Teacher Travel Guide: Add These Destinations to Your Next Trip


Photo Courtesy of Christopher Forney

Forney poses in front of a temple in Southeast Asia.

By Thomas Atkinson and Sarah O' Brien

As spring break is right around the corner, many CHS students and staff seem uncertain of their travel plans. If you happen to be one of these people, have no fear because some CHS teachers are here to give advice on the best places to travel domestically.
Don’t want to stay in the States? The teachers suggest a few places students can spend spring break that are all outside of the U.S.

West Coast

Biology teacher Steven Parcells enjoys the Western Coast of the United States and the biodiversity this particular region holds.
“As a family, I had kids that were 4 and 6, and I went out West,” Parcells said. “I’m a big fan of the West and we spent a lot of time in National Parks, [which] we found to be just extraordinary. The two that stand out are Glacier and Yellowstone, which are just so vast.”


Algebra 2 teacher Laura Rhodes enjoys the East coast of Florida due to its relaxing beaches.
“In the United States, I think Florida is a good choice,” Rhodes said. “On the Gulf of Mexico the water is really calm, the sand is white, and the water is just completely crystal clear. Of course the East Coast of Florida has a lot of waves, which is good if you want waves. If you want a warm beach in the United States, your only option is Florida, because California can be cold.”

Puerto Rico
Algebra 2 teacher Laura Rhodes went to Puerto Rico with her family last spring break and had an amazing time there. She urges students to do the same if they crave sunshine all year long.
“There are rainforests, all sorts of waterfalls, and there are different parts of the island to explore,” Rhodes said. “There’s old San Juan, which is a lot like Georgetown. On the west coast, we went to Rincón; it’s like the surf town. There are beautiful coral reefs and we saw two sea turtles when we were snorkeling. Spring break for me has to be relaxing, and it’s nice to go someplace warm.”

Key West

Modern World and AP World History teacher Christopher Forney recommends Key West, an area of Florida located right at the southernmost point of the state.
“You’re driving on some part of the bridges where it’s eight miles long and you’re just looking out over crystal clear water, and there’s great snorkeling,” Forney said. “Key West is a really quirky, funky town. You’ve got a military base, a really vibrant gay scene, and an artistic set of people such as hippies from the ‘60’s that never left. It’s a neat place.”

Galapagos Islands
Biology teacher Steven Parcells enjoys visiting exotic environments and specifically enjoyed the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.
“I’d go back to the Galapagos in a heartbeat if I had the opportunity,” Parcells said. “Being a biologist, it is extraordinary to see different animals and wildlife, and seeing it in the context of evolution, it’s just very evident. But with that aside, you go underwater and scuba dive and see penguins zoom by you like bullets. You have these seals who want to play with you and play tricks on you. You have different types of rays that, during dusk, will jump out of the water and do these fantastic leaps. It’s just really fun to be there.”


Spanish Teacher Kristin Beheler recommends Spain as a travel destination for students. In fact, she is excited to sponsor the trip to Spain next spring.
“I really recommend Spain because since I lived there, I know all of the places to visit that maybe tour guides and tour books don’t tell you about,” Beheler said. “It’s pretty cool when I travel with students because I’m able to show them my favorite activities, places and the reason why I fell in love with Spain in the first place. My personal favorite is when I have the pleasure of seeing my students use their Spanish to shop or try or a new food, especially ‘churros con chocolate.’ It makes me so happy to see them fall in love with Spain, like I did. It feels like it’s new to me again.”

Southeast Asia

Modern World and AP World History teacher Christopher Forney suggests Southeast Asia because of its rich culture and services to accommodate tourists.
“I think the coolest places I’ve been were in Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos,” Forney said. “It’s just really different architecturally, like nothing you’ll see elsewhere. There are a lot of services that accommodate tourists, and there are great beaches, ancient ruins, just a really vibrant, fun culture and great food. It was love at first sight.”


Paris, France
Philosophy and U.S. History teacher Eric Imperial recommends Paris, France because there is great ethnic food and many historical sights to see.
“The attractions are not going to go anywhere, but having a chance just to enjoy the sidewalk culture and spend a few days as the Parisians do, immersing yourself in the culture, is the best way to get to know a place,” Imperial said.