Your generation has the world at its finger tips. Literally.
I know that you can get online and with the click of a button talk to someone in China, see pictures of Africa, or send electronic mail to Russia. You can order Swiss chocolate and listen to traditional Irish jigs all with the click of the button. This is not the same as traveling.
There is something irreplaceable about ACTUALLY going somewhere and talking to locals, seeing in person the Matterhorn or the sparkling lights of Eiffel Tower. You will never forget the first time you taste fresh German or Swiss chocolate made right before your very eyes. Way different than the boxed and shipped experience, let me tell ya. Traveling doesn’t mean you have to go very far. There are great places to explore right in the United States. This is something I didn’t realize until I spent time in Europe and many locals asked me if I had seen Niagra Falls — nope, The Statue of Liberty — nope, The Golden Gate Bridge — nope, and most them assumed I was from Texas, California, Florida, or Chicago (Why Chicago I’m not entirely sure) when really I have only ever visited those places. Whatever you do, if in Europe, do not try to explain where Iowa is to someone who hasn’t been to the United States. Now I’m off on a tangent.
Simply traveling a few hours north to our friends in Minnesota you can hear an accent different than what you experience in Iowa. Head West and you can see majestic mountains. Go to our nation’s capitol and you will see great monuments and pieces of history coming to life before your eyes. Washington, D.C. is one of the most interesting places I have ever been. Head south and you can try grits and great home-made cajun delights. Take every opportunity you can to get in your car and drive, get on a plane and fly, step out the door and walk.
Open your eyes, your ears, your taste buds to the world. Don’t let clicks on a computer screen convince you that you have experienced the greatness of places outside your home.
I will do my best to present you with opportunities to see our world. To see places that will make you appreciate what our nation has given us and places that inspire in you the belief that we have a bright future on this planet. Other opportunities you will need to seek out yourself and I will support you every step, turn, and mile of the way.
Here are some pictures of your mom enjoying her travels.