Spring Break is often a time for student travel to relax and recharge before heading back to school. However, a lot of the most important life lessons happen away from the classroom, through the education you get from the world.
What if I were to tell you it’s possible to have a vacation that also leaves you with important knowledge to take back with you when you return to school?
I know when I got to the music conservatory in freshman year, it appeared I was caught in an educational loop—by this I mean I was so caught up in my studies it felt like I needed to learn more beyond music. The cold, snowy environment of Upstate New York didn’t help either.
I felt compelled to see the outside world and through this, I learned things I wouldn’t have if I stayed in the confines of a rehearsal space. The important part is that I became more focused on my studies and bring the enjoyment of life I experienced while away to the work I was doing at school.
Your background, interests, major don’t matter, so bring your friends who are interested and gain a shared experience that will bring you all closer together. All that’s needed is a thirst for adventure!
To satisfy your need for something new, here are some Spring Break travel ideas that take you beyond the typical beach party vacation week:
Group camping can be a way to experience a different living while embracing a collective responsibility for the trip and itinerary. This teamwork aspect of the planning and execution can help you avoid stress before and during your trip!
Even if you don’t plan on traveling with friends from school, there are many programs involving fellow college students available. Another option is to join a group of people through travel agencies—why not meeting new friends?
Connecting with others is an important skill to take back with you and apply to any major or profession. It’s also important to have a grasp on effective and thorough scheduling, something that you can accomplish through a good group camping trip.
Some examples of good group camping places are:
One benefit of camping in wildlife is that you don’t have to sleep in the same place every night. You’re flexible to do what you want, go where you want, and sustain on your own.
The US is a great country for this, boasting a large collection of national parks to suit many different needs.
Many National Parks are large on their own, but the vast possibilities don’t mean you have to choose only one. For an intense experience, consider taking a road trip visiting a few. You can bike through many aspects of a park, stay there the evening, then take off to get to another location in the morning.
Unlike group camping with set itineraries, this requires a lot of planning. When you do it on your own, it allows you to have the individual concentration that might bring a new sense of focus to your college activities.
You can plan the entire trip yourself and decide changes on the go without the responsibility of affecting those you’re traveling with.
Many lists of National Park routes are available, for example, this one that provides the National Parks accessible via Amtrak, allowing you to travel between different parks.
Connecting with the natural land is important, but in the world mostly comprised of oceans, another great idea is to have your spring break trip near water.
Marine trips can take on any form, whether you want to travel to Lake Tahoe, dive to see sunken ships around Tortola, surf on the Great Island of Hawaii, or even take a cruise to Galapagos.
In all those places, you’re sure to find lush wildlife to experience.
You can always combine these experiences with hiking as well, whether on the land beside the water or integrated with the experience—for example, take a kayaking trip on the Saco River in New Hampshire to combine many aspects of hiking, group camping, and the aforementioned National Parks experiences.
Visiting another country and living in another culture can provide you with an immeasurable perspective on how the society in which you live works.
Whether you choose a spring break vacation abroad or a longer stay through an internship, experiencing another culture can enhance your social relationships, and make collegiate time even better.
I took advantage of this in my sophomore year when I spent time in Berlin, Germany for my Spring Break; in Berlin, I was able to spend time in a city outside the US, see how German culture differs from the US, and practice the German I had been learning in my classes.
You can stay with a host family and go on tours focused on the local environment—Berlin is well-known for the fast-paced city atmosphere complemented by the wide variety of nature and history surrounding it.
When in Berlin, take a train out to Potsdam for a cheap price and spend the day jogging around beautiful, pastoral scenes with castles and mountains.
There are also many farms around Northern Germany where you can experience a farmer’s life, a lifestyle that supports physical fitness and personal organization.
You can practice easy going local life and do farm work yourself in Hawaii or haciendas of Southern America.
Regardless of where you stay and what you do, these student travel experiences make you re-examine the approach you have to your life and those around you. Looking at the world through the eyes of another culture allows you to see how individual everybody’s experiences are and bring that confidence back with you to college.
Regardless of who you are, college is often a confusing experience. It comprises many intersections of your life, forcing you to confront what you want out of life while also growing in the process. This can feel overwhelming, but it’s not meant to be.
These are the years in which you will grow and understand who you are and any aspect you can do to further expose yourself to different experiences will undoubtedly help you in the long term.
Student travel is never an extremely luxurious lifestyle but choosing one of the aforementioned adventures will give you rewarding experiences that can last a lifetime.
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