Where Are You Going This Spring Break?
by Eric Moylan


It’s 3:30 p.m., Thursday 21 March. That chemistry final that was causing you all sorts of worry is finished. That boring professor who was so stringent on attendance is gone. The winter rains have long vanished and the sun is well and truly back. You are ready for spring quarter, but before that, there is one more thing to deal with, spring break.
This March 22-29, thousands of students from UCSB will join hordes of others on a weeklong adventure of fun and frolics in the sun. There are those who will choose to return home to their loved ones for the week, whereas others will simply relax and enjoy the sun in Isla Vista. There are, however, plenty more who will leave the mainland. Here are some popular Gaucho destinations this March.
Mexico, for many years, has been the destination of choice for students across America. According to the Department of State, 100,000 students descend onto Mexico’s boundaries for spring break. Several factors explain this phenomenon. The country’s proximity to the United States enables relative ease of travel. Northern resorts, such as Rosarito Beach and Tijuana are accessible by car. Further, flights more south are relatively cheap. And, of course, one of the largest attractions of Mexico is the legal drinking age. While 18-year-olds cannot buy or consume alcohol here, they can do so at their will south of the border.
Apart from Mexico’s alcohol availability and proximity to UCSB students, there are other reasons to visit Mexico. For starters, there are many impressive pyramids, including those of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations that attract locals and tourists alike. The Mexican beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world with clear blue waters, soft sands and topped with favorable weather.  UCSB student, Brendan O’Driscoll mentioned these attractions in anticipation for his visit to Acapulco: “I can’t wait, the beaches, the drinking age, the good weather and the party atmosphere are all things I am looking forward to.”
Another spot that is a favorite among UCSB students is Hawaii. The islands of the west coast offer a tropical escape, with the near guarantee of good weather. The swells off the coast give surfers the chance to catch some great waves. There are many other aqua activities available, including snorkeling and scuba diving. The laid back atmosphere will appeal to some who want to use the break as an opportunity to rest and recover.  Because the land is the result of volcanic creation, Hawaii promises stunning landscapes. Claire Dunne, a junior visiting Hawaii this March, believes that the many activities available and the laid back mentality will lead to a more “cultural experience,” she said. “[I will get to see] a really beautiful part of America as well.” Also, the fact that spring break will not be a week of drinking is a plus for Dunne.
Jamaica is also a destination that offers a different cultural experience. Located in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica’s tropical climate appeals to many. The “Land of Wood and Water” offers adventure to students. Rivers, waterfalls, caves, bays, mountains and forests of the Caribbean wait to be explored.
The more expensive flight ticket may put off certain travellers, but much of this cost is offset by the cheaper prices for food and accommodation available on the island. The drinking age is 18, which may interest underage students. There is also a chance for further travel with boats leaving for Cuba giving students the chance to spend some time there.
These are some travel options available to the Gaucho population this March. Although spring break may seem an age away, just think of the feeling after that last final when winter quarter is over and spring break is upon us.