2020 was a year of unsureness and distress, it had some great outcomes for many people especially those who are young like me! Despite suffocating in a mask and suffering the embarrassment from the eyes purging at you as you either coughed or sneezed in public, the pandemic invited virtual learning as a requirement on PCC’s campus which allowed many students like me to stay home and obtain a degree.

But why just stay home when there is a whole world out there and plane tickets are vividly cheap? It is possible to achieve good grades in online classes while keeping safe from the modern ‘zombie apocalypse’ and traveling to your dream destination. Allow me to share with you my ways and expertise…

When COVID-19 hit the United States officially in March 2020, it ensured a shutdown on all states and initiated curfews, business shutdowns, and the need for face coverings everywhere you go. This virus is so cruel and easily spread that they put schools online and slowed down on traveling.

I have been to my hometown New York several times along with Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Texas, and Georgia. I would have gone to Hawaii but the travel restrictions on the island of Maui have just recently lifted but before you were required to quarantine for 14-days on the island. Nevertheless, I have met and seen amazing things this year despite the pandemic and all of which were possible while trying to obtain a degree.

Why would you want to travel right now?

This is the time to be alive! Literally, as many have lost their lives to this virus. I have been blessed enough to not get it and boost my immune system the best ways I can in order to not get it. But the virus has made me realize how much tomorrow is not promised. COVID-19 hit publicly on my 18th birthday weekend. I am finally able to go to some clubs and do things I couldn’t do before but everything was closed.

My mother knew about COVID-19 back in January and was sending me masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer before it was known to much more people in the U.S so I was already prepared for the virus when it hit which is why I grew even more confident to be able to live my life during all that was happening. And even better news, the plane tickets were a great price! My ticket to Las Vegas was only a $60 round trip and the hotels were so cheap and affordable. Some people might say that LV is only fun to those who are 21 and older but I and my friend had a blast hotel hopping and meeting new people who were fun to be around; most people we came across were people who came for a temporary vacation and ended up staying for months.

Having fun was not the only thing on my mind because I still had to be up and attentive for my classes, and I mean running down the strip to make sure I was in class on time. Right now I am in Downtown Dallas in TX writing this story to you who may want to start traveling for the holidays. Go to that country or city you have always wanted to go to. Right now is the perfect time to do it as long as you are keeping safe and this is how:

  1. Always have a face covering. A mask or bandana would do just fine as long as it is comfortable for you and covers your mouth and nose. Keep multiple on you and in different places like different pockets, bags, etc. You never want to forget one just to be considerate of other people and yourself no matter if you are outside walking or going into the mall. And you could also hand one to someone who forgot theirs and save lives.
  2. Gloves are cool! I know it may be uncomfortable to wear gloves all the time but in this case, I would highly suggest wearing them when you are in crowded and public places like bars (but avoid crowded spaces as much as possible)
  3. Make sure you check the state’s quarantine requirements! Some states require you to quarantine for 14-days in that state at a hotel. You will not be allowed to leave the hotel until the quarantine is up. You may or may not get a refund for your ticket if you have to cancel and apps like Airbnb only give partial refunds most of the time. You should find the correct requirements and restrictions on the state’s official website.
  4. Keep your phone charged and/or your laptop with you at all times. You may do all the traveling in the world but you are a STUDENT. You must continue to keep your motivation no matter where you are and get your work done. It may be hard but you got this and if you are running a little late on an assignment, contact your professor and try to work it out with them but refrain from that option and get it done.
  5. Do not forget your laptop charger when traveling, pack that first!
  6. Keep hand sanitizer on you at all times and use it as a replacement for gloves if you do not wish to wear them all the time.
  7. Get tested before and after traveling and quarantine until you get those results. This also includes checking your temperature every 1-2 days.

Yes to travel and yes to being a student, but always keep safe and protect yourself and others. It is okay to go out and not let COVID-19 take your life! You are human and young and would like to experience the world at this discounted price and when everything returns to normal, those prices will go up so travel now while they are still affordable for us college students on a budget. Maintain your drive for getting your degree. You may be a ‘traveling student’ but the student aspect comes first.

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