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The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

Why Traveling the Vast Landscapes of the US Will Open Your Eyes Like Nothing Else


This past year I have visited 14 states, allowing me to experience many different ways of life throughout the United States. Through these adventures I have observed and participated in different cultures and traditions allowing me to feel like a more well-rounded individual. 

The little east coast bubble I have lived in all my life does not compare to the wonder that awaits you beyond the city skylines, stuffy neighborhoods, and fast-paced way of life. Now don’t get me wrong, I love this bubble that restrains me from the world, but once you have seen tall, rocky mountains dusted with snow out of your car window, you will feel changed.

When people say they “travel the US,” they believe visiting the Florida beaches, California amusement parks, and a Broadway show in New York City will check the whole country off their bucket lists. With all due respect, you have forgotten the in-between. The Western states are where the wonder lies. 

On my first trip out to the western states, I was not initially ecstatic. I landed in Minneapolis, Minnesota with family and spent less than a day exploring the city. In the evening, we drove into the middle of nowhere and slept in a scary motel in a town that probably isn’t mentioned on a map. 

Although that may not sell you on traveling to Minnesota, the spontaneous aspects of that day are what I will always remember. 

We traveled on to South Dakota where I saw my first National Park, Badlands. I remember the sun had begun to set as cars filled the parking lots to catch a glimpse of the sun hitting the rock structures. 

Observing the endless landscape of beige colored rocks lightly accented by the golden sunlight is a feeling I will always remember. Viewing a natural formation such as that one is truly better than a birthday present, a good grade on a test, even a new car for your 16th birthday.

Since my first national park visit, I have seen Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park both located in Wyoming, White Sands National Park and Carlsbad Caverns both located in New Mexico, and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

Each park introduces the same excitement as you view another wonder of the US and think, “How was this created naturally?!” Not only is the scenery amazing, the experiences are astounding as well. I have met people all over the US, and needless to say, everyone’s “normal” is different. 

I have also visited three National Monuments including Devils Tower, Crazy Horse, and Mount Rushmore. Viewing carvings in large mountains that accurately display the essential features of important figures in American history is a larger-than-life experience.

A topic I learned about after speaking to different people is how different education is across the country.

A husband and wife living just outside of Jackson Hole Wyoming told me children have no snow days where they live because it is cold and snowy a majority of the school year and bus rides to and from school can take hours.

I met two kind hotel employees in El Paso Texas that said students living in Juarez Mexico cross over the Mexico and US boarder to El Paso to attend the University of Texas campus in the city. The entire city of El Paso is filled with kind generous people which allowed me to feel incredibly comfortable while I was visiting. 

In general, people who choose to live in the western areas of the US are friendly, well-grounded people who take great pride in what they do, which is remarkable and something I truly respect.

I have tasted some truly amazing food and believe my all-time favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinners have been eaten in western America. Each cook seams to take great pride in their flavors and traditions they bring to their table.

I have loved every small town, busy city, and breathtaking national park I have had the means to visit. I have been captivated by the mountains and the rural plateaus, the red rock towns and the snowcapped ones. I have met new people, tried new foods, and experienced life across the forgotten landscapes of the US. 

I truly believe you will never experience anything like it.

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