One aspect of college that most students look forward to experiencing is the ability to travel abroad. Although going to other countries around the world would be amazing, a lot of students do not take the time to explore our own country.
America is a beautiful mix of oceans, deserts, mountains, and forests all in one country that we already live in. I should know, since I have been fortunate enough to have been to 45 out of the 50 states. It was amazing to step back and realize how much our country has to offer if you are willing to look. My dad decided that as a family we would travel the country over the years, and he planned trips everywhere, not just the tourist spots or big cities. There is an experience for everyone in this country just waiting to be discovered.
Calling all nature lovers
I never thought of myself as a nature advocate before traveling with my family. One of the places that sticks out to me was Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. It was beautiful because there are giant natural arches made from sandstone. All throughout the park there were trails for visitors to walk. Some were simple, while others took hikers into the archways.
My dad and I followed the more dangerous path leaving, my sister and my mom behind. Even though the trail was steep, it was worth it when we got to the top. It felt like the entire world opened up for us. It is amazing what happens naturally when people do not get involved in the process of nature creating beautiful fixtures on its own.
Another place to get away from the big cities and bright lights would be Vermont in the summer. Go find a remote swimming hole. These swimming holes are a blast. My dad was following a map, in the middle of the woods on a dirt road with no cell phone service. I thought that we were going to die or be lost forever when we came up on a group of parked cars. We all got out and saw something that I thought only existed in country music videos. There were people jumping off of rocks into pools of water. Some of the rocks were really tall, and others were closer to the water. We had to just let go of our fears and jump right in, and it has been one of the coolest things that I have done in my life.
If swimming is not really your thing, there are still adventures to be found on dry land. In Florence, Oregon, there are sand dunes that bring about a lot of tourists. A group of people get into an SUV then the group goes on a “tour” of the dunes. When I say tour, I mean a race around the dunes in a tornado of sand. It feels like a roller coaster ride in nature. The driver’s best advice was for women to remove their lipstick.
Close to Oregon, there is California, which holds many attractions including the Red Wood Forest in the Northern area. There are trees that are so big that an entire car can drive through one, since they cut out a hole in the middle of one of these trees. There are also seashores that contain an abundance of starfish that people can just scoop up. They are beautiful creatures up close.
There is beauty in being able to discover something different within our own country. There are 50 states that hold unique experiences if you are willing to look for them. These stories are just a few of the many amazing experiences that I’ve had in the states; there are so many more, but everyone has interests in different areas, so go explore the amazing place that we all call home.