West Chester students who traveled shared their favorite experiences. These experiences of fellow WCU students around campus range from within the United States to a variety of international destinations. Along with the travel stories, they also have some travel tips for others hoping to see the world.
Kimberly Ann Scandariato, a Class of 2010 psychology major gave an account of a particular experience that stood out for her.
“My favorite traveling experience was when I went on cross country four years ago with my family and cousins,” Scandariato said.
Scandariato added that the trip included 15 different states each having its own culture and something personal to them.
Scandariato said that an experience in Utah was one thing that stood out within her family’s trip within the states. Scandariato and her family came across the Kokopelli Indians and witnessed a part of their cultural traditions up close.
“Not many people know about them,” Scandariato said, adding some background that she learned about the Indians. “They were very symbolic in fertility and love, and would play the flute to celebrate this, and to attract a mate persay.”
Besides witnessing the Kokopelli culture, Scandariato said that she visited the Hoover Dam, a popular landmark among Nevada citizens.
Brendon Gantt, a Class of ’09 sociology major, stated some favorite travel destinations just a plane ride across the Atlantic.
“I truly enjoyed my trip to Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain in March of 2004,” Gantt said, adding the attraction the two cities held.
In recalling his experiences abroad, Gantt stated that the cities have so much culture and are vibrant and interesting.
“All the major attractions including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona offer memories that will last a lifetime,” Gantt said.
Anthropology and Music major Sarah Vogel recalled a summer experience which was both memorable and rewarding to her.
“My most significant travel experience has to be living in Guadalajara, Mexico this past summer,” Vogel said.
Vogel, who will graduate with the Class of 2009, gave a few reasons as to why this was the stand-out experience among extensive travels.
“It was a real eye-opener living in a third world country and being exposed to the hardships many Mexicans face,” Vogel said. “I made unbelievable local friends that taught me about their beautiful country and about myself.”
Vogel stated that she has also traveled to Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Greece, Turkey, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. Vogel added that her previous travels to date also included every state in the U.S. except Hawaii.
“Being a world traveler has shaped my goals as a future anthropologist and humanitarian,” Vogel said.
Jessica Todd-Marrone, a political science and international relations major, said that she has traveled a lot over the past few years. Todd-Marrone, who is also pursuing a minor in journalism, added that travel is a passion of hers.
“I enjoyed Australia a lot,” Todd-Marrone said. “I went this past Winter break for about five weeks and backpacked with some friends.”
Todd-Marrone stated that she had taken a week off from school for the trip to Australia with friends from both Australia and England.
Some students also revealed the destinations that they still have on their must-see lists, a list that many people have.
In terms of places that Todd-Marrone would still like to visit, they include a few with well-known landmarks.
“I am hopefully getting to see the pyramids over Spring break and I would love to see the Taj Mahal,” Todd-Marrone said.
For Gantt, the destinations he still wants to see someday include those on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
“I still want to visit Italy and the Caribbean,” Gantt said.
Besides sharing travel experiences, students had some tips for those who wish to do some traveling down the road.
Scandariato advised others to talk to the locals whether it is in the United States or a different country completely.
“Try to get a prelude or an intro to some history of where and what you will be visiting,” Scandariato said. Scandariato added that doing so will make you appreciate your vacation that much more having some knowledge about where you are.
“My only advice would be to watch out for pick-pockets as they tend to prey on tourists,” Gantt advised future travelers.
Vogel’s advice for future travelers is to look for volunteer opportunities as it can cut down on travel expenses immensely.
“Do it while you’re young,” Vogel said. “This is your time and the world is waiting!”
Todd-Marrone’s advice to globetrekkers-to-be is straightforward on the matter at hand.
“My only advice is to travel,” Todd-Marrone said. “Get out there and see the world, it is amazing and you will meet so many great people.”
For others wishing to pursue adventure and take these students’ tips, there is definitely a wealth of information to assist with those goals; Bon Voyage!
Carol A. Dwyer is a fourth-year student majoring in English and communication studies. She can be reached at CD660170@wcupa.edu.