The school newspaper of Oakville High School


The school newspaper of Oakville High School


The school newspaper of Oakville High School


Winter Break on the Beach

Oakville students take part in exotic trips during winter break
Jalali gazes off into the sunset of Cabo.

Winter break is a highly anticipated period of two weeks in which students are able to rest, relax and recharge. School can be quite draining for students, which makes winter break extremely desirable. The typical student might celebrate their respective holiday, catch up with family, hang out with friends or ring in the new year in the comfort of their own homes. One debatable downside to winter break is, well, the winter part. Cold winters can discourage students from engaging in social or athletic activities that they could with the help of warm weather. However, a lucky few at Oakville had the opportunity to spend their off-time basking in the warmth of a tropical sun and taking part in adventures. 

“I went to Cabo, Mexico for about a week,” Deena Jalali (11) said. 

Being in Cabo, a massive tourist destination, it’s no shock that there were countless activities available to Jalali’s discretion. She described some of her most memorable experiences, some of which were her first. 

“I was able to see a number of whales jumping out of the water…I also went on a sailboat to see famous rock transformations off the coast,” Jalali said. 

In addition to creating once-in-a-lifetime memories, it can be beneficial to participate in the usual leisurely tasks as well. Jalali emphasized finding the balance between going on adventures and kicking back to relax. 

Deena Jalali (11) admires the famous rock transformations of Cabo in December 2023. “We try to travel a much as we can, which is every break the kids have from school and all the mini trips that can fit in our schedule,” Jalali said. Jalali has gotten to travel to other places such as Italy, Paris, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“What I enjoyed most was sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, being in the warm weather and seeing all the cool mountains and rock formations in and around the water,” Jalali said. 

Visiting a destination as famously beautiful and renowned as Cabo at least once would be fun, but visiting all kinds of international scenes would be a dream for many. Jalali has immense experience traveling around the world, and she plans on continuing to do so in the future.

“Traveling is definitely a huge part of my life and something I want to put a lot of time into during my life. Traveling has made me very curious about the world and eager to see all it has to offer, in turn making me very ambitious so I can have a life full of traveling to all the places I want to see,” Jalali said. “I enjoy seeing the beautiful, natural places, seeing new cultures and meeting people within them and overall just being able to gain experience in all the different yet beautiful places around the world.”

Jalali is not the only well-traveled student at Oakville, however. Alexa Hallsten (12) also went on a trip over the course of winter break, but hers was a little different. Instead of residing in one place on her trip, Hallsten stayed mobile. 

“I went on a cruise which traveled to Roatan, Costa Maya, Belize and Cozumel,” Hallsten said. 

Hallsten was not only able to explore foreign places she had never seen before, but also try new foods on her week-long trip. During her voyage, she noted that cruises have more benefits than a normal trip. 

Alexa Hallsten poses with her two brothers before boarding their cruise.

“The most unique thing about a cruise is that you are surrounded by all different types of people from all over the world who all share the same passion for traveling,” Hallsten said.

Traveling during a long break can come with an expected surge of homesickness, even though it is an escape away from the mundane routine of everyday life. Another student who traveled over the break, Hanna Johannsdottir (12), specifically missed the people at home during her time in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

“I definitely missed my friends back in Oakville while I was traveling, but not Oakville itself,” Johannsdottir said.

Other students were too distracted by elements of their trip to miss home.

Hanna Johannsdottir (12) gets ready to cruise the Caribbean on a jetski.

“I did not miss Oakville because it was so sunny where I was,” Hallsten said.

Regardless of the location of the trip taken, the long-term impacts of these trips can be long lasting and teach students to expand their worldviews.

“Traveling has changed my outlook on the world in the way that it really puts into perspective how different and beautiful the world is outside of Missouri,” Johannsdottir said.

Traveling is one way for students to become more culturally immersed and educated in ways that just aren’t possible in Oakville, and some might say that there are few superior opportunities for students to develop into well-rounded and educated members of society than to see the world.

“Traveling is such a big part of my life because I’ve grown up doing it…” Jalali said. “It’s a great time for us to bond and get to experience new things together as a family.”



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About the Contributor
Lucy Caira, Reporter
Hey! My name is Lucy Caira, and I am a senior at Oakville. Besides newspaper, I am involved in cross country, FBLA, STUCO, Spanish Club and more at school. I enjoy watching movies, reading books, sewing and listening to music. This is my first year on newspaper staff at OHS, and I am beyond excited to contribute to this school publication! :)

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