Why You Should Visit More Lighthouses in 2019

Why You Should Visit More Lighthouses in 2019

They will light up your world.

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I've visited every lighthouse in North Carolina during my lifetime.

Some of my most cherished memories involve a lighthouse. The summer of 2016, notably my best summer ever, was the summer that presented itself with the opportunity to camp at Cape Lookout with my camp group.

The three days spent there underneath the stars, running around on the seven-mile island with no one else in sight sounds like a typical teenage dream movie.

While visiting the lighthouse itself did not play a factor in the memories made there, it was the landmark of the greatest time of our lives.

The following summer I visited Ocracoke Island's lighthouse with my camp group. This lighthouse was not able to be entered since it is so small, but it still played an important part in our journey as my group stood in admiration in front of it.

In 2018, my family made the great decision that for my graduation gift we could visit three of the lighthouses on the coast: Cape Hatteras, Bodie Island, and Ocracoke. So within a matter of two days, I was able to travel to each one - gaining a stamp in my NC State Park passport book along the way.

The lighthouses are not only beautiful structures that guide boats into shore but special landmarks showing a glimpse into the past. They are also a great place to go for when you want to visit a national or state park and want to do something more than just walk around. So in 2019, I encourage you to visit a lighthouse - sounds corny but it is worthwhile.

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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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.

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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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