Oh, the Places We Go! The Travel Issue

We at The Harbus know that business school is like a fine merlot – best enjoyed at a cruising altitude on the way to an exotic destination.  Indeed, travel is valued highly as a part of life here on campus.  Just as the HBS student strives for prestige through the Baker Scholarship, achieving SPG Platinum Status or collecting passport stamps from all forty-six of the New York Times’ “Places to Go in 2013″ are considered equally admirable feats.  In anticipation of Spring Break, the editorial staff has taken the liberty of gathering students’ thoughts on past business school field trips in hopes of helping any last-minute bookers.  Happy planning!

New Hampshire

By Tom Humphrey

Where did you go? Franconia Notch National Park, New Hampshire. Spent the days hiking the local mountains (Cannon and Lafayette) and taking in the amazing vistas of the Presidential Peaks.

When did you go? On the last weekend of summer break 2012, in late August.

Who did you go with? Casey “Soccer Mum” Littlefield, Matt “I wish I had Tom’s Locks” Lesniak, and Bob “The Lesser Aussie” Evans.

Where did you stay? Franstead campground. Amazing set up, with fire pits, firewood, leveled turf, individual campsites separated by tall pines, and a bubbling creek cutting through the middle. The “Ritz of nature”.

What did you eat?  Cooked dinner on a camp stove and the fire. Burritos and spaghetti bolognese on the menu. Lots of trail mix for the hike. I was inducted to the world of smores and I’m never turning back.

What can’t you miss?  The view from the top of Mt Kinsman. Echo Lake, great for a post-hike dip, weather permitting. Mini-golf in the Franstead campground.  Bob lost and had to shotgun a beer in the creek at midnight wearing speedos. I’m still scarred.

What must you miss? Try to the keep the food run at Wal-Mart as quick as possible. A few odd types about!

Chile

By Eric Adamson (OI)
Where did you go? 2 days in Santiago, 2 weeks in Casablanca Valley (winemaking region), 1 day in Valparaiso, 1 day in Punta Arenas, 2 days in Puerto Natales, 5 days in Torres del Paine National Park.
When did you go? J-term 2013.
Who did you go with? Mariko Meier, Deborah Hsieh, Ned Chiverton, Mayur Desai (Hiking portion, Punta Arenas-TdP park). In short, my section besties.
Where did you stay? A family friend’s organic apple farm (Casablanca Valley) on a micro-internship, in hostels and mountain “refugios” (hiking cabins) during the hiking portion.
What did you eat? Delicious fresh vegetables from the garden, NOT ONE APPLE, ceviche, way too much granola.
What can’t you miss? Torres del Paine W route, especially the French Valley and the Torres themselves.
What must you miss? If you are Mariko Meier, you “must miss” all Chilean food and instead eat only Peruvian food, preferably imported directly from Peru.
Iceland

By Tom Ferguson (NF)

Where did you go? Reykjavik, Southern Iceland, and Golden Circle.
When did you go? Valentine’s Day weekend.
Who did you go with? 14 Sweethearts from Section F, including LL Bean model Tom Bartman.
Where did you stay? A posh 12-bed AirBnB apartment complete with heated bathroom tiles, fully-stocked fridge & cabinets, designer furniture, fresh-cut flowers, and creepy Icelandic art.
What did you eat? Icelandic lobster, smoked puffin, goose, minke whale, and fermented shark (“similar to very strong cheese slathered in ammonia” says Wikipedia aptly) washed down with a swig of Icelandic schnapps.
What can’t you miss? Soaking to a pruny bliss at the Blue Lagoon, admiring pretty waterfalls, driving to the middle of nowhere in the dead of night to freeze in the cold and hunt for aurora borealis, standing between two continents at Thingvellier National Park, playing with friendly Icelandic horses and sheepdogs, trying to pronounce Icelandic names like Eyjfjallajökull or Snæfellsjökull , getting to know your sectionmates better through sharing woefully embarrassing stories over drinking games, taking unnecessary risks for good photos (how many opportunities do you have to form an ”F” on the frozen pond at the base of Hverfall Crater?), and getting fished out of freezing water by the amazingly patient tour guide Thor from Salty Tour (#Linda_Leung).
What must you miss? Having to leave said pruny bliss to return to prepping cases, Icelandic bar fights.
Lebanon
By Lydia Gilbert (OE)
Where did you go? Beirut
When did you go? On the famous Lebanon trek, in late August.
Who did you go with? It was a cross-sectional affair, organized by Lebanese students.
Where did you stay? Officially, a hotel.  AirBnB before the trek began. Both were delightful.
What did you eat? Three-hour long lunches with hummus, grilled (and un-grilled) meats, falafel, Barout del batat, fattoush, kibbeh…..and lots of dancing in between the courses!
What can’t you miss? Getting lost around the winding streets of Gemmayzeh, seeing sunrise from B 018 (former bomb shelter turned nightclub), meeting the Prime Minister and his economic staff, walking around the old fortress and souks in Byblos.
What must you miss? Staying in the sun too long + excessive nights of partying = horrible stomach bugs.
Indonesia
By Bas van Ginkel (OI)
Where did you go? 2.5 weeks surfing in Kuta, Lombok and Seminyak, Bali.
When did you go? Last J-term
Who did you go with? Section mate and surf-buddy Rafael (entire trip) and friends Omar Alfi, Sri Batchu, Catie Bennett, John Clayton, Nate Leung and Amy Steadman (4 days in Seminyak).
Where did you stay? A small homestay in Kuta and a surf-camp in Seminyak.
What did you eat? Indonesian classics (e.g. Nasi Goreng, Sateh Ayam, Gado-Gado).
What can’t you miss? World-class surf-breaks at Gerupuk and Lombok.What must you miss? The numerous wipe-outs by 10+ feet monster waves.
Bangladesh
By Patrick Erker (OI)

Where did you go? Dhaka, Sylhet

When did you go? J-term, EC year.

Who did you go with? A couple of section broz.

Where did you stay? At a friend’s place in Dhaka and a resort in Sylhet.

What did you eat? Lots of coconut water and health foods (origin of my interest in the Paleo diet). We found a good Indian restaurant in Dhaka, and realized while there that breakfast has in many ways been universalized to include staples such as bacon and eggs, which I’m ok with. Favorite new drink: Vococanos—vodka, coconut juice, and Mt. Edna volcanic lemon juice.

What can’t you miss? Go on the Hash run to explore parts of Dhaka you wouldn’t otherwise see. A drive through Old Dhaka will give you heartburn and make you long for Boston’s cow-path road network.  We were among the very few tourists in Bangladesh when we were there, and rather than complain about the relative dearth of tourist attractions, we took the time to relax, work out more than necessary, and eat well. Also–massages are ridiculously cheap. So get lots of them while you’re there.

What must you miss? The mosquito bites; getting sick and having to relieve myself in an outdoor hole in the ground during the aforementioned 5+ mile Hash run; and being caught in the middle of a political rally that could have easily turned violent and having to hole up in a fortified back room of a hotel for a couple of hours. A four-hour trip from Dhaka to Sylhet turned into an 11-hour, harrowing drive along overcrowded, lawless highways. We decided to fly back to Dhaka—I’d recommend flying both ways!

Morocco
By Kate Lewis (OE)

Where did you go? Marrakech.

When did you go? New Year’s, J-term of EC year.

Who did you go with?  Old E’s lads and lasses on tour.

Where did you stay? We rented a ten-bedroom riyadh in the Old City, ski-on ski-off from all of Marrakech’s main attractions.  The house had a rooftop patio, an orange tree, and a very understanding waitstaff.

What did you eat? Traditional Moroccan food is more African than Arab.  The dish you’ll see perhaps too much of is called tagine, a ceramic pot of couscous, chicken, and some overcooked vegetables.  It’s perfectly fine, but you’ll be disappointed if you are expected hummus and falafel.

What can’t you miss? The lads look a day-long hike in the Atlas Mountains.  We visited an old-school olive oil press, saw some livestock, and even sat in on a second-grade math lesson in a one-room school house.  The group mustered up a verse of “Frere Jacques” to show off our rudimentary French language skills.  The kids weren’t impressed.

What must you miss? The center square of the Old City, Djemaa el-Fna, is unavoidable but pretty stressful.  While the trinket hustling gets old fast, the really terrifying part is the snake charming.  If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with either a cobra or an ape on your shoulder with its owner demanding compensation for the experience.  And thanks to Morocco’s predictably non-existant animal control laws, you’ll most certainly contract a mean cough a few days later.

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