The Importance Of Space Exploration

The Importance Of Space Exploration

My thoughts on interstellar travel and exploration.
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There are times when I just want to go out and look up at the sky; times that I could stare for hours and hours at the innumerable constellations containing stars and planets that shine ever so brightly despite how far away they are. I wish I could just go away by myself or with a close friend watching the night skies just sitting there wondering about what's out there, beyond our solar system.

The universe is so vast and even now we are just beginning to comprehend what it holds. We know little as a collective and our knowledge is only a small percentage of what we will know in the future. Looking up at that almost lucid, luminous sky that roars with never-ending life gives me some sense of solace.

It also gives me peace.

There is something about those stars that is absolutely enthralling to gaze at. Sometimes I believe I could fade away amongst the stars and not have to worry about the burdens of this world.

My only hope is that this is heaven. Floating, a spirit, amongst the stars. No boundaries except where I want my mind to take me. That is my dream. To one day sail through the vast and incomprehensible ocean that is space, through nebulas and massive star clusters.

No amount of dreams could match the intensity and vivaciousness that the universe offers. It is a divine creation for us to explore and we should grasp that opportunity. Instead of living our lives confined to a shell of a planet we must branch out and explore. It is our divine providence to do so. Already, we have probes and rovers sent out to other planets and stars.

Every day we learn something new and sometimes we even find that our previous thinking was wrong. Every day we find some amazing, stunning new element of our world that challenges even the most steadfast of ideas and beliefs.

However, let not our exploration be confined to our own solar system. We must as nations, as a world, but most importantly as people push to learn more about what lies beyond the skies. We must do this to propel ourselves forward. Nothing is standing in our way but ourselves.

Many times I wonder who the first person was to look up at the skies and notice its beauty and wonder what lies beyond.

Who was the first person to actually notice our universe’s extravagance and not take it for granted? Who was that first person to spark a kindling in mankind not just to explore our own planet but those beyond? Whoever it was I thank them.

I thank them for the achievements we have accomplished and those to come which only God knows. We know nothing except that our fate is sealed. Our destiny is to roam the skies and stars. For thousands of years, the people of Earth have pondered the possibilities of space and what it consists of. If only they could see us now.

We’ve sent men to the moon not once but several times. Even today there is talk of sending men as far as Mars. In the near future, I can even imagine colonies on other celestial bodies.

However, let us hope that we do not lose sight of the reason we are out there in the untamed wilds of the universe. We are out there because we are curious. Curious about what lies beyond our planets, solar systems and even our galaxy.

We are curious about what we will find and what we won’t. I can only imagine the sheer excitement that the first man in space felt as he finally passed through the Earth’s atmosphere into a vastly unknown realm. For all we knew there could have been nothing up there. Yet our curiosity got a hold of us and hauled us into the endless vanity of space.

Ever since we have been hooked. Like a drug, space has intrigued us since day one and I believe that as long as we allow, it will until the end. So when I look out my window on a crisp winter night when the sky is clear and I can see a star shining brightly in the distance, I like to imagine that maybe one day I might be on that star looking back down at Earth.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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Ten Reasons Why Old Orchard Will Always Be My Favorite Beach

My home away from home.
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Everyone has a favorite vacation spot that will always hold a special place in your heart. Here is why Old Orchard Beach, is, and always will be, my favorite beach.

1. The Pier

A trip is never complete to Old Orchard without visiting “The Pier.” With endless possibilities for the day and night time, The Pier is home to numerous shops, five restaurants, live music, and a night club for those 21 and older. Oh, and did I mention it also has the best view of the ocean?


2. Pier Fries

I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of French fries, call me un-American, but I absolutely love pier fries. In business for over 80 years, Pier Fries is known for their fresh, never frozen, fries cut from premium potatoes daily. You can also choose to eat them with ketchup, vinegar, or nacho cheese, don't knock it until you try it, and trust me you need to try it.


3. Palace Playland

Holding the title of New England's ONLY Beachfront Amusement Park, Palace Playland is the reason why as a kid, I thought every beach was supposed to come with an Amusement Park. Palace Playland offers kiddie rides, family rides, and for those feeling more adventurous, coaster and thrill rides. If you’re feeling daring enough and seeking adrenaline, ride the Power Surge, but don’t say I didn’t warn you… Feeling like relaxing but still want a beautiful view? The Electra Wheel, aka, Ferris Wheel, will be more up your alley, with a beautiful view of the entire park and beach.


4. The Beach Itself

I would be remiss to write an article about why I love my favorite beach without mentioning the beach itself. With the sand and ocean stretching out for seven miles, unlike many beaches, no matter how crowded it gets, you can always walk and find a more secluded spot to relax at. Towards the middle of the seven mile stretch, you will find The Pier, a great place to see the waves better and take pictures, a tradition my family does every year.


5. Dickinson’s Candy

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Dickinson’s candy is the place for you! With two stores located at Old Orchard beach, (one right outside the pier and one past the train tracks up the street) Dickinson’s offers a tremendous variety of sweets including; salt water toffee, fudge, chocolate truffles, candy, and even specialty ice-cream. Dickinson’s Candy truly has it all and it all tastes delicious! Not only will you find some of the best, most unique sweets in Old Orchard, but you will also be greeted by various friendly members of their staff.


And if you’re feeling adventurous, take the Bean Boozled challenge for free! Spin the wheel to determine your fate and what color jelly bean you choose. Mine was either licorice or skunk spray…unfortunately I got the latter.


6. Fireworks

I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of fireworks, but there is something about watching them on the beach that truly enhances the experience. Every Thursday at 9:45 pm, a beautiful fireworks display takes place right by The Pier and Palace Playland, automatically giving anyone sitting on the beach a great view. Fireworks started on June 30th and continue until August 25th, so there is plenty of time to drive up and enjoy this amazing spectacle.


7. The Arcade

This huge arcade stretches across Palace Playland and holds the title of being one of the largest in New England. With over two hundred games and attractions, the arcade’s games range from classic such as skeeball and pinball, to more up to date, like crane games with plushies from the new movie The Secret Life of Pets, and a giant Connect Four. With so many attractions, this place makes it easy to spend a few hours, and dollars trying to win the perfect prize, like my rainbow giraffe that I totally won on my own! With some help from my boyfriend….okay, actually he just won it for me, but it’s still adorable.


8. Everything Is A Walk Away

As large as Old Orchard may seem with everything it has to offer, it is all conveniently located in the same area, providing easy access. The Pier, Pier Fries, Palace Playland, The Arcade, Dickinson’s Candy, and parts of the beach itself are all extremely close by and you will be sure to find something that catches your eye while on your way to your next destination.


9. Unique Wall Art

A hidden gem at Old Orchard Beach is the impressive wall art right across the train tracks. This wall art changes a bit every year and always brings something new and unique to Old Orchard. This year, a bright and vibrant Dory was added next to Marlin from Finding Nemo and now Finding Dory. You can also find 8- bit art of Mario in a frog suit from Super Mario 3, and various sea creatures. Whales, crabs, squids, even Spongebob and Patrick! You can find them all on this amazing wall of artwork!


10. It's My Home Away From Home

My address I live at may not be in Maine, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like I’m home when I’m there. Since I was born it has been a tradition among my family to go up to Old Orchard Beach and enjoy all that this amazing beach has to offer. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter if I stay for as long as a week or as short as a single day, whenever I leave, I feel like I’m leaving home and start counting down the days until I can return the following summer.



Cover Image Credit: Angela Renzi

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My Top 11 Favorite Places I Have Traveled Where I Have Made The Best Memories

Around the world gathering memories.
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Traveling is something that is a big part of my family and is something that is very special to us. We have pictures in our house of everywhere we have been, so it’s like walking down memory lane when you see a picture on the wall. In every picture there is a memory we can laugh and talk about. The places I have visited with my family have always been incredible trips, so it was hard to pick out some of my favorite places I've been. My family's favorite quote is "Eat well and travel often" and I believe in all the places we've visited we've done just that!

1. Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos is definitely my favorite place that I have ever visited, I would go back there in a heartbeat. Everything about it is a dream from the ice blue water that doesn't even look real, to the restaurant that overlooks the water. We got to eat at the restaurant that overlooked the water and we ate some of the best food and desserts. What was even better about this trip is my brother, cousins, and I got to go in a giant tube that got pulled around by a boat in the Mediterranean Sea. It is still a memory I look back on often and to this day was one of the best experiences I have ever had!

2. Santorini, Greece

Santorini is everything one could imagine. This was one of my favorite places I have visited with my family from the shops, to every shade of blue that is on the street, and to the buildings that overlook the blue water. I could go back to Santorini still love it and spend hours there. Also, I made it a goal to get a gyro while in Greece because what's better than eating a Greek dish while in Greece!

3. Capri, Italy

This is one beautiful place in Italy where the water is as blue as any water can get. One of the greatest things to visit if you ever go to Capri is the Blue Grotto. This is where the water is so blue it looks like it could be glass. To get to the cave you have to take a boat and then to get into the cave you have take smaller boats. It's fun because your "boat driver" sings in Italian. Sometimes you're even allowed to jump into the water, unfortunately we weren't allowed to, but it was still just as fun and beautiful.

4. Seville, Spain

This was a place full of culture, vibrant colors, and flamenco dancers. My mom and I went to go visit my sister who was studying in Seville for a semester. She took us to her favorite restaurants, the square where all the shopping happens, and even a place to find some good gelato. We visited the famous chapel that was beautiful and we got a taste of Spain when we ate paella for dinner.

5. Alaska

Just like Montana, Alaska was peaceful and full of nature. My family and I were able to go whale watching and it was amazing to see these creatures so close in person. We also took a train ride that went all the way to the peak of the mountain and we were able to see beautiful land where parts of it were covered in snow. Some of the scenery we saw looked like it could have been a painting. In general it was a peaceful and relaxing train ride.

6. London, England

This is one cool place because it feels like you're in New York because of all the different cultures and food you can eat, but the accents are much better. I'm also a big Harry Potter fan so of course I made my way down to King Cross Station to get my picture taken in front of the famous cart going into the brick wall. Let's say it was definitely worth the wait. We also saw Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and we got to go on The London Eye!

7. Rome, Italy

Getting to live the life of Lizzie McGuire was fun even though I didn't get mistaken for a pop star. However, getting to see the Colosseum and standing in a piece of history you're use to just reading about in textbooks left me amazed. What also left me amazed was the amount of good food and dessert one could eat in a couple of days.

8. Washington DC

This was another place that was regular for my family to visit since my grandparents lived there. We did all the museums and many historic tours, but each time they got better. Plus when we were in Maryland we got to eat what they're known for which is blue crabs!

9. Rosemary Beach, Florida

My family comes here often and every time we come it gets better, there is always something new to see. Plus what's better than spending time in the sun on the beach where your only worry is making sure you don't get sunburn. Also, there is something about the beach that makes you forget about all the worries in your life.

10. New York City, New York

There is nothing better than getting feel like Gossip Girl for a little bit as you walk through the Upper East Side of NYC and even snag a picture on the Met Steps. New York is always a fun trip because getting to experience the real feel of a Broadway show is something else, but the museums are also incredible too. One time my family and I went to the Met Museum and the theme was fashion so we got to see fashion from around the world. Not to mention the shopping in New York couldn't get any better!

11. Glacier Park, Montana

I was pretty young when my family and I visited here, but it was still such a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. I remember being so amazed that there was still snow on the mountains even though it was July. We got to go on a lot of adventures on this trip, we went whitewater rafting along with going on hikes, and getting to see some animals close up you wouldn't normally see on a daily basis.

Cover Image Credit: Stephanie Cornejo

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