Vacations

  • I have never walked through Roman Catacombs, gazed from above Niagara Falls, or even seen the Grand Canyon.  I cannot tell stories of how I trekked the Amazon, share how I navigated Tokyo, or preach on the beauty of Yellowstone.  Those destinations tend to create unreachable expectations.  In my...

  • Carnival cruises tend to be known for their exotic destinations, staff aiming to please, and a trip of a lifetime. Yet those weren’t what made my 4 day trip to Cozumel so memorable. That was all because of some towel animals. My family is not unfamiliar with the fluffy creatures left behind by...

  • Flying across the country doesn’t seem like too big of a deal, but for a twelve-year-old who’s never gone past the east coast, traveling out west was bigger than life. Over the course of ten days, we saw the hundreds of Elvis impersonators and showgirls thriving in Las Vegas, the history-filled...

  • My sandaled feet splashed the fine grains of sand and trampled across patches of tumbleweed. After two excruciating days during a heat wave at Las Vegas, with its dazzling “around the world” displays and nightlife galore, I could finally envelop myself in the soothing hands of nature. Eventually,...

  • Every summer or Christmas since my third birthday, we’ve left the comforts of town life - the 2am donut runs or running out of milk and needing 15 minutes to buy a new gallon - to visit my grandparents in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. It’s a different way of life out here (I'm sitting at their...

  • My Grandmother is retired and travels extensively all the time. Typically, my younger brother and I are the beneficiaries of souvenirs that tell stories of cultures and civilizations all over the world. After each trip she’d hand us gifts, typically with funny versions of her interactions and...

  • The black, bead-like eyes of hundreds of startled crabs seemed to twinkle as they caught the yellow glow streaming from my flashlight. Gazing at the myriad of colors stretching endlessly over the vast ocean before me, I am reminded why this spot is revered as the sunset capital of America.  ...

  • I have admired this city in countless stock photos and numerous travel blogs. I draw a deep breath as a futile attempt to calm myself. The van jumps around the cobblestone road and I clumsily juggle the camera in my hand. I breath again but it does not work. I leap out of the van, my arm and eyes...

  • People didn’t really get it when I said I was going to Nicaragua for spring break. “Isn’t that dangerous?” “Oh, is it for a mission trip?” and “Where even is that?” were only a few of the questions I encountered when I announced my plans. No, it wasn’t for a vacation and no, I wasn’t scared. I was...

  • The silence is so strong it hurts my ears. It’s as if the people around me are trying not to wake the souls that lie below our feet. The water around us seems shadowy, but I know what is there. It’s a feeling, not what I can see, that reminds me of the true meaning of Pearl Harbor.  The tour guide...

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