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So last semester, I was sitting on the bus, thinking about how glad I was to be coming home. My hometown, Marblehead, is right by the water, and since I love being by the water, I had plans to visit the park with the view of the coast later in the day. There’s something really peaceful about a winter ocean. I like being by the ocean because I like looking out at the horizon. In the summer, when I look out at the water, I see lots of boats zooming back and forth, leaving sea foam and waves behind. I love seeing the boats and seeing the water in the winter when it's not too cold to sit outside. When I look out at the water and see the horizon, knowing that there is an infinite amount of places that hold all kinds of fascinating things, I always feel nostalgic for the trips I took in the past and excited about the ones I want to take in the future. I so, so want to see those places.

I am a really big fan of traveling. To be frank, I’m not a really big fan of flying or sitting on a train or in a car for long amounts of time. But the part that comes after that — finding out more about and adjusting to new places — that’s what I look forward to as I take various types of public transportation and contemplate why teleportation is not a possibility yet.

When I was younger, my family and I were driving through New England late at night. I remember that when I looked out the window, I could see so many different stars and constellations. What a stellar experience, huh? I realized, as I got older, that it’s not just about seeing the stars for me. I eagerly seek out experiences where I can look at the nature around me and see the types of views that people and companies save on their computers, phones, and other technological devices as their desktop photos, backgrounds, and screensavers.

I want to see the mountains, the hills, the lakes, and all else that the parks have to offer. I want to learn about the history of how each park was founded and the wildlife that thrives there, and I want to hear all the unique stories that happened at each park. But most of all, I want to bask in the experience of being surrounded by trees, water, animals, and everything else. There’s a certain kind of peace to that; the same kind I find when I sit and look out at the ocean.

In particular, I’d really like to visit the National Parks. The first park I’d like to go to is Arches National Park in Utah. See those constellations? That’s what I want to see — in person.

I’d also like to see Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Bryce Canyon National Parks. The biggest challenge for me here will be to pay for the trips. So, I plan on creating a budget and a step-by-step plan for how I will save up the money to go. I estimate that my trip to Utah for a weekend will cost me anywhere from $800 to $1,000. That’s a pretty big amount of money. I’m starting with $0 in my savings account, and my goal is to have enough to travel there by May. Every week, I’ll document my progress and share my tips and observations with you. See you in May (hopefully), Utah.

 

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