Growing up, my parents planted the travel seed in me at a young age with camping trips to Yosemite, excursions to England, and a bevy of outdoor pursuits. During my college days, fellow students regaled me with their experiences studying abroad in places like Florence and Valencia. Recently , mingling with fellow bloggers has exposed me to an industry loaded with hostel hounds, overseas corporate escapees, and every passport-toting persona imaginable.
Travel has always been one of my biggest passions – but it wasn’t until last night that I consciously settled into my own traveler’s nook. Looking back at my recent trips, one thing is clear:
Take me to the sweltering depths of the desert in Moab, the misty morning forests of Sequoia National Park, the swampy Everglades wetlands near my hometown in Miami, the rocky outcrops of climbing crags in Tennessee, the peaks of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains – take me now. Sure, I gladly spent two amazing summers sunning topless on the rocky beaches of the French Mediterranean, and I spent a few years working as a travel writer promoting Caribbean vacations – but when it comes down to it, there is no place in the world I’d rather be than right here in my own backyard.
Think about a round-trip plane ticket to Europe. When I last went, the airfare cost over $1,000.
I could live happily in the United States for over a month with that $1,000.
In fact, I already did.
(And you can too.)
You could spend a lifetime traveling solely throughout America, and you’d never even graze the surface of all that there is to do and see here. The United States is admittedly a young country, but the land is laden with history, heritage, and natural wonders. Think about Yosemite National Park – I spent a week there in May 2011, and only saw a slice of what the area had to offer. Beyond the hikes and picturesque waterfalls, there was an entire community and inspiring history left unexplored. I could easily spend an entire year in Yosemite alone.
Plus, travel in America means you don’t have to deal with pesky exchange rates, being lost without a lick of the local language to help you find your way, unfamiliar driving, tourist-targeting pickpockets, getting caught up in train strikes (literally the story of my life in France). Well, that all sounds pretty adventurous too–to be fair.
I understand why it’s so easy to get caught up in the glamor of the international hostel life, European wine, and young exotic people looking to indulge in the traveler’s lifestyle – but it’s just not my style.
Give me a tent and an open fire to cook my food over, give me a National Parks pass and a handful of trail maps, give me evenings spent downing locally brewed beer, give me tired mornings spent hiking out to climbing areas, give me those long stretches of farmland in Kansas, give me fruitful farmers markets in the southeast, give me America. Hell, I’ll just take it.
I’m not the best spokesperson for the dirtbag lifestyle, especially considering my unwavering need to carry sanitizing wipes with me everywhere I go – nor am I some phenomenal mountaineering survivalist, nor the strongest climber, nor the most savvy camper. But that’s the point. You don’t have to be some untamed wilderness vagabond to live this lifestyle and immerse yourself in America.
If I can do this, anyone can.
So what’s The Morning Fresh’s niche? American travel. I’m dedicating myself to advocating for a revival of the American road trip, the patriotic spirit of appreciating our land, supporting our local businesses, and demonstrating to the entire world what a beautiful, natural nation this is. I’m bringin’ America back baby.