Traveling traditions


Anya Khosa

Many students traveled internationally during the break and came back with a new perspective of various cultures.

Olivia Kirklin, Editor-in-chief

During the winter break from school, many students travel within the United States to vacation or visit relatives, but for some students, holiday travel included jet lag, time changes, and new traditions.

“I went to China for two weeks, which is very different than the United States,” sophomore Megan Lin said. “The pollution is bad and I got sick because of it. My diet also changed briefly because I ate food that I usually don’t eat. Although I eat Chinese food on a daily basis, we ate specialty foods that you can only find in certain parts of China.”

Over winter break, holidays such as Christmas and New Years are celebrated, with various countries celebrating differently.

“Christmas is definitely a lot more of a big production in Germany,” freshman Lucas Barr said. “You can get more in the spirit with all of the Christmas markets and colder weather and other events going on. They do have some different traditions, especially with New Years, you can actually set off fireworks yourself and everybody participates in it.”

In some countries, such holidays are not widely celebrated as other cultural holidays receive bigger emphasis.

“I traveled to India for 10 days over break,” freshman Anya Khosa said. “Christmas isn’t a huge thing in India, but they have different traditions like setting off fireworks for a small holiday called Diwali, or throwing colors for Holi. The only real Christmas celebration I did was calling my friends back home and listening to Christmas music. In London they gave out free treats for Christmas and they had Christmas trees in each terminal at the airport.”

Even for frequent travelers, traveling at the busiest time of the year can be a hassle.

I go to Germany every year to visit my family, and traveling is definitely terrible over the holidays,” Barr said. “We stayed at the airport hotel and it still took us two hours to go from the airport hotel to our gate and the flight was over twelve hours long. I got back at 6 the night before school started again, which was definitely stressful to adjust back to.”

Despite the difficulty of international travel during the winter holidays, these students encourage it as a way to widen cultural perspectives.

“Stereotypes have been formed about certain countries,” Lin said. “For example, people may believe China is depressing because it is a communist country, but if you go there you’ll see it’s just as lively as any other place. I think people should try to travel internationally especially if they have never been to a foreign country. It widens your perspective on other cultures and traditions and I think it generates some respect for the other countries.”