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!
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!
By Tom Ferguson (NF)
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!
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.