Students traditionally spend spring break, the one week a year they get away from everything academic, soaking up the sun and going buck wild with friends in a place that’s usually native to palm trees.
While a tropical getaway may be typical and preferred by the majority of students, it’s not always practical on a budget.
Since I’m one of those college students who is short on cash, and because I like being outside a lot, I chose an alternative route for break this year. Rather than shell out a ton of money for plane tickets and a nice hotel, I spent about $150 and had one of the best trips of my life road tripping with four of my friends.
When I first told people I was camping in Moab, Utah for spring break, the response was usually “Oh…that’ll be fun” in a tone that clearly implied they were thinking just the opposite.
I don’t know why people have such strong aversions to camping vs. staying in hotels. It could be that they were scarred as children at summer camp, or it could be that sleeping closer to bears than to the nearest gas station makes them comprehensive.
In reality, a sleeping bag that you know only you have slept in is a lot more germophobe-friendly than sleeping on a mattress that has doubtlessly been inhabited by numerous travelers over the course of years.
Before this trip, I had never been camping. Now, I very much appreciate the comfort of my own sleeping bag and the silence that can only be experienced when sleeping 20 miles from civilization. Spending $2 per night for a campsite didn’t hurt things either.
There was something about making grilled-pizza sandwiches and s’mores over a fire built by one of my friends that made the trip seem so much cooler than a “normal” spring break.
Even on the drive the views were something out of National Geographic. Looking out the car windows in Colorado even partly justified the cockiness of every Colorado kid at Creighton.
Although our final destination was only a 14-hour drive away, I could’ve sworn we had landed on Mars. The immense sandstone rock formations, scenic views and canyons spanning as far as the eye could see made it feel like we were no longer on Earth.
Enjoying the great outdoors isn’t necessarily something that happens in Omaha. When it comes down to it, Nebraska just isn’t ideal for hiking, climbing, or any sort of outdoor adventure. It really is something everyone should experience though. Since we’re given this week as a break, I figure it’s as good a time as any to get away to somewhere that has more access to adventure.
As college kids we are also expert freeloaders. Going to Creighton pretty much gives you a free place to stay in any major Colorado city. We also snuck into hotels we could not afford to utilize their continental breakfasts. Since we can pretty much justify the excessive freeloading for only these four years of our lives, I think we should take full advantage of it.
My friends and I hiked, climbed and hottubbed our way through spring break; we even got sunburned. It may not have been the average college trip, but it didn’t make me fall into debt and it’s something I would do again in a heartbeat.