A National Park For Every Season

A National Park For Every Season

Ready to take a road trip yet?

Although hitting all of the United State's 59 National parks is an admirable goal, I've compiled a far more manageable list of 4 parks below. These natural wonderlands hold plenty of landmarks to marvel at. After skimming through numerous photos of these beautiful sites I've labeled them with the particular season I'd prefer to spend exploring them, though they are beautiful year round.

Summer - Yosemite National Park - California

1,200 square feet of steep valleys, meadows, ancient sequoias, and brilliant skylines. Yosemite is a must see for campers and astronomy lovers alike. The lack of light pollution creates a beautiful natural canvas for stargazing. This park is perfect for an overnight trip, pitching a tent under the sky and setting up a bonfire. It is a proven fact that s'mores taste better when coupled with this view.

Winter - Tongass National Forest - Alaska

The nation's largest national forest hosts a variety of ice caves hidden beneath the Mendenhall Glacier. The 13-mile glacier is an outlet for the Juneau Ice Field and a perfect hiking spot for the adventurous (and warm blooded). However, this park is home to much more than hiking paths. Visitors can choose from a variety of activities to partake in, including dog sled rides, icefishing or simply relaxing in a remote cabin. Even in the colder winter months, this park boasts a wide variety of animal life.

Fall - Sequoia National Park - California

The world's largest trees grow (and fall) in the forested areas of Sequoia National Park. The namesake trees in this park reach unreal heights of 5,000 - 7,000', and yes, there is actually a fallen tree you can drive through. Named Tunnel Log, this passage is located on the drive up to Moro Rock. Driving through a tree is truly a novelty, and can be a busy location for park visitors and photographers. Pros recommend waiting till dawn when the tourists retreat to their tents or lodges and the mist begins to settle. With so many beautiful trees, the vivid colors that arrive every fall are breathtaking.

Spring - Olympic National Park - Washington

Sunrise illuminates the meadows that line the High Divide in Olympic National Park every morning. Created in 1938, the park is 95 percent forested and contains numerous different types of terrain. Diversity is the hallmark of this park. This trait is expressed in the spring as the local flora begins to bloom, creating a natural watercolor painting along the hillside.

Ready to take a road trip yet? Be sure to visit the park's respective websites to learn more about visiting and keeping our national park system alive and thriving!

Cover Image Credit: national geographic

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It's Just Me & The City

You have to keep the hustle alive.

For a city that never sleeps

I've seen you grow quiet in suspense

Lost with no direction during those hours on the 34th

with nothing but a Penn heading to the Station

In hopes that I've been making the right decisions to avoid all of this temptation

All the things I've been making has just been a declaration to me

Of who I should be,

who I want to be,

who I'm destined to be

because I see this me that most don't see

and the potential I see in me has been unseen to the public.

For there hasn't been any interests to get to know that me.

Cover Image Credit: Kyra Donahoo

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5 Things To Keep In Mind Before Traveling Overseas

Always be aware of the customs of the country in which you are traveling to in order to have a successful trip!

My family and I love to travel and see the world. However, I have not been on an overseas trip for years, up until now. I am currently writing this piece from my hotel room in Madrid, Spain to inform my readers on what they must prepare for while traveling overseas.

Like I said, I love seeing the world and experiencing new things, however, I was not prepared for what was thrown at me when I stepped foot off the plane.

1. Spotty cell phone service

Although I was prepared that I was not going to be able to use my phone like I do in the states, I wish someone would have told me how bad it was really going to be.

Unless you are somebody (who is smart) and purchased the international plan through your phone carrier, you will not be able to use any function that requires internet or cell service on your phone (unless connected to wifi).

Even when you are connected to wifi, the service tends to be slow an spotty, so be aware when you travel overseas that you will not be able to use your phone regularly (especially if you are somebody who is addicted to their phone like me).

2. Major time difference

Something to keep in mind while traveling overseas is that there is most likely going to be a 5 hour+ time difference between you and your loved ones at home. This really caught me off guard when I went to text a friend or my mom and they responded that it was 3 o'clock in America.

With that being said, you must be cautious when going to text or call somebody back home, because although you may be eating lunch, they are still sound asleep.

3. Language barrier

Coming to Spain, they obviously speak Spanish.

However, I did not do so hot in Spanish class which is part of the reason why I have not been able to communicate so well here. Everywhere you go, it is imperative to know a little Spanish. Whether you are hoping in a taxi, ordering food at a restaurant, or asking somebody for directions on the street, you must speak Spanish.

There are rare occasions where somebody will understand what I am saying (in English) but for the most part, my family has had to do the speaking and translating. Word of advice: know the language of the country you are traveling to!!!

4. Different money, different values

Even though I already knew the money in different countries would be different, I was not expecting to have such a difficult time adjusting to it.

Not only is the money different, but the value is different as well. I was told that because of different trades and imports overseas, things are valued differently than they are in America.

For example, in Spain soda is more expensive than wine because they must import soda, but wine is handled within the country. It is interesting to learn about how different items have different values but remember when you go to pay for something, you must think about how much money it is in the USA before you have a heart attack after purchasing it.

5. Different ways of going about things

While traveling overseas, it is very important to always be aware of your surroundings and the way they go about things in their country. People are always warning me that Madrid is known for pick-pocketing and to always wear a crossbody bag when walking around outside.

Another odd thing I learned here is that you can not just grab a random taxi, they wait in a line and you must take the next taxi in line. In other words, if you are very far behind in line, like 10 cars back, you must walk all the way up to the taxi that is first in line, in order to receive a ride.

Traveling overseas is an incredible experience. You are able to see magnificent landmarks, try all types of foods, and share fun memories with the people you love. However, it is important to realize that traveling overseas is not all fun and games and there are key things that need to be kept in mind in order to have a successful trip.

It is easy to get caught up in the overseas excitement, but it is important to always be aware of the place you are traveling to in order to be prepared for what is to come. Either way, wherever you are traveling you will have the best time and take the best Instagrams!

Cover Image Credit: India

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