Travel Club: From COVID Testing to Jet Setting


Emmi Highness, Editor, Writer

It’s been three years since Helena High’s Travel Club left the country for one of their international adventures. Now, after many COVID-19 setbacks, they are setting off again for a trip to Greece, Italy, and Spain. Mr. Hussey, who has been overseeing Travel Club since 2016, said that the original 2020 travel plan was to go to Italy then Greece followed by a cruise around the Greek Islands. This evolved into a smaller trip around Europe for 2021, which also was postponed.  

In addition to the many trip adjustments, the travelers must provide proof of vaccination and have a negative COVID test 72 hours before leaving the country. Mr. Hussey said that although COVID is getting better in America and internationally, masks will still need to be worn throughout the trip, specifically on planes. He added that some countries only allow N-95 masks to be worn as well.  

This year is Travel Club’s biggest travel group yet with 12 students, three chaperones, and 5 other adults attending. Of the students going, five had originally planned to travel during the 2020 or 2021 trip and seven are new students. Uniquely, this group includes three recent Helena High graduates.  

Kiera Sumner, a recent HHS alumnus attending the trip said, “I was originally supposed to go on the trip in March of 2020, right when COVID-19 initially hit the United States. I was a junior at HHS then, and I have been hoping that it would be safe enough to go at some point in the future. I stayed enrolled in the trip this whole time, and it is finally paying off!” Hannah Lenik is another HHS graduate. Leik said, “This trip was supposed to be my graduation trip. I was supposed to go my senior year, but then COVID hit and we weren’t able to go. I have been looking forward to this trip for 2 years.” 

Both Sumner and Lenik are very passionate about international travel. Sumner shared that “International travel is more than just a vacation to me. It’s an adventure. Not only do you discover more about the places you are going and the people around you, you learn so much about yourself at the same time. It’s enriching and it’s beautiful.” For Lenik, “Travel is freedom and a way to get away from the push and pull off day-to-day life.” She added, “I also love the different cultures and meeting people from different countries.” 

With a new adventure on the way, Mr. Hussey said he is most looking forward to the food on their upcoming trip. Sumner said what she is most excited for is “seeing temples and landmarks dedicated to Grecian gods and goddesses. We hear their names all of our lives but to actually see where fables and myths took place is going to be surreal.” Lenik also added, “I think I am most excited simply to be traveling again! I have always been big into travel so being able to do so again is so exciting for me.” 

If you’re interested in Travel Club, you should absolutely join next year for their trip to Costa Rica. Mr. Hussey said that “the experience outweighs the cost” because students come back from the trip changed with new perspectives on the world. Sumner agreed, saying that “the price tag is not as scary as it looks.” Lenik also backed them up saying, “Start early, save money, and experience everything you can while you have the support.”  

We wish these adventurers safe travels! And for those interested in traveling in the future, stop by Mr. Hussey’s classroom (room 26) to get in on the excitement next year!