Graphic by Julia Leitner '23
With winter break right around the corner, several Staples students are gaining excitement for their upcoming plans. After a year of restricted travel, COVID-19 precautions and limited opportunities, many are eager to return to what they love the most: exploring.
Cameron Retcho ’23 will be traveling to Iceland over the winter break.
“While we are there we will be going on a lot of day trips, such as going to see glaciers, on snowmobile tours, and even going to try and see the northern lights,” Retcho said.
Courtney Niebrzydowski, an international travel analyst, urged people in a New York Times article to ask themselves how urgent travel is, and to consider the scenarios that could emerge if they do decide to travel. After doing so, people have “a lot less appetite for travel,” Neibrzydowski wrote.
While COVID is a concern for those traveling, including Retcho, it is difficult for many to rearrange their plans after the variant emerged. In the summer of 2021, the pandemic seemed to be progressing in the right direction, allowing for many people to feel secure in booking travel plans for the future.
“Originally, my family was supposed to travel [to Iceland] two years ago, but because of COVID we had to cancel our trip and have not been able to reschedule it until now,” Retcho said. “My family will be getting tested before we leave and when we come back.”
Due to the lack of research on the new Omicron variant, there has been no suggestions from the CDC to restrict travel.
Despite the lack of guidelines, Omicron has many people worried about the consequences of traveling and attending large social gatherings. Because of this, many people are choosing to spend their holiday break in a way that they believe to be the safest. This means at home, and avoiding activities that may put them at risk of contracting the virus.
Sasha Chamlin ’23 and her family have decided to stay cautious during this break.
“I am planning on staying in my inner family circle,” Chamlin said. “My family is very cautious of the new variant and before I get my booster shot I want to stay as careful as I can.”
Many families believe that the most traditional way to spend the holidays is within the comfort of their own homes. Being able to see family members and embrace the holiday spirit in the cold weather is an idea that many people cherish. trav
“Me and my family like being home for the holiday season because we like to be together for Christmas,” Analise Vega ’23 said. “I love the homey feeling of staying with my family with our own Christmas tree.”