February 11, 2013

Born To Travel?

Some people are born to travel. I, on the other hand, have yet to catch a major world travel bug. In fact, I’ve only just barely traveled outside of the U.S. (Tijuana, Mexico, during a trip to San Diego, CA and Stratford, Canada for a high school trip). I just don’t quite have the patience to plan and the yearning to travel to far away places (not to mention, the $$ to spend!). Mostly, I prefer to stay close to home.
Now that I think about it, I realize that I have done quite a bit of traveling in my lifetime.

Here I am during a hiking trip in Daniel Boone National Forest, KY, 2012
As a college orientation, I traveled to West Virginia and backpacked in the Monongahela National Forest. I’ve also backpacked in Western Texas and New Mexico. I’ve visited northern California and seen the Redwood forests and driven along Pt. Reyes National Seashore. In middle school, I visited South Carolina and I’ve also made several trips to Florida. I haven’t seen a sandy beach in a few years – I think I’m due for one soon!

Me on the Summit of Guadalupe Peak – 8,749 ft. (Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX, 2006)
I have traveled to a few New England States – New Hampshire, Rhode Island & Maine – where I’ve whale-watched, kayaked, walked along rocky shores, and gave lobster a try (I’ll eat it, but it’s not my favorite!). After college, I visited Colorado a few times and almost moved there.
I have been to a couple places that make my friends a bit envious – in high school, my family planned an Alaskan cruise. The ship was pretty neat, with its never-ending supply of food. But, the best part was the day excursions. We canoed on a remote mountain lake, toured the small towns, and spotted Bald Eagles on telephone poles. It was there I did one of the coolest things I will probably ever do – rode in a helicopter over the glaciers. We even landed on a glacier and walked around on it!
More recently, I had a chance to visit Maui, Hawaii, where a childhood friend of mine is living. We traveled to Hana where we stayed in a pretty rustic cabin, enjoying the view and the breeze through the trees and collecting and eating Lilikoi fruits. We even stopped at a roadside café where the clerk would pick fresh greens each time a salad was ordered and you could power the blender for your fresh smoothie by peddling a bicycle. Hawaii is also where I first snorkeled and went Scuba diving. Some day I hope to complete my Scuba certification so I can try it again.

Here I am with a sea urchin while scuba diving in Hawaii, 2010

Horseback Riding into Haleakala Crater on Maui, HI, 2010
Here in Ohio, there are a few places I love to visit regularly. The Hocking Hills are one of my favorite places, but tend to be busy with tourists most of the time. I prefer the quite seclusion of less traveled places. That’s why I prefer to drive a little farther to Lake Hope State Park and the Zaleski State Forest. My family travels there every January, where we hike, eat good food, and relax in front of the fireplace in our cottages. I also love to go whitewater rafting on the New and Gauley Rivers in West Virginia and visit Maine with my husband’s family, whenever we get a chance.

Whitewater Rafting on the New River, WV, 2009
I do hope to travel to many more places in my lifetime. No, I haven’t visited Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, or France, like many of my friends. I hear friends and coworkers talk about goals to visit every National Park or every state in the country. I might aspire to that one day, but for now, I’m happy to go wherever I can when the opportunity presents itself.

If you like to travel or have an adventurous side, check out the high adventure programs that we are offering this summer! GSOH has opportunities for backpacking, canoeing, and much more.

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