Editorial | Be respectful, humble when traveling

Traveling is important. It exposes us to cultures and experiences we’re unfamiliar with and often leaves lasting memories — and students here at the University love to travel. We’re in the final days before spring break begins, and some students are planning trips around the world while others are going home to spend time with friends and family.

The Daily Illini Editorial Board would like to remind all students to remain respectful, regardless of what they’re doing over spring break. Keep in mind not everyone has the means to travel over spring break. Some students are slammed with homework, online classes and projects and cannot afford to spend the entirety of break in Cancun with their friends. Others, like international students, simply choose to stay on campus because spring break isn’t long enough to warrant a roundtrip flight overseas.

Let’s be clear: Everyone would travel if they had the time and money. It’s completely ignorant to ask the friends who did stay home for break why they chose to do so; it’s more than likely they had few options to begin with. We don’t all have the capabilities or the financial stability to take a vacation every time class is out of session. We are asking everyone to remain respectful and to try not to brag about your vacation photos too much when you return.

We get it, some students love to highlight the most lavish parts of their lives on Instagram or how wild their spring break parties are on their Snapchat stories — that’s perfectly fine. But consider this: Not every student is living, or wants to live, an Instagram-perfect, wanderlust lifestyle where vacations with a bunch of their friends are a quarterly experience.

For those who are going somewhere over spring break, please remember you are a representation of the University of Illinois. A lot of modern day vacation spots are designed specifically to cater to Americans — or tourists in general — so it’s important to stay courteous when learning about and experiencing new cultures.

When confronted with something you’re culturally unfamiliar with, there’s no harm in politely declining. However, definitely try as many new things as possible!) More importantly, be considerate of national parks, statues and historic sites; the last thing we’d all want to read is an article about a University of Illinois student vandalizing the Colosseum.

Enjoy your week off, Illini!