Going Abroad in Your Own Country

I’m a travel writer whose list of adventures would be an embarrassment to even beginner travelers. Sure I have some cool experiences under my belt. My bachelorette party in Las Vegas, trips to Florida to visit my in-laws, and a road trip through Nashville and Atlanta that I still consider to be two of the best days of my life. But I still need more. Something bigger.

Like many others, the desire to travel has always been there, but it never seemed to work out. My family never went anywhere when I was growing up. And since then, money, school, work, and the craziness of life always seemed to get in the way. But some day I would have the opportunity to see the world.
Wait a second. I’m not about to wait until some day, because some day might never come. I’ve never been one to care what other people think or feel like I have to follow the paved path of finish college, live in a cubicle 50 hours a week, and live for my weekends where the dread of returning to work on Monday haunts every smile Friday through Sunday. Hadn’t I already gone back to school to pursue a dream of being a writer? Hadn’t I already quit my job to do what made my happy despite those closest to me thinking I was nuts? Yes I had. So nine months ago, I made a decision.
I was going to travel. I’d backpack Europe. Or maybe I’d try to teach English in another country. Or do a type of RTW trip that I’ve read so much about.
I want to have a fantastic, life changing experience. I want to meet new people, see places that will take my breath away, and eat new, exotic foods. I want to hear different languages, see how other people live, and do as the locals do. I want to be outside of my comfort zone. I want to learn about myself and figure out what’s next for me. I want an adventure I’ll remember for ever. Wait a second. Couldn’t I do all of that here, in my own country of America?
I had completely ruled out the idea that I could have that same unforgettable experience in my own country. Which is exactly why, next month, I am setting out on a road trip to visit every state in the US.  There is no doubt that I’m going to visit other countries and possibly even live abroad some day. But how can I truly appreciate other countries if I haven’t properly explored my own?

Full post: Going Abroad in Your Own Country