4 Ways To Pass The Time When You’re Stuck Traveling All Day

4 Ways To Pass The Time When You’re Stuck Traveling All Day

Whether you're stuck in the car, cramped in a plane or I don't know, riding on a midnight train to Georgia.
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Spring break is upon us! As you make way your way to your various spring break destinations, here are some ideas to pass the time. If you're in the airport waiting for what seems like forever for your connecting flight or just stuck in the car with nothing to do here are some things you could try to pass the time.

1. Take A Walk

If you're at the airport, go on a little stroll from terminal to terminal. You’ll get some steps in before you get on the plane. You can also peruse the various Hudson News stands and pick up some snick-snacks or maybe even the new Cosmo. This also gives you an excellent chance to people watch. If you're just a little nosey like me, then this is reason enough.

2. Make Up Stories About The People Around You

While you take the a fore mentioned walk around the terminal make up some stories! This is one of my favorite activities whenever I’m painfully bored while traveling. Take turns making up a stranger's life story with your friend. Or if you're traveling solo make up the dialogue in your head. Maybe don’t talk to yourself. Airports are a little stressful anyway so perhaps being the person sitting alone and talking to themselves isn't the best thing.

3. Catch Up On Some Homework

It might be spring break, but homework waits for no one! If you have homework to get done you might as well finish them on your way to your destination. (I know I will be, because I’m the queen of procrastination). Whether your destination is a tropical island, the mountains, a festival or your home you’ll want to be able to be homework-free and stress-free. Bite the bullet and just finish all your work in one day if you've put it off to the last minute. Then you’ll have time for tanning, relaxing and chilling with your pets.

4. Make A Middle School Throwback Playlist

No doubt you and your squad will be jamming the whole way to wherever you might be going. I mean things might get a little emo when Bring Me To Life by Evanescence comes on, but that’s okay. Those painful middle school years might come back to you there for a hot minute, but it’s in the past. You can quickly pick things back up by changing the song to something more upbeat like "Low" by Flo-Rida. I don't know about you, but that always gets me lit. Traveling might be somewhat of a bore, but it’s never boring aggressively booty popping to your favorite throwbacks with your friends.

No matter where this spring break takes you, I hope you get all the sleep, all the fun and all the #friendship your heart desires. And remember; don’t do anything too stupid. No matter how bored you might be.

Cover Image Credit: Travel News & Topics

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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One Last Time

Studying abroad for one whole year.

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Going to a school such as New York University has given me a lot of opportunities to study abroad. Therefore, last semester, I studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic and it was one experience that I could not forget. However, most students choose to study overseas once because it lasts around four months and can be a lot of time away from home and at the home campus. I decided to do a program where I go abroad one more time, the upcoming semester to Shanghai, China and it is a lot of commitment that is both exciting and scary.

One of the scary parts of studying abroad is being abroad for one whole year. Undergraduate consists of only four years, and I have spent a quarter of it in different countries. It definitely is a lot of time away from the states and my home, but it has both its upsides and downsides. Leaving my closest friends and my comfort zone is something that many people cannot just do in mere seconds. It took me a lot of time to realize how long I am going to be away from my home campus in New York City and how much I will miss out.

However, looking at the bright side, it is another chance to explore a different country and meet many new people that can potentially become a crucial part of your life. The life-long friendships you make abroad in a different country with other people in similar shoes can be one hell of an experience. Also, being able to go to countries and study there is a very rare experience, and I believe that if your school offers you the chance, take all the opportunities you can get. Studying abroad for more than once also gives you growth as an individual due to its life-changing experiences. I meet many college students that haven't even studied abroad once, not saying that it is bad, but looking into it and putting yourself out of your comfort may benefit you more than you think.

I know with studying abroad for a year can be a huge dent to your family relations and friendships. My parents were not the most excited about going abroad again because there does exist a huge distance that can be hard and difficult on the relationships around you. But putting that aside, you make new relationships when you are abroad, and the possibilities are endless.

At first, I did not enjoy being put out of my comfort zone, however, I realized that putting myself out there in the world benefits me into growing into a stronger and more independent person. The only advice I can give to those thinking of studying abroad and those students who are afraid to go for a long period of time is that don't limit yourself and take great advantage of all the opportunities that are offered to you.

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