A lot can happen over fall break. For some students, like sophomore Alexis Hale, fall break included a trip half-way around the world.
Whether catching an international flight to Europe, road-tripping across the southern Rocky mountains or witnessing the changing fall colors on the nearly-empty Taylor campus, students spent their fall break in a variety of ways.
Staying closer to Taylor, sophomore Macey Johnson and junior Mariana Pratas attended the famous Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. Johnson observed rows of tents and browsed the stands selling antiques, doors, clothes, art, fried twinkies, marinated pork on a stick and much more. The hustle and bustle of the festival provided the perfect place to enjoy the many foods put on sticks.
Others decided to go a little further from Taylor. Junior JD Groh and four others from Second Center Wengatz took a spur-of-the-moment roadtrip to Colorado where they explored Rocky Mountain National Park and the city of Denver. All five friends hiked trails, three of them climbed boulders and two attended an NF concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
“(The highlight of my trip) was this hike we did in Rocky Mountain National Park where we saw this lake in the mountains,” Groh said. “It was probably the most beautiful hike I have ever been on.”
Like Groh, freshman Ethan Chamberlain and two friends from Second West Wengatz spent their fall break hiking in Vermont and New Hampshire and explored Quebec City and Ottawa in Canada. Reaching the summit of a mountain and seeing the separation of light and dark in the clouds was indescribable, Chamberlain said.
Making the most of the 35 hours in the car, the group of three set out to create a music video on the trails.
“We were listening to a song in the car and then Chad Veal who is a film major was like, ‘We should make a music video out of this just us nodding our heads,’” Chamberlain said.
Unlike Chamberlain’s fast-paced adventure, freshman Jordan Page experienced a relaxing fall break in San Diego, Calif., visiting her brother who is in the navy. From eating chicken feet at a Vietnamese restaurant to laying down on the beach with her brother, Page’s fall break was a time to remember the old and try the new.
For Hale, fall break was the climax of a childhood goal she made when she was 12 years old to visit 20 countries before turning 20 years old. Growing up, she lived in the United States, Hong Kong, mainland China, Thailand and Ghana each at different points in her life. Having lived around the world, Hale developed a deep love for other cultures at an early age.
“I loved traveling and I loved learning about cultures and tasting new foods and hearing different languages and how confusing (visiting a new place) was at first, but then how comfortable you can become once you got used to it,” Hale said.
She traveled with two friends from Taylor to meet her mom, her Honduran sister and a friend from Chicago in Madrid. “Three of my worlds collided,” Hale said.
Staying in an Airbnb in Madrid, Spain, Hale explored well-known and little-known cathedrals, coffee shops and kiosks over fall break. To reach her 20th country, she took a train ride to Perpignan, France.
“(Fall break) was a good time of reflection of my life and realizing the blessings that have come out of that, but also some of the challenges and the harder things like realizing that there are so many cultures that I love, but that there is not one that's my own,” Hale said. “Just being able to celebrate that was really good.”
By the end of the trip, the group was tired from all the adventures. Little did they know it would continue. After several delays because of protests in Barcelona, the group finally boarded the airplane to return to the states.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Hale eased into the airplane seat after catching the last flight out of Barcelona, Spain. “The flight attendants told us that two minutes after we took off, the airport closed. We were the last flight out,” Hale said.
Memories were made over Fall Break. Taylor students experienced adventure, beauty and rest in both the day-to-day moments and the uncommon occurrences that made up Fall Break.