Get a change of scenery this holiday season

Everyone should witness genuine fall weather at some point in their lives. Being born and raised in Houston, I’ve hardly had the chance to experience real seasons, since the fall and winter months are just cooler summers.This was the case until this past October, when I was able to visit New York City for the weekend and finally experience the season of fall.

Out of total spontaneity, my friend and I decided to book a round-trip flight to New York for a weekend. Being able to stays with her family friends needs more explanation truly helped my tight budget for the trip, as I realize doing this may not be reasonable cost-wise for most college students like myself.

Most of my relatives live in Texas, my family and I never had the excuse to visit relatives out of state. Also, because my mother strongly dislikes skiing and the cold, we’ve never made an effort to take a winter trip to the mountains.

I’m not saying Texas or the South in general is an awful place to live, but every now and then, setting a few days aside to visit a new place may be more than beneficial to your mental and emotional health.

According to Regina Zopf, MD, in an AccuWeather column, when you experience beauty such as in the changing of fall colors, the medial orbitofrontal cortex part of your brain is activated, which is the same area that contains your strongest thinking functions and relaxation response center.

If you consider a short vacation in the middle of the school year to be unreasonable, waiting until you start earning a salary wage could be an even better time to take advantage of an opportunity such as this. While being in college gives you more room to make impulsive decisions, being a part of the working world enables individuals to better afford vacations. It is up to each person when or how he or she decides to make it happen.

Also, many airlines offer more inexpensive flights for trips booked at least a couple of weeks in advance, and if at all possible, knowing someone who lives or goes to school up north, or even booking an inexpensive hotel, will help make the decision to make the effort to travel much easier. Delving into your savings account for a memorable trip to witness perfect fall weather is more than worth it.

There is not too much planning that goes into a weekend getaway, so why not take the plunge and hop on a plane and see how real fall weather can bring so much joy as it did for me?

Just visualizing yourself surrounded by colorful autumn trees, along with crisp and cool air, should be enough to entice anyone to pack their bags and head a few states up. Taking a break this way in the middle of a stressful semester or before dedicating yourself to final projects and exams, might be all you need to take your mind off everything going on in reality.

Coming back to Waco after the trip, I found myself rejuvenated and ready to face the tasks of the week. Was it something in the fresh autumn air that gave me this energy? Quite possibly, and I would do it all over the again if given the chance.