Around the world in 90 days

Students share their summertime adventures in different countries


submitted photos

Story by Ali Richter, staff writer

Four different people. Four different countries. Thousands of miles separating them. One struggles to climb the last step of the hike as sweat drips down her brow. Another laughs heartily at the scene displayed on the stage before her. The next one screams happily as she flies through a tropical jungle on a zip line. And the last one one yells triumphantly for his favorite tennis player at the Queen’s tournament in London.

During summer vacation, kids took full advantage of the free time to travel all over with their families and friends. Some kicked backed and relaxed, while others experienced new cultures and embarked on tropical escapades. Junior Cathryn Payne went to Cuzco, Peru and hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

“Hiking was a definitely an adventure for my family,” Payne said. “We usually take cool vacations, so roughing it isn’t anything new for me.”

There weren’t hotels or hostels to rest in each night. Payne and her family camped out in the Peruvian wilderness, which added to the memorable experience.

“We had to set up tent each night to sleep in,” Payne said. “It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last I’ll do something like that. My family plans on heading to Africa again next summer.”

Payne’s family was forced to cut the trip short when she contracted a parasite and became sick. She thinks she got it from drinking boiled stream water instead of the filtered water she is used to.

“I felt really bad the second day of the hike,” Payne said. “It just got worse from there. “The next day I had bad stomach pain and had developed a high fever. Since there is little access to health care in the Amazon jungle, my parents made the decision of heading home early.”

Not everyone went exploring in South-American jungles for their vacation. Junior Kayleigh Moreland visited New York City and caught a couple Broadway shows with one of her friends. Her first impression of the city was less than enjoyable, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

“While trying to get to our hotel, we had a man drive us in a black car,” Moreland said. “He was an awful driver. Then, the hotel we stayed in sent us to the wrong room.”

Her initial bad experience was trumped by the wonderful end of her vacation, which was filled with musical and acting brilliance.

“While we were in New York we saw four Broadway shows,” Moreland said. “We went to Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and Amazing Grace. Although all of them made me cry, I’d have to say my favorite was Wicked.”

Surrounded by beautiful clear water and tons of cool activities to choose from, junior Mary Claire Paddock enjoyed living on island time during her summer trip.

“My family flew to San Pedro, Belize early in the summer,” Paddock said. “There were lots of fun things to do and the food was great.”

Belize’s beaches have little sand, so some of the fun activities such as laying out or beach volleyball aren’t options to choose from. Resorts offer a variety of other entertaining activities to keep guests happy.

“The beach wasn’t the best, but my favorite part of the trip was the cave tubing,” Paddock said. “We also went ziplining one day and then jet skiing in the ocean by our resort.” 

Junior Hutch Tidwell’s European excursion sent him to four different European countries: Austria, Germany, England and the Czech Republic.

“I was away for a little over two weeks,” Tidwell said. “The experience was definitely worth it, though. One of my favorite things I did was go to the Queen’s (tennis) tournament in London.”

Though some might have grown homesick after being out of the country for so long, Tidwell’s experience strengthened his love of travel.

“Going to Europe was an awesome experience,” Tidwell said. “It really opened my eyes about how diverse different places are and how different cultures can be.”

Texas High is full of world travelers who have been given the opportunity to experience another part of the world from a tourist’s perspective. Although there are always minor problems with travel, these four students were able to learn along the way of their separate journeys.

“I learned a lot of history and got to do some really cool things,” Tidwell said. “My trip showed me that the world is worth exploring.”