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In my last post I wrote about travel and how it was important in becoming a well-rounded and mindful person. I wasn’t just talking about international travel. 

To truly understand who you are as an American it is crucial to travel inside your own country. The United States is large, very large. The third largest country by both area and population in the world. Think about it. Within our borders there are 3,794,000 square miles to explore. There is about every climate imaginable. And with different regions come different cultures. So, even in the U.S. you can learn a new perspective, a new way of doing or seeing things, and a new normal. What is normal for someone in rural Arkansas is definitely not normal for someone in L.A. There are different dialects, different regional cuisines, different traditions, different past times. There are different local issues to be explored, and different debates to witness. There are natural wonders to be seen. National parks and forests, and state parks and forests. There are cities of every size, small towns and country side. This is a very vast country. We are all different. 

I have traveled all over the United States. By plane, by car, and even by Amtrac, which I highly suggest. If you have a chance take a train across the country, seriously. You will see areas and scenery that you can’t see from a car or a plane. At the very least drive. Drive across the state, drive across the country. Stop in small towns, talk to local people, eat at roadside cafes. When traveling try to buy local, don’t do the chain stores or chain restaurants, they are everywhere and they are all the same. Step outside your comfort zone without leaving your home country. 

I for one highly suggest visiting national parks, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, etc. This country is beautiful, breathtaking, awe inspiringly beautiful. Words cannot describe and pictures do not do justice to the scenery that this country has to offer. It should be enjoyed and respected and preserved for future generations.

So go, get in your car, buy a train or plane ticket. Explore America. You don’t even need a passport. 

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