Road travel brings mix of treats, challenges

The women’s basketball season started with a slew of consecutive road games.

From Delaware to East Carolina and even to Los Angeles, this year’s non-conference schedule has taken us to many adventures and competitions far from Detroit.

Life on the road as a student-athlete is exciting and exhilarating – and, at times, difficult.

For the Thanksgiving tournament in California, not only did we travel there to compete but we also were able to experience Hollywood, viewing the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We also visited the Santa Monica pier, my favorite activity there.

There are various ways we travel to games.

We either take a charter bus or fly, either coach or a charter flights.

Charter flights are my favorite. To states that require a long drive, like Wisconsin or Kentucky, we typically fly with a private airline on a private plane where it is just the team and staff. These are my favorite because they are typically quicker and allow us to get directly on a plane without the long wait at TSA or the baggage claim.

Being on the road trips with the team is always a good time.

Aside of the actual completion, one my favorite things is to visit restaurants in different states.

We’ve visited a number of steakhouses and fancy Italian restaurants. We preorder our meals, which cuts down on wait time.

One of the challenges of road travel is homework. We sometimes miss classes and major assignments, and must catch up on homework. It is a lot of pressure at times to complete all of our work on time without staying up all night in order to have energy and awareness for practices and games on the road.

To stay on top of assignments, we must start the assignments much earlier and avoid procrastination. We also have study tables on the road in which we dedicate a couple of hours to homework.

Having constant communication with our professors is important. Some professors are lenient and understand the difficulty of missing class and completing assignments on the road while some are less understanding and very demanding. Although catching up on work is sometimes difficult, sitting on a bus for hours allows you to catch up on reading at least.

As a person who enjoys traveling, I would love to continue to travel as a part of my profession but not as an athlete.

To be able to travel professionally in a field other than athletics would be ideal. I believe that my traveling experiences now will help shape and prepare me for what I might experience as a professional.


Williams is a VN staff writer and member of the women’s basketball team