Why You Should Go Up In a Hot Air Balloon At Least Once In Your Life

Why You Should Go Up In a Hot Air Balloon At Least Once In Your Life

It's an experience of a lifetime.

Not a lot of people get the privilege of riding in a hot air balloon. If you ever get the opportunity, don't pass it up. Trust me! I have now been on three hot hair balloon rides and all three have been amazing. Now this may sound cliche, but my first ever balloon ride was life changing. It caused me to view the world a lot differently, not only literally viewing it from a higher perspective, but it made me realize how beautiful this planet we live on actually is. This is why everyone should go on at least one hot air balloon ride in their lifetime.

What you actually see while you're up in the air is breath taking. At first, you can't help but looking down. No matter how scared you may be of heights, you're safe in a basket, so most of the fear goes away. You can't help but wave to the people that are on the field where you took off. You watch them get smaller, the cars get smaller, everything get smaller as you're flying into the sky. Then, you take in the sky. You're now a part of the sky. Whether you're flying in the morning, afternoon, or evening, the sky is astonishing. My favorite is the morning flights where you watch the sun rise to then light up the earth. Then, you look back down. You see all of the scenery that you have never seen from this point of view before. You may think that it would be the same as flying in an airplane, but it isn't at all. You're much closer to the ground and you get to see all around you, not just through a window. You see house roofs, cars that now appear as toys, depending on the season you see hay bails that look like marshmallows, beautiful creeks and waterfalls from a birds eye view, etc. All I can say is, cherish the moments when you are in the air, it is truly a feeling you can only create when your in the basket.

Then you realize how HUGE the world actually is. It made me realize that there is so much more than the life I live in. You catch a glimpse of a bigger picture of the world that exists. It's a point of view everyone should have at least once in their lives. It's as if you're observing the world. How it works, who and what exists on it, all of the nature that is actually being taken away from us. Weird analogy, but it's kind of like you're an alien that isn't a part of this world and you're just outside of it looking in. The flights give you time to step back (unless you're the pilot). You don't pay attention to the time, you kind of forget about your life, the people in it, all of your troubles, and you just take in the beauty of the earth from a point of view you can't create unless you're in a hot air balloon up in the air.

All of what I just wrote about was going up in a balloon. If you have been on rides before or are deathly afraid of heights, or just want to get more involved with ballooning, a perfect way to still get some of the experience or expand what you've already done, is by balloon crewing. Balloon crewing these past 4 years for me have been amazing. I've met some pretty awesome people that have ended up meaning a lot to me. You're a team that work together to put the balloon up, chase it (unless you're in the basket of course), and take it down. And you have a lot of fun while doing it. Even if you only do it once a year, like me, it's still worth it. I look forward to it every year. I only see some of crew once a year, too. But we're still a strong team and a close family. Also, balloon rallies and festivals are definitely not as cool if you're not a part of them.

To wrap things up, if you ever get a chance, attend Letchworth State Park's Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally that takes place every Memorial Day Weekend. This is where I have flown every year. This park is so beautiful. Not to brag for it or New York, but it is indeed the best State Park in the whole US, AND one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. That definitely isn't a lie. So when you add the beautiful scenery with the balloons that fly over the gorge, it sure is a wonderful sight to see. If you're lucky enough, a balloon ride through the gorge is definitely worth wild. If you're REALLY lucky, you may even land in the gorge. (Trust me, it's amazing).

Cover Image Credit: Taylor Rapp

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.

“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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Everyone Should Visit NYC Once In Their Lifetime

Alicia Keys said it best, the streets will make you feel brand new and you will leave feeling more inspired than ever before.


For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to live in New York City. I've been to a lot of places and this one is by far my favorite of them all.

Not only does this city have the ability to make me feel so incredibly alive, but every single time I have visited, I have left ready to conquer anything and everything that comes my way.

There is just something about the bright lights, busy streets, and hustle of this city that is unbelievably inspiring and admirable to me. It really is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.

A trip to New York City is always a good idea, and you will never run out of things to do and see. So if you aren't quite convinced you want to see The Big Apple for yourself yet, here are a couple of reasons why you should.

#1 The Buildings.

It wouldn't be NYC without the buildings after all. The architecture is, to put it lightly, f***ing amazing. The linear streets, mix between old and new designs, and all of the unique colors and lights are beautiful beyond belief and pictures don't do them enough justice.

#2 The Culture.

Known as the melting pot of the world, the city is so beautifully diverse compared to the rest of the country and it's incredible to be able to see all of the cultural differences all throughout one city.

#3 The Food.

Two words: Pizza and Bagels. I can not stress this enough, EAT ALL OF THE PIZZA AND BAGELS! I literally think I could live off of those two things. Another good thing about New York is that you can eat for super cheap if you are on a budget, because theres guaranteed to be a pizza place on every block with $1 slices and food vendors lined up on the sidewalks with hot dogs and pretzels.

#4 The Entertainment. 

Broadway shows, Off Broadway, Concerts, Comedy, Art, you name it and it's there. Anything you could ever want to do, you can do in this city. One of my favorite shows I've been to was the Blue Man Group. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants, and I liked it so much I even went back for a second time!

No matter who you are or what you like to do, this city has something to offer you! I truly believe that everyone needs to experience this city at least once in their lifetime. So start planning, save up, and go explore! And if you end up hating it....at least you can get pizza for a dollar a slice.

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