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Spring Breakout

Catch spring fever from these twenty-three tales of wanderlust.

Spring is, by all accounts, an accost of the senses. The air smells different — warm and pollinated — and glimpses of sun and skin and bloom tantalize. It’s even more exciting to be somewhere new as temperatures rise. The mix of foreign and fresh cause a most pleasant sensory overload. And what better way to shake off a restful winter? The stories below describe the indulgences of restless spirits, would-be explorers no longer locked in by inclement weather. And let’s not forget the best part about a good spring vacation: even home feels different after.

Published on March 24, 2010

Introduction by Laura Brunow Miner

Guest design by Sharon McPeake

Carry that Weight

Carry that Weight

I spend most of my spring breaks in my hometown of Miami; either visiting somewhere new, or enjoying the nostalgia of revisiting somewhere I’ve been 100 times. This year I opted to explore the southernmost tip of the Everglades instead. My friend and I enjoyed the vibrant sunshine, our picnic, and even the knee-deep mud we waded through at the shore.

Photographer: Ashley Quinn

I am a designer, photographer, and creative professional currently residing in Brooklyn. Originally from Miami, I ended up back East by way of Los Angeles.

Lucy and Cassius

Lucy and Cassius

While on a quiet hike in Indonesia, I was so surprised to encounter other people that I snapped a quick photo without thinking. I refrained from taking any more, feeling embarrassed about having intruded on this couple’s moment. But as they emerged from the mist, I scribbled down my e-mail address on a soggy scrap of paper, mentioning that I had a photo and they could contact me for it. I heard from them soon after. As it turned out, I captured the moment he proposed to her.

Photographer: Steph Goralnick

Steph Goralnick is a photographer and graphic designer who lives in Brooklyn.

Kashmir Afloat

Kashmir Afloat

As we sat on the back porch of this hand-carved wooden houseboat in Kashmir and drank green tea and saffron, the silvery fresh water of Lake Nagin served as the perfect mirror for the surrounding Himalayas. The beauty of the scene reminded us to give thanks to the blessings and opportunities that brought us there. Though our time there was short, I won’t forget it soon.

Photographer: Tyler Sharp

Tyler Sharp is a photographer, writer, and videographer who lives in Dallas, Texas. He is also a contributor to PhotoCine News.

To Pray Together

To Pray Together

During a spring break trip to Jerusalem, I watched thousands of people passionately follow their religious practices. Jews come to pray at the Western Wall, Christians come to visit the place where Jesus visited, and Muslims come to visit the golden Dome of the Rock shown on the left. Amidst their differences, all of these people come to the same location to lift their spirits and share their hearts with God.

Photographer: Allen Befort
Paris in the Springtime

Paris in the Springtime

I had only known her for a few weeks when she mentioned that she was planning a trip to Paris. Just a few weeks more and she invited me to come along. It was, as one might expect, magical. New York was still wintry but Paris was alive: new buds on trees, the first blooming flowers, and evenings warm enough to sit on an island in the Seine as the sun traded places with the glow of passing boats.

Photographer: Beanbag Amerika

Bean is not actually from Antarctica. His heart is covered in paisleys.

Spring Swimmers

Spring Swimmers

I promised myself that this time, on my third visit to the UK, I would brave the chilly waters of the English Channel. The local swimmers went first and I soon followed after with my waterproof camera. As a Texan, I had never felt water that cold: forty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. I only lasted about fifteen minutes, but it was well worth it.

Photographer: Cody Austin

Cody lives in Houston and takes his camera with him everywhere. He has been published in magazines such as JPG, Light Leaks, and Executive Travel.

Meeting Dad

Meeting Dad

For almost a decade, my family was separated by thousands of miles. After high school, my family moved back to our home country of Belize, but my dad stayed at his job in the US to support the family (and later followed the work to Tijuana). A few years back, he offered me a plane ticket to come visit him and I took it. All around us, college students my age were enjoying their spring break, but I was hanging with my dad for the first time in my adult life. The first few days were very strange for me because so much had happened in the years apart that we didn’t know each other anymore. But we managed to catch up and it finally started to feel like we were old friends. From time to time, my dad and I still talk about those trips, the amazing coastlines of Baja California, and our first of many beers together. I’ve since started my own family and I’m glad that he is now at home to be Grandpa.

Photographer: John Rodriguez

I am a first-time dad rediscovering things with my 2-year-old son in the Caribbean.


Dear @Pictory: “Freshman year. Spring break. Road trip to Tijuana with a pack of wild guys. … We spent the week rebuilding a wall for an orphanage.” @brookr

King of the Hill

King of the Hill

We had the entire trip planned out: four-wheelers, fishing, boating, and hiking on a cousin’s farm in Rusk, Texas. But it was a simple bail of hay that turned out to be the highlight of the visit for my six-year-old son.

Photographer: Miles Kenny

I am an energy trader from Houston. I picked up my dad’s habit of always carrying a camera.

Family Vacation

Family Vacation

During a recent spring break trip to my brother’s house, my son was sick and had a rough night. When I went in to check on him in the morning, I caught this peaceful, quiet stretch just before he opened his eyes.

Photographer: Laureen Carruthers

I have a small home-based photography business in Williams Lake, British Columbia.


Dear @Pictory: “My fav spring break was spent at home installing wood floors w/ dad in a heat wave w/o AC. Hard but surprisingly fun! #daddysgirl” @genwithaG215

It's Not About Where You Are

It’s Not About Where You Are

Every year, we drove from snowy upstate New York to sunny Florida, listening to books on tape and napping at gas stations. The first year we lived in our car, the second at this over-priced motel too far from the beach. But we never minded any of it; we knew that it’s not about where you are, but who you’re with.

Photographer: Lydia Stamato

I teach at a small college for disabled youth in Guangzhou, China. It’s pretty wonderful.

Temporary Drifters

Temporary Drifters

Pack your bags. We’re driving to New York.” A few years back, my friends and I spontaneously began a quintessential college road trip. We wandered Manhattan aimlessly, country boys a bit lost in the big city, and were most shocked by the somberness of Ground Zero. We stayed with friends in New Jersey to save money, and caught the first and last trains in and out of the city each day — except for the day we didn’t. Shown here is my friend pouting because none of us would sit with him after he made us miss our train.

Photographer: Matt Mantooth

I am a graphic designer in Anderson, South Carolina.

In Deep

In Deep

We’d been told that we’d kill each other before any mountains were in sight, but our friendship began on that spring break road trip from Michigan to California. We made it all the way to Yosemite without turning on the radio. Once there, we set out on a four-day hike through the back country. It had been described as a glorified walking path — it was anything but. The melt was late that year, so we relied on a compass to guide us through waist-deep snow and waterfalls that should have been dry paths. While pushing beyond our physical and mental limits, we made a friendship for life. We now live thousands of miles apart but reunite every year for a new adventure.

Photographer: Dustin Tinney

I’m a Rapidian, software developer, and photographer from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Vegas Outskirts

Vegas Outskirts

During our final year of college, my two best friends and I set out for our final spring break adventure together as witless explorers. We borrowed a Volkswagen Bus from an overly generous neighbor in Oregon and pointed it straight for Vegas. Just before plunging wholeheartedly into the overwhelming stimuli of Sin City, I took a final glance back at the desolate emptiness that borders a place so artificial it shouldn’t logically exist.

Photographer: Sean Madden

I am an associate creative director at frog design’s San Francisco studio. When not at work crafting narratives, I mostly hang with my awesome dog Porter and much awesomer wife Jasmyn.


Dear @Pictory: “Ran up a 4 digit bar tab with friends while in Daytona Beach 2010.” @lifeofdavi

Time Out

Time Out

Time doesn’t matter at SXSW Music Festival in Austin. It could have been nighttime, or maybe early morning, when I stopped by the PureVolume House for a drink. In any case, I found some friends and enjoyed an incredible show from a new urban artist called B.O.B. or Bobby Ray.

Photographer: Andrew Keller

I’m a 24-year-old native New Yorker with a love of rock and roll, travel, and photography. I work in the music industry.

A Life Less Ordinary

A Life Less Ordinary

Stealing mopeds in Greece. Waking up in mansions dressed in Muppet costumes. Jumping into the back of moving cars, only to discover that the driver owns the biggest nightclub in Spain. Whatever the unbelievable adventure, Lizzie Laszlo makes me feel alive. We’ve hidden in bins, tucked and rolled out of cars, and been taken out to dinner by strange men. It’s not always safe or a good idea, but I’d rather die on an adventure with her than live an ordinary life.

Photographer: Mary-Alice Thompson

I am twenty-one, and exist somewhere in London.


Dear @Pictory: “I got yelled at in French and slapped by a stranger in a Parisian cafe over spring break 2 years ago. Still not sure what was yelled.” @eveywiechert

Mixed Messages

Mixed Messages

“Contrary to popular belief, drugs are illegal here in Jamaica. Even marijuana.” At that exact moment, the arrival briefing from the tour group representative stopped as something fell from the umbrella. A bundle of dried-out leaves — weed — fell out of the straw umbrella, in Jamaica, on the first day of our first spring break ever. Ridiculous, right?

Photographer: Kathleen Robertson
How to Experience the Deep South in Nine Days

How to Experience the Deep South in Nine Days

Day 1: Catch a red-eye flight to New Orleans with a layover in Cleveland. Day 2: Eat very thick and juicy po-boys, a bowl of etoufee, bags of pork rinds, beignets, and drink a couple bottles of whisky. Day 3: Take in hot cups of gumbo, voodoo cemeteries, palatial houses, and a night of jazz. Day 4: Consume an oyster po-boy and bloody mary for breakfast, get lost trying to find the rent-a-car place, leave New Orleans, stop in Montgomery, Alabama, and finally, spend the night in Tallahassee. Day 5: Drive to Savannah, Georgia, walk around several squares, eat a BBQ dinner. Day 6: Line-up for Paula Deen’s restaurant, unintentionally insult a waitress, drive to Charleston, South Carolina to meet friends. Day 7: Wake up sick, spend the whole day in the hotel. Day 8: Wander around a plantation, eat really gross dumplins, drive to Raleigh, spend the night at the airport. Day 9: Fly home with a layover in Cincinnatti.

Photographer: Zack Lee

I graduated with a degree in International Relations but stumbled my way into design, marketing, and event logistics in Vancouver.

Country for Young Men

Country for Young Men

Eleven college students, seven days of camping, three state parks, one national park, and 1600 road miles in West Texas. Each night, we slept under the stars. Each day, we either hiked up mountains, climbed over granite cliffs, viewed ancient pictographs, swam in the Rio Grande, or chased coyotes.

Photographer: Patrick O'Neill

I’m Patrick, and I live in Weatherford, Texas.

Working Holiday

Working Holiday

Last year, I spent my spring break in Guatemala helping build two rural houses for Habitat for Humanity. I didn’t think that much about the work (physically difficult, but nothing I couldn’t handle), or what I was doing, until the closing ceremony on the last day. The families were so grateful for our help and so baffled by the fact that a group of high schoolers would come all the way from Chicago to help them. I, too, was baffled — by their disbelief. I had just wanted to go on a cool trip, but got so much more out of it: an urge to travel, an appreciation for the world and other cultures, and a desire to continue with community service.

Photographer: Jamie Kraus

I am a high school student in Chicago, and will be starting photography school at RIT next year.

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