Four Things I Learned Over Spring Break

This spring break was the first in my college career where I didn’t go home. This year I went with my roommate and her family to the Ocala National Park in Northern Florida. We spent five days in warm weather, experiencing nature, and basically doing a lot of things I never do. As such, I also spent five days learning new things about myself because of these new experiences. Here are four things I learned over spring break:

 

1) Turns out I can actually hike if I want to. After years of unequivocally hating hiking without actually trying it, I finally went on not one, but two hikes in a very short span of time. I guess there's some truth to that age-old adage that you never know if you’ll like something unless you try it. Although I would not say that I “like” hiking, I don’t hate it.

Photo by Michelle Spencer

 

2) The idea of “hardcore Florida spring break” is not exactly the reality. We spent one day on the Daytona Beach strip and there were very few spring breakers in general. We spent most of the day expecting droves of college students to hit the beach with hangovers, but in reality it was only a scattering of 20-somethings. Mostly we saw families with children and older couples. Not the wild spring break MTV showed us in the early 2000s. 

Photo by Will Langenberg

 

 3) Florida is much more than beaches and theme parks. The different landscapes that I experienced – swamps, forests, beaches, lakes, etc. – were things I never expected to see before I went on this trip. Tourist sites like Panama City Beach, Miami, and Disney World are places spring breakers generally head for, but maybe they should branch out if they’re ready for adventure.

Photo by Lance Asper

 

4) Sometimes it’s good to unplug. I had very little Internet access in our little, off-the-grid house, and it was nicer than I thought it would be. I was going on hikes, swimming in the pool, and going out for dinner. I wasn’t interested in checking emails or staying up late watching Netflix. I was busy experiencing new things during the day and falling right to sleep at night.

Photo by Jay Wennington

 

Thumbnail Photo via Jonathan Pendleton