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Commentary: Exploring outside the Midwest, leaving comfort zones makes for adventurous spring break

Elizabeth Garabedian / Lantern reporter

Every year, students have a choice on where and how to spend their spring breaks. Some fork over hundreds or thousands of dollars to travel to lavish resorts and beautiful beaches with their friends. Others spend the week at work earning a little extra cash to get them through the remaining weeks of school or to boost up their resumes. Some travel in large groups for service projects to help those devastated by disaster. And the remaining tend to head home to catch up on some sleep and rest. Some, however, take the perhaps atypical route and go exploring to different parts of the country (or world) in search of a little culture.

Getting out of Ohio and the Midwest altogether is something students ought to take advantage of, especially if they are Midwestern natives. For my spring break this year, I visited some sea lion caves in Oregon. I was able to attend several wine tastings, eat a lot of fresh fish and travel through some extravagant mountain ranges. After my experience in Oregon, I must say there is something about escaping the flat highways and dusky farmlands to take in the breathtaking scenery of Oregon mountaintops, Arizona canyons or Washington cherry blossoms. The possibilities for adventure are endless, and your friends in bikinis and swim trunks will be jealous even as they sip on their margaritas in a so-called paradise.

Students can gain so much from being a tourist for a week. They can take in some history, from the sea lion caves of Oregon and colonial homes of Rhode Island. They can taste raw crab from the Pacific, steak from the West or fresh lobster from the East Coast. And they can explore sights unlike any other at the Grand Canyon and rivers and mountains of the Pacific Northwest. 

But students must be able to let go of their previous notions and ideas about tourism and be willing to be the nerd with the camera (or even the fanny pack, if you dare). It’s about reaching beyond your comfort zone and being willing to explore something new and not being afraid of stepping in mud, stumbling upon a snake or munching on caviar. 

The Earth’s circumference spans about 24,901 miles of eclectic cultures, authentic cuisines, wondrous sights and magnificent tales. The outside world is not to be wasted.

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