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viewpoint

Traveling in the US

| Friday, March 29, 2019

There has always been a huge hype about traveling around Europe. Many people dream of going abroad and the ease of travel. People also describe how cheap it is to get from country to country. I think going abroad is a wonderful opportunity people should try to experience at least once in their lives. However, there is so much beauty that seems to be forgotten in the United States.

I think back to when I was younger and growing up in Michigan with my family, who introduced me to some of the popular nature sights. My family would visit Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula some summers, and I would be fascinated by the vast amount of water and its copper tint. Other trips led us to The Sleeping Bear Dunes, which provide a beautiful overlook of Lake Michigan. While I probably complained about hiking up all the sand, the view at the top was worth the work. As my siblings and I started to grow up more and more, we were not as able to visit places like this due to busy schedules. I was biased in thinking my state was the best because it had such diverse scenery and we even got to experience all the seasons.

As I got older, I turned my attention from Michigan to Europe. I was so focused on studying abroad that I dismissed all the places I wanted to visit and explore in America. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Europe, and I would love to travel to more countries around the world. However, I have come to recognize and appreciate more natural attractions across America than those I was initially interested in. This spring break, I was hopeful to start traveling to some of the parks and landscapes around the U.S.

While looking for places to travel to for spring break, I was blown away at many of the state and national parks. I was surprised how many states seem to have such unique landscapes. Driving for a few hours could create a whole new atmosphere. From the scenery to the food you eat, it can all change by traveling mere hours from where you live. This spring break, I decided to go to the Smoky Mountains, and I was in awe of some of the beautiful sights I saw. I always feel a sense of wonder when I see how high the mountains are and how beautiful the waterfalls are. This same feeling can happen while abroad, but it encourages me to know I don’t have to fly around the world to see this.  

There is so much diversity — even with weather and natural environment — all across the states. While I strive to experience multiple cultures and visit more countries, I hope I don’t forget about all the beautiful sceneries that are just a small car ride away.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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