2016 Begins! Where will you go?

Happy New Year!

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I will be using this blog to share travel experiences, antics, challenges, and lessons learned.

Simply put, I love to travel. Above my desk are two maps; a map of the U.S. and a map of the world. Every day I see these maps and wonder where the future will take me. I am constantly scheming on my next destination. The way I see it, there are a lot of places without pins…image1 copy image2 copy

What is travel? Here are some thoughts…

  • Travel is work… well, yes it is. Travel can be for work, which happened a lot this year. Travel also is work to plan and execute.
  • Travel is fun… well, for the most part, it certainly should be. Every day in a new place is a new opportunity to learn and experience something new and rewarding. Bad things can happen when traveling, but by and large, travel should be fun.
  • Travel is pleasurable and relaxing… well, my travel tends to be jam packed with plans and movement, so often it is not relaxing. However, I have also done a lot of camping this past year and more than any other travel, camping has been sheer joy and decompression.
  • Travel is stressful… no truer words can be spoken. Travel can be stressful, right along with fun and relaxing. Travel takes effort, planning effort, doing effort, airport and TSA effort, logistical challenge effort. You name it… stressful. The goal is to have the stressful moments outweighed by the fun moments.
  • Travel educates…. every trip I learn something new. I often learn something about myself, I always learn something about the places I travel to, whether they are domestic locations or international destinations. People are people and everyone has the same day-to-day challenges. Travel gives us the opportunity to realize where are not unique and are not alone.
  • Travel is expensive…. it certainly can be. Flight prices can be high (particularly if you want to travel in peak seasons, eating out and paying for hotels adds up), but the cool thing is that with some early planning and a savings regimen (we put $$ away weekly to pay for travel throughout the year), travel can be affordable. Additionally, we have started to do a lot of camping, which is an inexpensive way to get disconnect and appreciate the simple pleasures of nature, grilling and campfires.
  • Travel takes planning… as I have noted, planning helps reduce cost and stress, while increasing the chances of pleasure and fun.
  • Travel requires patience… for me this is definitely true. Crowds and lines are challenges for me. Airports, car rentals, hotel front desks, crowded streets, all of the above test me. To overcome these challenges, I try to stay present and in the moment and remind myself that being there (wherever there is) is a gift. Some deep breathing helps as well J.
  • Travel requires a plane trip… no it doesn’t. I end with this bullet just to stress, that travel doesn’t require flight. In the list of places I visited in 2015, you will see that most of these places are within driving distance of the DC Metro area. Many of them are in my backyard, figuratively speaking. A number of my favorite trips were weekend getaways inside 30 miles of my home.

Below is a list of places visited in 2015, some with multiple visits. The list for 2016 is shaping up to be nearly as long. The bolded places are definite repeats for 2016.

Annapolis, MD Finger Lakes, NY Palouse, WA
Assateague, MD Gaithersburg, MD x 3 Philadelphia, PA x 2
Baltimore, MD Gettysburg, PA x 2 Pittsburgh, PA x 2
Big Sur, CA Harpers Ferry, WV Pohick Bay, VA x 2
Breezewood, PA Iceland x 2 Poolesville, MD
Brooklyn, NY Kennett Square, PA x 2 San Francisco, CA
Cape May, NJ Manassas, VA x 3 Shenandoah NP, VA x 3
Charlottesville, VA Manhattan, NY x 2 Spruce Knob, WV
Chester, PA Mansfield, OH Washington, DC
Chicago, IL x 5 Maple Shade, NJ Westin, WV
China McConnell Mill, PA Williamsburg, VA
Cranbury, NJ Niagara Falls, NY Yosemite, CA
Davis, WV x 2 Ontario, Canada
Erie, PA Ohiopyle, PA

My hope with this blog is to inspire folks to get out and see their neighborhood, their state, their country, and the world. There is so much out there to experience and learn and for those of us that are photographers, to capture. I will share highlights, challenges, lessons, and images captured. Stay turned for a wild ride!

As we explore travel, please feel free to share your travel experiences in the comments. We can all learn and be inspired by each other!


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  1. Angelina January 4, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Wow! you did a lot of travel in 2015. I think most people like to travel.
    A few years ago, I started taking photographs to record my travel experience. Somehow the quest of “getting the shot” took over. I am trying hard to tame it so I can enjoy the travel experience more.

    • Denise January 4, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

      I totally agree with this sentiment. I often feel the same way; that I am so focused on shooting and capturing images that I forgot to fully appreciate the experience. That is actually one reason that I have really enjoyed camping. A much slower pace and because often I am visiting the same places over and over, I feel less compelled to have my camera with me constantly.
      Cheers to travel in 2016!

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