When people find out that I enjoy traveling, they often ask what countries I’ve been to, how I have all the money to travel, or how I’m able to travel at such a young age. I can easily say that travel is one of my main passions in life. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines travel as “to move from one place to another” and “to go on a trip or journey." There are many definitions, and while some do focus on distance traveled, I tend to ignore that aspect of traveling.

If I were asked to define the word “travel," I truly don’t think that I would be able to come up with something that would fully satisfy me. This is because I believe that traveling is different for everyone. For me, travel is all about embracing the world for all that it is. Travel is educational, and it teaches people things that couldn’t be learned elsewhere. If you were to ask any of my friends if I traveled, they would say yes, and then explain how I’m always off on some sort of adventure. On the other hand, if you were to ask how many times I’ve left the United States, the answer would be zero. Though there is nothing I would love more than to hop on a plane and go to a distant country, I’m unable to do that at this moment. College is starting soon, and I simply don’t have the funds to travel to distant places, though someday I will.

Traveling is exploring new places and becoming more educated in regards to our surroundings, our history and our present -- so yes, I would consider myself a traveler. I won’t lie and say that I’m satisfied with being restricted to only my state and surrounding states, but I feel grateful that I’m sort of being forced to fully explore my state before I venture out beyond its borders. I have discovered that I’m happiest when I’m out of my comfort zone. I love testing my limits and discovering new things about myself and the places I’m visiting. Exploring became a hobby of mine a long time ago. I suppose it began alongside photography, because both exploration and photography go hand in hand for me. One day I hope to make a career out of traveling, considering that a goal of mine is to spend my life doing things that I love doing.

If I were to be asked the question, “What does traveling mean to you?”, I think I would answer with something along these lines: traveling is going from one place to another and, in doing so, becoming more educated regarding the world around you. Travel allows people to escape the curse of daily routine that many of us become trapped in. Not only does this give you a chance to discover, but travel also develops a unique appreciation for the world. Travelers become more accepting and open-minded to different cultures and ways of life. When you open your eyes to the world, you are also given the opportunity to view yourself. Confidence is raised once a person tests their limits, and it's easier to discover who you are and where your passions and beliefs lie.

Though I’m excited to have my passport filled with stamps in the future, I’m enjoying life a lot right now. There's so much to see in the United States, and I don’t plan on missing out on any of it. There’s a certain feeling I get when I travel, a feeling I wouldn’t ever want to give up. Because of this, I know that I will travel for the rest of my life. The future is bright, and I can’t wait to discover new places and broaden my view of the world.