Vacations with Lessons

They say some of life’s lessons are best learned outside of the classroom. And when winter and summer breaks roll around, quite often we want nothing more than to lay back, relax, and do anything but cram more knowledge into our heads. Even post-grads take off to Cancun or Key West after tossing their caps to unwind and, metaphorically, toss their textbooks to the wind before entering the workforce.

But for those who get a kick out of keeping their mind stimulated, how can they both treat themselves to an unbelievable getaway whilst still exercising their brain? To help, I’ve put together a list of destinations that will provide the fun and carefree feeling of a vacation, but will still keep you on your toes, mentally.


Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.53.03 PM.pngTourists pour into Peru to hike to the top of the famous Machu Picchu, booking up tours of the ancient Incan civilization for months in advance. We all were taught about the Incan empire, but we all haven’t seen the ruins of it, making this destination one that seems straight out of a history textbook.


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A lot of the historical events taught in school happened decades, if not centuries ago. They seem of another world and time. A major historical event that occurred much closer to my generation is the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Visiting the capital of Germany will open your eyes to an electric European city’s history, where portions of the wall still stand, such as the infamous East Side Gallery, which has been covered by works of art from artists across the global to signify it as an international memorial for freedom.


We learn of the horrors of the Nazi regime in schools, the inhumane happenings of concentration camps, and the absolute injustice that occurred during World War II. But paragraphs of words, photos in textbooks, and video footage don’t nearly express the cruel reality that many faced. However, visiting Auschwitz is an experience unlike any other, and truly helps us understand the horror of the victims who were kept there.Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.53.44 PM.png

Stay tuned for part two of this post, where I list even more vacation destinations that teach lessons better than any classroom could!


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