13 Places I Want to Travel To Before I Turn 30

13 Places I Want to Travel To Before I Turn 30

Because then I truly will be thriving.

I love traveling. The world is full of so much adventure and culture. Although I have heard of these places for years I have never been to see them, so it is in my plans to see all of these before I turn 30.

1. Los Angeles, California

LA is full of fun, from studio tours to the Hollywood sign. On my list of places to visit is Little Tokyo, more specifically the Sugihara Memorial, the Chinese Theater, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2. Sydney, Australia

I have my whole itinerary written out for the trip I hope to someday make to Sydney. I want to hit to Sydney Opera House of course, and then the Sydney Harbor Bridge. After those, I want to travel outside the city to Blue Mountains National Park

3. New York City

I really want to visit the NYC at New Years’, so I can ring in the new year in Times Square. While there I also want to visit Ellis Island where millions of immigrants were processed before entering the US to start a new life. And as cliché, as this is, I really want to visit the Statue of Liberty. I also want to walk the path through the city that Mia and Adam did in “Where She Went” by Gayle Forman.

4. Santorini, Greece

This city is only on this list because of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series. I put this on the list around probably seventh grade after I read the series in four days.

5. London, England

I’m a big Harry Potter fan, so most of what I want to do in London is related to that like King’s Cross Station, Tower Bridge, and Leadenhall Market which served as Diagon Alley in the movies. Places that cater more to my historical side that I want to visit are the City of London, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben.

6. Barcelona, Spain

I’m pretty sure Barcelona is on the to-do list of every person who has ever seen “The Cheetah Girls 2.”

7. Mexico

Mexico intrigues me because although the US is so close our cultures are completely different. When visiting here I plan to visit the Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico City, and Cabo San Lucas.

8. Washington D.C.

The capital of the United States of America holds so many historic treasure and sights. The National Mall, the Smithsonian, the White House, and the Capital Building are all on my list of place to see.

9. Seattle, Washington

Seattle was the birthplace of grunge and Nirvana and played home to my favorite movie “10 Things I Hate About You.” It also currently is home to a statue of Vladimir Lenin that originally stood in Czechoslovakia, and although it was from a dark time in European history, it is still part of history.

10. Easter Island

I just want to take a picture with the statues.

11. Wichita Falls, Texas

This one seems weird seeing as Wichita Falls is a random city in north Texas. The reason I want to go there is that it is home to the world’s littlest skyscraper. It doesn't look like much, but at one point this building was part a fraudulent investment scheme.

12. Anaheim, California

The home to Disneyland and the Mighty Ducks (aka my favorite Disney movie franchise of all time!)

13. Marseilles, France

This city was the setting of my favorite book that I was forced to read in high school “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.

I hope you found a place that you want travel to or reminded you of somewhere that you’ve been. I am a homebody at heart but sometimes it’s good to get out and explore. Wish me luck!

Cover Image Credit: Flo Karr

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11 Must-Go To Day Trips In North Carolina

For the wanderers and curious...

It's finally summer, classes are out! There are so many things to do in this beautiful state. There are many small towns to visit. These towns are perfect day trips. From the mountains to the beach and everything in between, there is something for everyone! Pack your car up and get ready for a summer of adventure.

1. NoDa

This is a small hipster district right outside of Uptown Charlotte. Music and art paint this town and it has a very creative energy flow. Amelie's Bakery, a 24/7 french bakery, is located in this district. There is always something fun and new to try in this cute, artistic town!

2. Asheville

This town is known for the beautiful scenery and historic importance. The Biltmore Estate is located here, and it is open for tours every day of the year. It is the biggest estate in America. The downtown area is very artistic, and the mountains make for a gorgeous hike. This is definitely an adventure you don't want to miss.

3. Boone

This small town has a lot of outdoor activities. It is perfect for hiking and whitewater rafting. If you love nature, this is a must see. It is a college town where Appalachian State University is located. The downtown area is very old school and for modern hipsters.

4. Crowders Mountain

This is located in Gaston County. Once you reach the Pinnacle, the peak of the trail, with clear skies you can see for miles. It is a quick four-mile hike for the short one, the view is amazing.

5. Wilmington

This city is known for the beachfront. It makes a perfect day to hit the waves. There are many beach fronts to visit, such as Carolina Beach. Cape Fear Ocean runs through this city. White sand, waves and the boardwalk. If you are a fan of One Tree Hill, it was filmed here.The small restaurants and characteristics give this town a vibrant energy.

6. Serendipity House

This house is from the movie Nights In Rodanthe located on a beach in Avon, North Carolina. It has been remodeled, but the amazing characteristics of this make it a sight to see.

7. Linville Falls

This is located in Linville, North Carolina. Attractions close by are also the Blue Ridge Mountain. To get to the main fall, it is about a mile hike.

8. Outer Banks

Small beaches on the outer banks of North Carolina have wild horses. Corolla Wild Ponies run free, and you can even take a ride on them in the water.

9. Sliding Rock

Located in Brevard, this rock is actually naturally made from a small waterfall. You can actually go sliding down it. It is in Pisgah National Forest also near Asheville.

10. Devil's Tramping Ground

This is located near Bennett. It is a 40-foot circle that cannot grow life. If you leave something or sleep in the circle, the rumor is it will be outside of the circle the next day.

11. Land of Oz Theme park

Located in Beech Mountain, this theme park that was once full of life is now closed and for the most part abandoned. It comes alive for one night a year for an event. This is definitely a place to take a night adventure to...

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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My Future Is Unpredictable And That's Totally Alright

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations.


For six months, I had plans to study abroad in the Dominican Republic during the fall semester of junior year. Filling out what seemed like endless applications and paperwork, searching for travel ideas on Pinterest, and writing a class research paper on the DR's relationship with its neighboring island, Haiti, I was prepared to live and learn about Dominican culture hands-on.

Then on the Thursday before Finals Week last spring, I read my email. My study abroad program in the DR had gotten canceled. In the span of 30 seconds, my future had taken a new course. Less than a week later, I was submitting papers to study abroad in a new country where another adventure awaited: Ecuador.

If there's anything I've learned in the past year, it's that life is unpredictable and we can't control it. The future is unknown. But-

Who wants to know exactly what's going to happen in the next few years? I mean, I believe it's good to have a direction, but you don't have to have the entire journey pinpointed straight to the core. You meet people, you get inspired, you see things, you have experiences. And you go from there. (Though, I totally respect people who have clear ambitions and stick with them their entire lives.)

Where I was a year ago was a completely different path than where I find myself today. Last summer, I worked four different internships/jobs in the span of three months. A year ago, I would never have guessed my following summer unfolding with an immersion trip to India, a solo adventure to Taiwan & Hong Kong, and becoming a certified yoga instructor. A year ago, I hadn't met half of my best friends. A year ago, I hadn't seen poverty in a third-world country. A year ago, I wasn't even sure I wanted to major in Environmental Studies.

Just because I don't know what the future holds doesn't mean I can't set goals. I have a destination, an idea of where I'm headed and where I want to go. While abroad in Ecuador, I want to learn about sustainable development and coffee production as well as enhance my Spanish skills.

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations. I know the format of the program. I'll be taking classes and living with a host family and then doing an internship at a farm. Otherwise, I have no idea what's going to happen. And that's what I'm looking forward to the most. The spontaneity. The unexpected. As one of my good friends would say whenever he doesn't have formal weekend plans, "I'm improvising." And you know the one rule of improv: Always say yes.

¡Hasta pronto, Ecuador!

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