You Don’t Have to Leave the Country to “Travel”

This week I was talking with a coworker about her upcoming wedding.  I asked what her plans were for the honeymoon and she said that she and her soon-to-be-hubby are road tripping throughout Michigan (she’s from there and that’s where the wedding will be).  After she tells me her plans she says “I know a lot of people think that’s really lame but…” and went on to explain herself.  Baby girl! You do not have to explain a single thing.  I often find that some people don’t consider a vacation to be “real” if you’re not leaving US soil.  That’s an opinion I can’t quite rock with.  Even in the situation of a honeymoon, which generally is a bigger deal than the average vacation, to each their own!

In terms of terrain, the US is pretty diverse.  If you’re someone who is into landscapes and nature, you can find beaches, mountains, valleys, deserts, forests, and much more all within these borders.  Take a trip to see the Grand Canyon, or the Rocky Mountains, or Yellowstone National Park, or the beaches of Hawaii.  These are just a few of the very different places you can in fact take a vacation to in this country.

Most people who live here come from somewhere else.  With that, everyone contributes something unique to the vibe and culture of wherever they reside.  With regards to black people, our music, language (AAVE if you were unaware), food, style of dress, etc. tend to differ depending on what part of the country we are brought up in.  We could be getting hyphy in the bay area or beating our feet to Go-Go in DC.  To keep it all the way real with y’all, I really wasn’t sure if getting hyphy or the beating of feet were still things.  I hit up my cousin (thanks Laurin) about getting hyphy and she said while it’s outdated, people still do it.  I’m sure folks are still beating their feet but I haven’t been to a go-go in… a while.  Whether these things are done presently or not, they still make up a part of the diversity of each area.

Not only is visiting other cities in the US considered traveling, staycations are also a very real thing.  I’m sure you haven’t done everything there is to do, seen everything there is to see, or eaten everything there is to eat in your area.  Particularly if you live in or close to a major city.  Travel within your own home to see what new things you can find.  For that vacation feel, leave all your priorities at home, book a hotel or Airbnb, and just explore.  I know that I still haven’t been to all of the Smithsonians.  I’ve yet to eat at Ben’s Chili Bowl (which I’ve heard is overhyped but it’s still a popular spot for DC).  I’ve never hiked at Great Falls Park.  There’s so much going on in the DMV area that I’ve yet to tap in to.

In conclusion, travel is what you make it.  Don’t let others make you feel bad because you’re not spending a month backpacking through Europe.  Let me know where your favorite places to travel are within the US. For my DMV heads, what’s your favorite thing to do around here?  I’m always open for new suggestions!

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