Traveling as a student during COVID-19

I just want my life back

My whole life I’ve been told to “travel young,” “travel while you still can,” and “travel now because it only gets harder as life goes on.” I gained my love for travel my freshman year of high school when I had the amazing opportunity to go to Mexico with my aunt and uncle. Since then I have gone three more times. I have also been to Dallas, Texas and California’s bordering states. Traveling is one of the things that I love to do most. I was supposed to go to Costa Rica in 2020, but like many other people that year, I had to cancel my trip due to COVID-19 rapidly spreading through our world.

When I went to Dallas during the summer of 2021 for two weeks, it showed me how much I missed traveling and seeing new places, people and cultures. Right now, the only thing that has been holding me back is school.

The pandemic has been hard to navigate as a young adult and as a student, but I try to find silver linings in everything. With most courses still online, I have been able to adjust my schedule so that the majority of my classes are on Zoom or are completely asynchronous, which gives me the opportunity to travel this semester.

Keeping up with school while traveling is a whole monster in itself. Operating in a different time zone has its challenges. You have to figure out what time it is at home versus wherever you are and keep track of what time classes meet. Trying to discover new places while having class also presents a challenge because your time management skills have to be at a peak level, not to mention the fear of contracting the virus in the process and not being able to get back to the US if you leave.

During this school year, I have been able to go to Mexico twice. Yes, I am privileged to do this since I work for an airline, but what can I say? This is a field where you can mix business and pleasure. The first time was only for two days, so I went to the class that took attendance and was able to do my homework in the airports. This last time, however, was for a week and I was able to attend the first week of classes online. One of the struggles of starting the semester abroad is not having access to textbooks, but I found a way to survive.

Even as a full-time student, I have managed to find a way to travel and see the world. It is difficult but it is so possible and so worth it. I encourage you to try and see the world. Stop staring at your computer screen in your apartment trying to get an education. Do the same thing on a beach somewhere, or in an Airbnb a few hours away. Just live your life.

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