Travel the world with the gadabouts club!
By Alonzo Murrieta
El Rodeo Staff Writer
El Rodeo Staff Writer
Sophomore English teacher Mrs. Zeko founded the school’s travel club, the Gadabouts, in 1996. Since then, the Gadabouts has traveled to more than 20 countries throughout Europe and Asia.
At the time of its creation, the Mrs. Zeko never had the intent to travel internationally. “I wanted to take my students to Salinas to read Of Mice and Men on the river, [but] we weren’t allowed to go or fundraise unless we were a club,” Zeko said, “so we created a club to travel up to Salinas and we went camping and we read the novel.”
It wasn’t until Mrs. Zeko began teaching with Greg Smith, the AP European History teacher at the time, that the club became what El Rancho knows as the Gadabouts. “He was teaching the kids about things that seemed so far away from their experience,” Zeko said, “so I thought, ‘if you’re going to be studying this we should go see it,’ and that was our first Gadabouts trip.”
Since 2006, the Gadabouts continue to travel to new locations every year. In the past 12 years, the club has visited multiple countries including Italy, Spain, Morocco, Germany, and China.
Near the end of September, the Gadabouts chose their newest destination. This summer, the club will be traveling across the world to Eastern Europe! The Gadabouts will spend a week visiting Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia. Throughout the trip, student and teacher travelers will venture to many destinations such as Budapest, Bled Castle, and Split.
This trip is definitely not something to miss! Eastern Europe holds plenty of treasures within its countries and Mrs. Zeko wants everyone to know that. “When everyone thinks of Europe, they think of Paris, and they think London, and they think of Rome, which are great places to visit and [are] truly worth visiting, but at some point in your life, you’ll probably get there,” Mrs. Zeko said,
“so the hope is to expose people to different parts of the world that they wouldn’t normally go [to].”
The trip itself has more benefits than just seeing new places. “You come back a better version of yourself,” Zeko said, “we find that we learn so much about other cultures, but really, we learn so much about ourselves.”
If sightseeing and finding yourself haven’t already caught your attention, then all of the memories the travelers make on their adventures will! “There are a lot of [unforgettable] moments,” Mrs. Zeko said. “Being on a boat in Greece, hiking a volcano, [and] walking on the Great Wall of China were all super memorable.” The Gadabouts’ trip to China this past June was also one filled with incredible memories! “From the most recent one,” Zeko said, “it has to be Antonio [and Omar] eating a scorpion that was alive only moments ago.”
Not only are the trips memorable for the club’s advisor, but they’re also extremely special to the student travelers as well! “I gained so much insight on how Chinese culture [really is],” senior Omar Sanchez said. “I also made great memories and I got to meet new faces along the way!”
Interested in being a part of this once in a lifetime adventure? Mrs. Zeko is available in A205 for any questions or concerns you might have about the Gadabouts’ trip!