I Traveled For Spring Break, And It Wasn't Like I Imagined It Would Be

I Traveled For Spring Break, And It Wasn't Like I Imagined It Would Be At All

It was so much better!

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When I first started college, I never thought I would go away for spring break. I found myself perfectly content spending the week at my house with my parents and siblings, getting sleep and homework done. But that changed a couple of months back when five friends and I booked an Airbnb an hour outside of Charleston, South Carolina. A couple of weeks after that, we booked two different tours and making a packing list. Everything was happening very quickly, but it still didn't feel real until the Saturday before the trip.

The trip started with four of us driving to another friend's house to pick her up, and then driving to Cincinnati to pick up the last member. We spent the night in Cincy, getting the chance to explore downtown and walk on the bridge that connects Ohio and Kentucky. After a quick visit, we all settled into bed and woke up by 6:30 a.m. the next morning to begin the 9-hour drive to Charleston. We traded off drivers every three or four hours, depending on traffic and the gas level. We drove through the curves of Kentucky, the tunnels of Tennessee, and the hills of North and South Carolina. It ended up taking us 11 hours, but that still gave us plenty of time to unpack at the Airbnb and become familiar with our surroundings.

On Monday, we decided to take it easy by lounging around at the beach and around the condo. We were at the beach for less than two hours, and all six of us got terrible sunburns. Like to the point where sleeping, walking, and showering was nearly impossible. My shoulders were redder than tomatoes and one girl's legs were so sunburned that they were super swollen and hard to the touch. It was not a great start to our vacation, but nevertheless, we prevailed.

That Tuesday, we walked around a plantation called Middleton Place. There were acres of gardens, water features, history, and so much more. We saw our first three alligators this day. We were satisfied and happy beyond words. To make things short, we basically paid $15 for an amazing photoshoot. The flowers were in full bloom and the weather was sunny and beautiful. It took us like three hours to look at every spot on the map and make our way through the maze. But it was oh so worth it. Then at 2:30, we had booked a harbor and Atlantic Ocean tour to see Charleston from afar and to learn the history of the town. We also saw a castle and Fort Sumter just floating in the ocean. We spent the evening walking through Charleston, looking at churches and went back to Seabrook Island, where we were staying. We had dinner on the island in their "downtown," which consisted of a grocery store, a handful of cute shops and eateries, and various other touristy places. That night we watched movies and relaxed.

Wednesday was another chill day. We visited the Angel Oak Tree which is this ginormous tree that has branches growing in every way possible with countless leaves. Imagine an octopus with like twenty legs and leaves. The tree trunk was extremely thick, and several branches were suspended with metal wiring to keep them in place and stop them from falling. We also ventured onto Kiawah Island where we went to a nature center and saw more gators, snakes, turtles, and various birds. The rest of the day was spent napping, watching Netflix, doing homework, etc. This was a nice break from running around Charleston and a way to just relax. I was able to just chill in m bed and watch some TV and that was nice.

Thursday was our last full day in Charleston, and this one was pretty busy. We started our day near 2 p.m., where we had the morning to take our time getting ready and to chill before our long day. We started our day off by going to the Charleston City Market, where we walked through these open buildings at tiny shops where people were selling anything from handmade items to jewelry to clothing to food. It is super similar to the French Quarter in New Orleans. We spent some time trying to find T-shirts and sweatshirts and other various souvenirs.

We then went to Waterfront Park where we saw the Pineapple Fountain and looked out into the harbor. The fountain was another photo op, and we looked hella cute. Next, we walked to Rainbow Row. This is an entire street where the houses are painted in vibrant colors with fun doors. Again, another photo op. We all looked cute as we chose houses that accented the colors in our clothing.

We stopped to eat dinner at a place called TBonz Bar and Grille. We wanted to go somewhere fancier one of the nights, so we all dressed up in dresses, rompers, and nicer clothes for this dinner. It was fun walking through the city in a fancier outfit. Afterward, we walked back to the car and just chilled there for a little. We changed into better walking clothes because our night was not over yet. We took a trip to the second largest Forever 21 and at 9:30, we went on our second tour: a ghost tour of Charleston.

On the tour, we learned about several ghosts that live in the city and we got to walk through a graveyard. Which was super creepy and the six of us were terrified. We all held hands and made sure to keep close because we were really scared, and it was pitch black out. We managed to get back to our home for the week at a little past midnight and we quickly showered and went to bed as we had an 11-hour drive to make the next day.

In only six days, I not only got to experience a brand-new city, but I also got to experience it with my friends. Sure, we had some small squabble about stupid things, but nothing too serious. We all bonded on this trip and it definitely brought us closer. It also really pushed me out of my comfort zone as I had never been on a trip longer than three hours without my parents before. It was definitely a new experience, and I loved every minute about it.

And where most people go away for spring break to get drunk every night and party until the am, we had a total of like 10 drinks that only four people drank. But we didn't anything other than each other's company and "Disney" movies to occupy our time. This spring break definitely turned out to be one for the books!

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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Your 2019 Spring Break Packing List

It is coming up so you better get packing!

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Are you ready for the sun and the sand? I am! However, I constantly procrastinate packing. It seems to be a lot of work and without a list, it feels impossible. So, I have put off my procrastination and made a pretty detailed 2019 spring break packing list!

1. Bathing suits

You know you need them! I suggest going and finding the perfect fit for you. Swimsuits can be tricky. However, everybody is a bathing suit body! So, go get a suit so you can go get a tan!

2. Sun screen!

You need it, so get it! Trust me, you do not want to get burnt. It could ruin your entire spring break. So lather that sunscreen on and hit the beach!

3. Shorts

You can dress them down or dress them up! Plus, you won't be hot. Long pants at the beach? Nope!

4. Sun glasses

Keep those eyes protected! The sun can damage your vision, so do not risk it. Also, with the right sunglasses, you can make quite the fashion statement.

5. Sweatshirt

The beach can get a bit chilly at night or if you aren't going far south. So, you might want to be prepared. Also, you don't wanna be cold all day after being in the water!

6. Pants

Like the sweatshirt sometimes you just want to be warm. I would suggest a loose beach look instead of jeans, but you can make jeans beachy too! just be prepared in case you have a chilly day,

7. Pajamas

You have to sleep, or at least try too. Also, you might want a lazy day! don't forget to pack something to sleep or chill in.

8. Beach towel

You need something to dry off with! Also if you want a good tan a beach towel is perfect to lay on when on the beach. you need it, and they can be pretty cheap.

9. Something to hold water

Like a water bottle or Yeti cup. Hydration is important when it is hot outside. You can easily get dehydrated on the beach so make sure you have something that allows you to have cold water constantly

10.  Hat

The sun is not great for your skin. So, having a hat is pretty important. Keep your skin healthy by keeping in the shade!

Spring break is a great time where you get to relax and not worry about school. If you pack right then you can avoid unnecessary stress. Have fun and be safe. Try to actually relax and take a week to treat your self!

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