I have my reasons for being passionate about international travel. I never thought as a child that I'd have the opportunity to see the world. In my early twenties, I've been filling my passport up with stamps from different countries throughout Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. I wanted to learn about different cultures, meet different people and visit the places my ancestors came from.
In some of my Facebook travel groups, the phrase "if it ain't foreign, it's boring" often gets thrown around. I disagree. The U.S. is a beautiful place. From the beaches to the mountains, this country has a lot to get lost in.
I'll admit that I haven't done as much domestic traveling as I'd like as an adult. Growing up, my family and I did cross-country trips multiple times -- twice to Las Vegas and once to San Antonio. I was too young to appreciate the mountains in Tennessee, the food in New Orleans, the deserts in New Mexico and Arizona. All I cared about was getting out of the van because my legs were cramped and my Gameboy was dying.
As I approach my mid-twenties, I'm trying to make it a point to see what's in my backyard with weekend trips. I went to Los Angeles and New Orleans this year and fell in love with both cities. I've already started my 2018 bucket list -- Hawaii, Salt Lake City, Deer Park Sunflower Fields in Washington State, and Nashville. As much as I've made time for international travel, I'm holding myself accountable for traveling inside the country, too. In 2018 I'm looking forward to eating good, taking great pictures and seeing what the U.S. has to offer outside of the East Coast.
Watch out for me in your town next year. And if I'm ever in your city, say hey. I'd love to grab a drink.