Some people find happiness in cooking, painting, reading, singing, writing, and an array of other verbs ending in -ing. I find my happiness in traveling. I enjoy 12 hour car rides and stopping at a truck stop off the interstate to grab a snack. I find joy in hurrying to my gate in an airport where hundreds of other people are on their ways to who-knows-where. I love being immersed in a culture so different than the one I grew up in.
Photo Location: Chicago, IL, USA
I have been incredibly fortunate to have grown up with the ability to travel. The memories I have made while traveling are of my most precious. Traveling has opened my eyes—to see the small aspects of life and to realize their value. The way the streetlights reflect off of the wet streets of Chicago on a cold and rainy Saturday morning. Being up at 3:30 in the morning to watching the sun rise on Mt Haleakalā in Maui, HI. The rainbows created in the air of mist-filled chasm known as Niagara Falls. This stays with me while on my journey at Purdue University—mesmerized at the way the morning sun paints on the east face of the Bell Tower.
Photo Location: Venice, FL, USA
Traveling has led me to be more knowledgeable. I have become more knowing in engaging with others. My travels have introduced me to a wide spectrum of different people and taught me how to engage with each. I have met a couple from San Francisco who have traveled the world and been together for decades. The two grew a remarkable family together. When I was younger, my family traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC each summer. One year, I met a girl my age who was on vacation with her grandmother and older sister. I vividly remember the grandmother telling the story: her daughter, and mother of the girls, asked the older sister to simply run to the story for toilet paper. The mother decided to take a shower while the girl was out and had a seizure while in the shower. The grandmother took the two girls on vacation, because the mother no longer could. This story continues to resonate in my heart. I have come to understand to never approach someone with an expectation of their back story, because I have no idea.
Photo Location: North Shore, Oahu, HI, USA
Traveling is my source of happiness. Traveling brings me this joy by pushing my boundaries, bringing me insight, and through the amount of experience I am gaining. All this travel gives me incredible stories to share with others. When asked for an interesting fact about me, I love to use the fact I have eaten a donut at the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado, the fact I have kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, or the fact I went rock jumping in North Shore, Oahu, HI (pictured above). The happiness I gain from traveling is not short term. The pictures I take on these amazing adventures continue to revive my happiness each time I see them. The memories I have of travel never fail to make me smile.
“Travel makes one modest.
You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
Photo Location: Gatlinburg, TN, USA