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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Pandemic makes travel more difficult for students

    The pandemic has not stopped Gonzaga students from traveling (Photo by John Wardell on Flickr).

    Vacations, college visits and other long-distance trips are incredibly common for high school students, and those who attend Gonzaga are no different. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made travel difficult, and even impossible, for some students. Though some have found ways to continue family traditions in some capacity, others have put them on hold. 

    Grant Weeter, senior, is one of these students. Twice a year, Weeter spends time at the beach in the Outer Banks with his extended family. Though he was able to go on Thanksgiving last year, he was not accompanied by his relatives. 

    “It was a little lonely, and I didn’t really do much. We usually go to places like mini golf or doughnut shops, but we wanted to remain isolated,” Weeter said. 

    This lack of company while on vacation continued during Christmas break when Weeter’s grandparents decided not to stay with them in the Outer Banks.

    “They decided that it would be better to wait longer because they were scared about COVID, so we didn’t get to have quality time with them at the beach. That made it another lonely trip,” Weeter said.

    Santi Cortes, junior, had a similar experience; he visited the Outer Banks, as well. While the beach itself did not see drastic changes, social distancing was in effect. Additionally, like Weeter, Cortes was unable to do many of the activities he usually enjoys doing.

    “At that time, we couldn’t sit down and eat at some of our favorite restaurants, and some of our favorite places to go, such as the aquarium, were closed,” Cortes stated.

    Sarkis Pakhchanian, senior, did not go anywhere for vacation last year, but he did visit Clemson University. For the most part, it was closed, so Pakhchanian was unable to see the inside of the buildings.

    “They didn’t offer any actual tours, so I just walked around campus. We weren’t allowed to go in buildings, so I didn’t get the full experience,” Pakhchanian stated.

    Fortunately, he was able to speak to some of the students that had remained on campus.

    “I spent some time talking to students, and I asked them what it’s like there,” Pakhchanian stated.

    Despite the ongoing pandemic, these students have continued to travel, even though circumstances are drastically different. As more of the general public is vaccinated, travel may become much easier, and the usual trips that Gonzaga students go on may become common once again.

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