Traveling Teaches You Life Lessons Beyond Just The 'Travel Experience'

Traveling Teaches You Life Lessons Beyond Just The 'Travel Experience'

Traveling and experiencing various cultures taught me a lot.

This Christmas instead of new shoes, clothes and toys I asked Santa to travel. I decided to ask for experience rather than material objects. I went on a cruise with two of my friends and their families. The places I got to see were breathtaking.

Traveling and experiencing various cultures taught me a lot.

This was the first stop off of the boat, St.Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. We stopped at the port with no plans or ambitions. We found a nice local who drove us around to show us the island in depth.

It was amazing.

The houses sat in the mountains surrounded by trees and greenery. It was hard to see some areas, it was evident that Irma impacted in a costly way. Wooden slabs were placed around with spray paint that said, "Houses back here with no power." This affected me a lot because I live in Florida and thought my five-day streak without power was a challenge.

This destination taught me to appreciate everything I have.

San Juan, Puerto Rico was the second place we visited. It was beautiful and unique. There were stores everywhere and narrow streets that contained a lot of history.

There were many street vendors and locals along the roadside who were selling objects such as handmade jewelry and paintings.

It was mesmerizing to watch people make such art with such elegance and somehow make it look so easy. Everyone I met was pleasant and joyful.

San Juan taught me that kindness is the best quality a person can have.

The last place we went to was Nord, Haiti. The water and surrounding views were spectacular. We went jet skiing, and I learned that jet skiing in the ocean is a lot more challenging than in a lake.

I quickly caught on that you can't go as fast when you approach a wave once I was thrown off the side into the middle of the ocean.

After that adventure, I visited the vendors and sellers that surrounded the area. Everyone was very ambitious to sell, they created such beautiful pieces and were willing to sell them for minimal prices. Their spirits were unbeatable.

Haiti taught me to be humble with whatever I do.

Cover Image Credit: Rowan Cassarly

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19 Signs You're From South Jersey

South Jersey breeds a unique type of human, and it will always be our home.

If you are from South Jersey, you are a unique breed of human who has been blessed with Wawa, pork roll, Philadelphia, beach trips, all-service gas stations, hoagies, water ice, and more. The population of South Jersians can relate to so many things that everyone else in the country can't- this list is just to name a few.

1. It is pork roll, not Taylor Ham.

Let's get this one out of the way first. Every South Jersian knows that “pork roll” is the product — the meat — and “Taylor” is the brand. We don’t refer to bacon as “Oscar Meyer.” It is literally not even ham, and the word “ham” actually appears nowhere on the Taylor brand packaging. That’s all I have to say about that.

2. Wawa is the beloved, convenient, delicious, and sacred place that we worship.

Easily our most common go-to. In fact, you can typically find 4 different Wawa’s within 5 miles of you at all times. If anyone closed their eyes and dreamed of the best convenient store possible, it would be Wawa.

3. NYC is cool, but Philly is your city.

Spruce Street Harbor Park, Independence Mall, Magic Gardens, Center City Sips, cheesesteaks, Graffiti Pier, and endlessly more — Philly gives you everything you could need for a beautiful night and only we know how underrated it is.

4. You probably do not know how to pump gas.

If you have driven out of state, you may have had to figure it out by now, but for the most part, we have the luxury of not needing to know this skill. Fill it up regular, please!

5. A day trip to the beach is your bliss.

If you’re from South Jersey, you have a long list of beach options — and you most likely have a favorite. Between LBI, Ocean City, Wildwood, Seaside, Avalon, Sea Isle, Atlantic City, and more- we are certainly spoiled.

6. Our slang is different.

For whatever reason, our vocabulary is quite unique — even compared to North Jersey. Especially among teenagers, we have an abundance of special jargon.

7. It’s a hoagie. Not a "sub." It will always be a hoagie.

We all love our Wawa Hoagiefest. No one can ever tell us differently — a sub is a submarine boat and Subway is an underground railway system.

8. And people call them “jimmies,” not sprinkles. Oh, and it’s "water ice" not Italian ice.

Clearly, we like having our own South Jersian language.

9. You learned to drive with pretty awful road rage.

You are surrounded by road rage here, especially if heading toward Philly or New York. It’s the land of honking, cutting off and middle fingers. The lovely picture above is from the New Jersey Turnpike.

10. Honestly, you probably dislike North Jersey.

For some reason, Jersey has pretty much segregated itself into two different states. Or three, I guess, if you’re someone who counts Central Jersey. The rivalry is real — in fact, any North Jersian reading this has probably physically cringed multiple times by now.

11. Your accent is subtle, but yet pretty distinct.

We tend to have an accent on words such as cawfee, wooter, and begel. We certainly do not have a “joisey” accent, but something is still a little off.

12. There is no “New” in New Jersey.

Ok, obviously there is, but as you can tell already within this article, we really do not often use the “New” part. Too much inconvenience for us I assume.

13. You probably make a trip (or five) to BB&T Pavilion every summer.

Or “Susquehanna” as the more original concert-goers will still refer to it as- the lawn is basically the best place to be (except when you lose all your friends and have no service). It’s also usually a high school reunion to see all your hometown friends on break.

14. You have everything you could want within driving distance.

Philly one way, or the beach the other way, or NYC another way, or even the Poconos when you need some mountains and skiing. We’ve got everything.

15. The weather is dramatic and bipolar.

One day could be sunny and 75, and the next it could be snowing. The concept of specific seasons is iffy.

16. You probably describe where you live in reference to Philly or Cherry Hill.

When an out-of-stater asks you where in Jersey you are from, you most likely give a response along the lines of “just outside of Cherry Hill,” or “about half an hour from Philly.”

17. You live within 20 minutes of multiple different malls.

You will be able to find multiple decent shopping malls anywhere you are in South Jersey- a real convenient blessing.

18. You most likely know at least 10 people that go to Rutgers.

Being our biggest and most popular state school- you are guaranteed to know a good handful of people that found their way there after high school.

19. Lastly, you are proud of our little “armpit” corner of the country.

As much as we may talk bad about it and complain about wanting to leave, we know it’ll always be home. South Jersey breeds a special type of person.

SEE ALSO: The Garden State Guide To Essential Jersey Slang

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10 Places For On-Campus Students At Cleveland State To Go In Cleveland Over The Weekend

Because being stuck on-campus with nothing to do is the actual worst.


I love Cleveland State, but because the majority of the students commute, the university is practically dead over the weekend. The Inner Link is (typically) locked down, the only places to eat on-campus are the Viking Marketplace and Chili's (and neither is really the best), there's nothing happening on campus, and practically everyone goes home for the weekend.

Now, I usually don't go home for the weekend because home is two and a half hours away. And trust me, there's absolutely nothing worse than being stuck in the dorm all weekend with nothing to do. So, here's a list of nine things you can do in Cleveland over the weekend so you're not bored out of your mind.

1. Go to the Rec Center 

All Cleveland State students get into the Rec Center for free, so take advantage of this awesome perk as much as you can to stay active and in shape. There’s so much you can do.

The Rec Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

2. Explore Cleveland on the RTA 

This is literally the easiest thing you could do. With your RTA U-Pass, you get unlimited rides on any RTA vehicle in Cuyahoga County for the whole semester. And the Healthline goes right through campus, giving you access to University Circle and Downtown. (Just please do not hop on random buses without knowing where they’re going first. Granted, all buses do end up back where they started, but please use common sense and don’t just get on a random bus with an unknown destination).

You can find a list of all bus routes on the RTA's website.

3. Go to a museum 

Like I said, the Healthline runs right through campus and the East 24th Street station is literally right across the street from the dorms. You'll have to do a little bit of walking, but if you get off at Stokes/Sterns, Adelbert, or Cornell stations, you can get to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History easily.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is completely free (except for their special exhibitions, but you can get a discount with your student I.D.) and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History gives you a discount if you present your Viking Card.

4. Attend a service at Trinity Cathedral 

Trinity is the Episcopal church across the street from Main Classroom (I will literally never call it “Berkman Hall”). It is an extremely inclusive community and all are more than welcome to attend.

Services are 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 11 a.m.

5. Spend a day at the Cleveland Public Library — Main Branch 

Located right in Public Square, the Cleveland Public Library is literally the best library I’ve ever been in. When I went, they were having a Superman exhibition with literally every single piece of Superman memorabilia in existence. It was super cool.

The Cleveland Public Library is closed on Sunday, but on Saturday, it’s open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

6. Spend the day in Public Square 

Public Square was named one of 15 "Great Places in America," and it's not hard to see why. Even though it's a transit hub, it's a really relaxing place to be. You can always see the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. In the late spring, summer, and early fall, its the perfect place to sit outside and relax (add there's a super cool water fountain). And in the winter, they have some amazing Christmas lights and ice skating.

And Tower City is literally right there. Plus, there are a bunch of restaurants, Quicken Loans Arena, and Progressive Field in walking distance. And if you get on the Waterfront Line, you can head over to the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and First Energy Stadium (if you want to watch the Browns lose in person). And the Red Line will take you to Little Italy, Ohio City, the West Side Market, and Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Plus, did I mention there's free wi-fi?

7. See a show in Playhouse Square 

Playhouse Square is the second biggest theater district in the United States and it’s literally right next door. There’s always so many shows going on, and Cleveland State’s “The City Is Our Campus” program sometimes sells tickets to shows at discounted prices. So if you want to go do something fun with your friends, seeing a show in Playhouse Square is a great option!

8. Go to Barrio

I like to joke that Ohio State has Raising Kane’s and Cleveland State has Barrio (and Barrio’s the way better option, in my opinion). I mean, you can get a whole meal for $6 in Downtown Cleveland, and the food is actually great. No wonder Cleveland State students love it so much.

So hop on the Healthline, get off at East 6th Street, and walk down East 4th to Barrio.

9. Go to Heinen’s and get some groceries 

Literally Heinen’s is like the best grocery store to walk into. How many other grocery stores do you know of with a glass dome as a ceiling?

So run down and get some snacks, unless you want to always be stuck with the super overpriced food on-campus.

10. Literally go anywhere except Lake Erie

Lake Erie is super gross and boring. Just.... Just don't go there. Trust me, you're not missing much. Did I mention how seriously gross it is with all it’s algae blooms, dead fish, and pollution?

There's literally so much more you can do. Like, I didn't even mention going to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (because I have no idea how to get there using the RTA).

So get out and explore the Land, my fellow Vikings!

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