During high school I was given the remarkable privilege of shadowing a family friend, now the Associate Director for Interpretation and Education for the National Park Service, in her involvement with the National Parks Second Century Commission. The aim of this group was to create a broad plan for education programming, preservation, and maintenance of America’s National Parks for the next century. In my experience as her sidekick I was able to visit places I’d never have imagined I’d see so early on in my life. Together we visited the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Gettysburg, the Channel Islands, Cabrillo and more, and I learned so much about myself as a traveler. It quickly became clear that, when my time shadowing drew to a close, I’d have to find a way to continue traveling on my own. Travel is the closest I’ve come thus far to an addiction.
I love airports, layovers, ten hour road trips, ferry rides; whatever gets me out. My favorite childhood birthday, my ninth, was spent on the plane heading out for a family trip to Ireland. I am neither speedy nor athletically inclined, but I’ve always been content walking for miles to explore a new place. I’m also happy moving forward without a destination in sight. Wandering remains my preferred pastime, as my search for nothing in particular has continued into adulthood. I love parking myself on a city bench and watching people pass, and I also love the experience of being unplugged someplace remote.
I never have every moment of a vacation planned in advance, but I definitely try to research the lay of the land in anticipation of a trip so that I arrive prepared to make informed decisions. For the most part I’m a destination-oriented as opposed to time-oriented traveler. I’ll collect notes in preparation for a trip regarding tips I’ve gathered about specific things to do or see, but they remain ideas as opposed to concrete plans as I try to be constantly open to whatever presents itself.
Having a grandfather who’d immigrated from Northern Ireland was a definite point of pride for me in childhood, and a great travel advantage as my siblings and I were able to quality for Irish dual citizenship. Although I haven’t lived in Europe and may never, knowing that I could without a visa has been liberating. Annual visits to NYC from Massachusetts with my father growing up kickstarted my love for Manhattan, and upon graduating college I fulfilled my longstanding dream to move to the city. My NYC experience has been both as marvelous and overwhelming as one might imagine. I now spend my time between New York and Massachusetts, and have found that some very rural spots are creeping onto my list of places I’d like to travel the more time I spend in the chaos of the city. Some of my favorite trips I’ve taken as of yet include Ireland, Iceland, and Yellowstone, and currently I have my sights on set on Hawaii, Amsterdam, and New Zealand. I hope that my efforts to maintain this blog will keep me in the traveling, and I hope that my thoughts and observations can be of some value to you. Thank you for taking the time to visit!