Down With the Sickness: The Travel Bug

“MOOOMMM! I don’t feel very good!”

“What’s wrong, hunny?”

“My minds wandering, I can’t stop scrolling through travel blogs, and staring at Instagrams of far-away places.”

We are at that time of year where everyone and their roommate are sick. With the cold weather comes runny noses, coughs, and sneezes, but I can’t be the only one suffering from the travel bug. Symptoms may include following countless travel bloggers and photographers, checking potential flight prices on the regular, and constantly rambling about places you’d rather be and things you’d rather be doing. Sadly, this disease is incurable but studies have shown reduced symptoms from increased adventures.

Here is some travel inspiration in hopes of causing travel envy to such extreme levels that you too will get out there and explore.

Travel with school: St. Michael’s offers some excellent opportunities for students to travel outside of study abroad.

For school

For some students, study abroad options can be restricted by their majors. Don’t fret! St. Mikes works with tons of different programs that allow you to travel for shorter periods of time and still get credit! Sarah Carlson-McNally traveled to Tibet for about two weeks with a study abroad program called Wisdom Tours, led by Jim Hagan. “We visited a lot of famous, historic Buddhist locations and Buddhist art studios. Lectures for our Buddhist Art and Philosophy classes were held in monasteries and places of worship. I highly recommend taking a trip with Jim, he’s a phenomenal teacher and provides worthwhile experiences to incredible parts of the world.”  Jim also offers trips to Cambodia, India, Nepal, and more.

Sarah at the base of Mt. Everest in Tibet.

For service

MOVE offers numerous service trips throughout the year, helping people worldwide. Emily Boisvert travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana to help build homes. “A place filled with cheerful people who address with a King Cake and warm hugs. We went down to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity, but we left with friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. One of my favorite things was when we all tried alligator and pony boys for the first time.”

Emily, in the gray cap, helping build a home for Habitat for Humanity.

For adventure

The Adventure Sports Center offers exciting opportunities to travel during spring break each year in different disciplines, to new destinations. Demery Coppola went to South Carolina last March with the Center for a paddling trip. “ I was told our red-eye flight would be the only time I’d be subjected to waking up at 4 a.m.. Every morning after began with each of us, steaming mugs of coffee in hand, eagerly swarming the covered porch to behold the sunrise. Post sunrise scramble (eggs and bacon included), we geared up for the day; stepping into our astronaut-like drysuits, life jackets, water shoes and adventure hats. We traveled to a different location each day, exploring the multitudes of bays and beaches surrounding Jacob’s Island State Park. My favorite is definitely the day we landed on the shores of a historic Confederate site, Fort Sumter. In all of our gear, we stormed the fort right as the ferry of tourists arrived in their dresses and blazers. Somehow it felt like we were dressed properly while everyone else was out of place. I owe that feeling to knowing I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, or with anyone else, in that moment.”

South Carolina Sunrise

Travel and work

There are so many resources online to find a workaway, wwoof, or be an au pair abroad. These options typically allow you room and board for free in exchange for work. Rachel High spent this past summer as an au pair for 8 year old twins in Vienna. “As an Au Pair there is more of an emphasis on cultural exchange of language and culture. I lived in Vienna and experienced the city life for a whole summer. I also was able to travel to Bratislava, Berlin, Prague, Salzburg, Budapest, and towns in the Austrian countryside. I travelled with my family and alone! At the end of my summer I spent a week in Florence and a week in Paris. Travelling alone at first seemed scary, but by the end of it it was amazing and I didn’t want it to end. This summer travel experience gave me a great sense of independence and confidence in my abilities. Check out aupair.com or aupairworld.com.”

Rachel and her two “kids” in Vienna.

Just travel!

Last year around this time I was rock climbing with my roommate Katie and casually asked if she would be interested in going to Iceland with me. She immediately said yes and in May we found ourselves in Iceland with absolutely no plans. With three weeks, a backpack, some camping gear, and an extra pair of socks we hitchhiked around the island twice, met some generous locals, cool travelers from all over, and chased countless waterfalls. It was an epic journey that was very compatible with a broke college student budget.

Katie and I at Dynjandi Waterfall in the Westfjords of Iceland.