It’s uncomprehensible to actually believe that I’ve seen and visited 49 states at 17 years young. It was only recently, after the tires rolled down Alberta, Canada, when that thought came to me.
How many 17 year olds can say they’ve been able to actually see, discover, and get to know their country hands-on? How many 80 year olds can say that? Not even some of my homeschooled, traveling friends have explored as much as I have, and that feels weird.
With 49 states, and 2 provinces down, I have been to 28 National Parks, at least 26 National Forests, 4 National Seashores, 3 National Lakeshores, and around 15 National Monuments. I’ve been to many Wildlife Refuges and BLM lands as well. I guess you could say I’ve been around, heh?
When I think of how much land I’ve covered, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. I’m just exploring our world. Everywhere I roam is home; and since Earth is my home, I should explore it, right?
When I think of our world and how big it is, I get overwhelmingly eager to see more. More diversity, meet more amazingly cool people, experience different cultures, hear and maybe even learn a different language.
I have so many opportunities given to me from this lifestyle. I could go anywhere, do anything, study anything that perks my interest. It’s given me the realization that the world really is in the palm of my hand.
I’m like any other girl; gushing over boys, studying, babying my dog, pinning like crazy on Pinterest, and eat chocolate like it’s my last meal. I just do all things while hopping from one place to another.
Sometimes, I’ve taken this blessing for granted. But oh, how much this lifestyle has taught me! It has made me seen life in so many ways; beautiful ways. It’s made me look life in the face, seeing the world as it truly is. Our world is diverse, judgmental, and unfair, yet strong, faithful, and kind. To realize that, at a young age, is something very important.
Our travels will slow down coming this winter for me to finish school and get my first job and possibly a drivers license, and that makes me nervous. How will that life go, when I stop to just do the almost normal rat race things? Will I hate it, be bored and depressed? Or will I accept “normal” life? I do not look forward to stop traveling ever.
I plan to do more with my life than sit around in the same city or state. I can promise this, though: I will forever be finding new places and exploring different lands. And that is encouraging to me.
You just gotta go with the flow, be easy-going, have some faith in people and places, and know that everything will work out. Adjusting to new places, I’ve found, is easier than you might think.
The ever-traveling 17 year old.