The Importance of Traveling

The Importance of Traveling

Travel the world and all you can see
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Traveling doesn't always mean an elaborate vacation or hoping on a plane to go somewhere. It can be as simple has driving to a state park, driving around the state and visiting different places along the road trip, or driving across multiple states on a huge road trip with friends or family. It can be anywhere, any time. What matters the most is what you took away from the experience, what you've learned, and how much fun you've had.

Through out my life, thus far, I have been to so many states, seen a lot a beautiful landscapes, met a lot of wonderful people, and made so many memories and I thank my parents for all the traveling we have done. From Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota, to Boston, to Sanibel Island, to the Bahamas, to Washington D.C., and to San Francisco and all the little road trips in between; all the funny moments and all the things I've learned, I thank my parents for. Letting us go to Saint Louis to see Real Madrid C.F. play Inter Milan and surprising us with a long "mystery" road trip to Florida. So many moments stand out in my mind from all my trips and vacations.

Photo taken by Alan Downs, Facebook. Sanibel Island, Florida. 2014. (source: Facebook)

I have had so many opportunities to explore the world around me and I'm grateful for that. Traveling has helped understand the subcultures in the U.S., try different food, explore the different parts of the United States (the midwest, the east, the west, and the south), and learn some history from each part along the way. Having the knowledge and life experiences from all over the U.S. helped me understand how the culture overall in the United States has changed, how roles and norms have evolved, and how politics has shifted though out U.S. history. I have also learned valuable lessons with each trip or vacation I took.

So why is it so important to travel?

1.) Live and learn--Expanding your knowledge on life and history will help you later down the road because you'll have something to connect other things with.

2.) Make memories, make smiles--Travel with family or with friends! I promise, something memorable will happen along the way.

3.) Personal growth-- Not only can trips/vacations make you feel good, they can also boost your confidence and build a stronger bond with the people you went on the trip with. Overall, it will help you grow as a person.

4.) Get out of the norm!-- Going outside of your comfort zone can seem scary but, when you travel, it doesn't matter if it's scary. It will be fun and learning about what's out there in this big world of ours is helpful to make social and maybe even business connections later on in life.

5.) Modes of transportation-- try each transportation; train (subway), plane, taxi, boat, or even the family van, and find out which you like the most! Experimenting with life can be a fun adventure.

Photo taken by: Cassidy Downs, 2015. Massachusetts. (Source Facebook)

Like I mentioned before, not all trips have to lavish. You can simply drive to a State Park or National Park and spend a day or more there. Camping is always a great, and fairly inexpensive way to get some adventure in. I believe the most important trips are the ones not spent in a city, but spent in the outdoors. Experience the beauty around, breathe in clean air, and get away from people. Stand at atop a mountain, hill, or boulder and take a moment or so to appreciate your life and the tranquil nature around you. Doing this as often as possible can help your outlook on life.

Going to all kinds of unique and various places in my life, I feel as if I've had an almost full life. Of course there are a few places and things I have yet to do, like backpack with my sister in Isle Royal and Montana and go to Europe, and I know I still have plenty of years to complete that! Traveling has certainly changed me and helped shape me into the person I am today. So, get out there and have an adventure or two! With that in mind, I just have few last words: Travel more, smile often, enjoy the world around you, and adventure outside your comfort zone every once in a while. Who knows, you might like it!




"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert




Photo by: Cassidy Downs, 2016. (source Facebook).

Cover Image Credit: Cassidy Downs

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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5 Essentials To Know Before Your Long End-Of-Year Road Trip

Essential you need to think about for a long road trip.

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So it that time of year again where everyone is leaving their college town to go home for breaks or maybe go on vacation to somewhere else and have a change of scenery from books and teachers for some time. For me, this time of year means I am driving from the normally warm weather of Alabama to the cold weather of New Jersey. This year is a little different as I may actually be making that over 16 hour (or 1,008 miles) drive by myself which I have never done before.

So this is quite the experience and I wanted to share some advice to maybe make your long car ride a little more enjoyable. You may be wondering though how I can give this type of advice if I have never done this drive alone but I have done several times (nine times to be exact) with others from my family to fellow students. But also I have learned some of these ideas from my Dad who is a long distance truck driver so if anything he knows what he is talking about when it comes to driving long and far.

Sleep

Before you think about making a long car ride make sure you get a good night sleep for several days before hand.

Snacks

Stock your car up with candy so you have fewer stops to make. Also, make sure one of the snacks is a candy of some sort so you can get a little sugar high so you don't feel tired. AVOID the coffee as a way to get energy as it will just lead to more breaks.

Playlist

If doing a long car ride you need to have some type of playlist made as you will be crossing over state borders meaning your favorite radio station will no longer be on as that station doesn't reach where you're going. So getting a playlist of your favorite tunes made with a decent amount so it won't repeat that much. Or go Pandora where you can easily switch between genres but just be aware you will probably hear the same commercial at least twenty times before you get to your final destination.

Navigator

Have something tell you the way to go either have it written down and put a passenger in charge of giving you a heads up when your exit is coming. Or go with google maps or OnStar which will re-route itself if you just happen to miss your exit and you don't want to get off the interstate and get back on to get back to where you missed. Also since this is a busy time of year on the road the navigation will help you figure out where there is the least traffic.

Weather

Check the weather before you leave so you will know what is expected for the area you will be driving through. Will you have sunshine the whole way which may make the trip go a little faster or rain/snow which can very much make the trip longer as people will driver slower for this type of road condition.

Take these tips into consideration before making your trek anywhere this time of year.

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