no matter who you are or where you may be, I have one question, what will you do with your paperclip?