As much as I travel, the one downside of it is that the majority of it is in Canada. Don't get me wrong; Canada's great. I love it up there. But the simple fact is that my escapades in the United States are far more limited than those in our neighbor to the north. Even still, I try to travel here in the States as much as I can. That said, those opportunities are, sometimes, few and far between.
I'm originally from Long Island, New York. I can remember, when I was a kid, that going on a "trip" meant going to my Grandparent's house in Hopewell Junction, NY; about two hours away to the north. We called that "upstate" when, in fact, it was anything but. There's a whole lot more of New York to the north of Hopewell Junction than there is to the south. But, hey, we were kids. Two hours was an absolute eternity for us to sit in the back of a '65 Plymouth Belvedere.
That was, to us, "travel".
Of course, since then, I've managed to travel pretty extensively. It pains me when I think that I only truly got into photography long after much of my travelling was done. I would've loved to have had a digital SLR as I walked the streets of Quito, Ecuador or while exploring through the markets in Cartegena, Columbia. While I took many, many photos while in places like Kuwait City and Busan, South Korea, those images, long ago, found their way into a box which, apparently, doesn't want to be found.
But as much travel as I have under my belt, the vast majority of it has been outside our own borders. While I can see a certain romance about that, I suppose, the truth of the matter is that I feel as though I've been somewhat remiss in my travels throughout the country I call home. When I do travel in the United States, I tend to go to the same places. Hey, when I find someplace I like, why not go back?
Well, over the last couple of years, I've tried to step outside that box. My brother and I drove up the California coast to visit my friend Chris in Lafayette. On the tale end of a business trip, I went to Washington DC. I don't remember it being anywhere near as hot when I was last there as a ten year old. I've made a couple of trips to Texas; one to Dallas and one to Austin, and I've almost made a habit out of going to Florida at least once every year or two.
What I haven't done, though, is enjoy the trips I can make which are closer to home. Sure, the southern California coast is just about as perfect as it gets but, honestly, even that can get old after a while.
So, to that end, more trips are in order. More trips to new places. And that starts next week.
After attending a wedding on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, the trip will head north to Yosemite. A good friend of mine lives just south of the southern entrance, and has extended an open invitation for about the last year or so. I finally decided to take him up on his offer.
I'd like to think that this is the first of many trips which are similar. For instance, I've never been to the Grand Canyon, or Yellowstone, or Mt. Rushmore. I'd like to see those one day. Other than to change planes at O'Hare, I've never been to Chicago. Nashville? It looks great in pictures, but those pictures are all taken by someone else. I've simply never enjoyed the opportunity. Maybe one day.
But, next week, "one day" will be Yosemite...