You don’t have any need to check your calendar during a pandemic, BUT if you did, you’d see that today is Earth Day. We thought it would be fun to pay homage to Father Sky, Mother Earth, and our dear old Uncle Tony.
If you don’t get that reference,
1. It’s from the Ben Stiller classic, Heavyweights.
2. I’m not sure what you’re doing with your life if you haven’t seen it.
We consider ourselves to be decently well traveled people. We thought we’d take a little inventory of some of our favorite places that we’ve been on this glorious planet.
I can’t believe I’m saying this as someone who feels so strongly about the south, BUT my favorite state is in the northeast- New York. I have so many favorite memories in New York and have been four times in very different life stages.
In elementary school we went as a family at Christmas, and I remember waking up at four in the morning to go and stand outside the Today Show. My dad tried to get the entire crowd to start singing, “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas”. He failed, but God bless him for trying. It’s SO something I, too, would do as an adult.
In high school, I went with a group from school as part of a “cultural trip”. We ended up in China Town one day seeking counterfeit Louis Vuitton purses, as one does as fifteen year old. An Asian woman lifted up the floorboards to reveal a staircase that led to an underground purse emporium. It was like something off Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, BUT WE WENT DOWN THERE!
The movie Taken had not been made yet. We should have known better, but we didn’t.
I went again in college with the college ministry group that I was a part of. We went during Christmas break to work in homeless shelters and soup kitchens. It also overlapped the new year, so what a great opportunity to spend New Years in Times Square, right? WRONG. So very wrong. You’re corralled into a pen around noon and cannot leave. If you leave your enclosure, you leave Times Square. What if you have to go to the bathroom? You hold it. What if you get hungry? You pray the snacks you have in your backpack will last until midnight. Bright side? I was on Fox News, saw Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers up close, and was interviewed on a Chinese radio station. So those twelve hours spent in three degree temperatures were well worth it.
My most recent trip to the Big Apple was with my best friend, Whitney. Whitney is the luckiest person on the planet and managed to get tickets for The Tonight Show. We were also able to score tickets to Live with Kelly (Michael Strahan had just quit). And we went to the Good Morning America concert in the park and saw Flo Rida.
Side note: I haven’t met many rappers, BUT may they all be as kind as Flo Rida.
We still laugh about memories made on that trip. That’s why I love New York. There’s something for everyone, and there is never a dull moment. It’s such a unique place. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s a “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”
I don’t have as much to say about my favorite state except that God showed off when He made it. Colorado is beautiful, magnificent, and any other adjective Kim Kardashian would use to describe herself.
Oy. I feel very blessed.
I have been to some beautiful places in the world. It was honestly very difficult for me to pick a favorite country. BUT if I’m thinking about overall experience-land, people, food, climate-I have to go with New Zealand. I studied abroad in New Zealand for almost a month in grad school, and I lived with a family while I was there. I cannot say enough good things about it. It’s gorgeous. And the people couldn’t be nicer. They are the MOST relaxed. I was there to observe their school systems and work in classrooms. My first day, the girls in one class were participating in a soccer tournament off campus. Their coach was sick. The solution? Send the young American to coach. So I hopped on a bus with strangers and coached like Rick Moranis would have wanted me to.
I could easily move there and be perfectly content. It was where I first experienced the delightful cookie known as the Tim Tam. I cannot imagine how many packages of those cookies I ate during that month, but they were/are SO good. You can now get them at Target. You’re welcome.
I couldn’t decide. It’s a tie of two vastly different places, Thailand and Scotland.
Back in the day when I was younger and fun, I lived in China for about a year teaching English. We had the whole month of January off for the new year, and we got to travel quite a bit. One of the countries I went to was Thailand. It was beautiful, unique, interesting, had great food, and I felt like a millionaire there! Everything was so cheap; it was fabulous.
We stayed on the island of Koh Tao for about a week before venturing to other places. I lost my mind and agreed to get scuba certified. Why did I do this??? There are two things I’m majorly terrified of: the thought of traveling in space and the thought of traveling deep in the ocean. Plus, it was actually very intellectually challenging. I was on vacation; what a dumb idea. Once I was able to finally calm myself down, it was a great experience, but I could have easily had eight heart attacks down in that water. I conquered water but will absolutely refuse space. Sorry, NASA.
Scotland was also beautiful in landscape and architecture. I feel like many places in Europe feel like you are walking in a Disney park because it’s so pretty that it almost feels fake, and Scotland was no exception. However, the people are what really tugged at our hearts. Who wouldn’t want to listen to them talk all day?
Again, this was a difficult choice because God is such a unique creator. I have been fortunate to see some wonderful places. But I thought if someone told me they could only go and see one thing, what would I recommend? And it would be the Swiss Alps. I went last summer with a tour group, and we ended our four country tour in Switzerland to see the Alps. Photographs will never do it justice. Hop on a plane and live your best Julie Andrews life.
Once again, I couldn’t decide. So, I chose a God-made and a man-made.
My God-made one is Victoria Falls in Zambia. I have never in my life seen anything like it. Honestly, I’d get on that eternally long flight again just to see that and then come back.
When I lived in China, I was in Shenzhen, which is in southern China. I was no where near Beijing. However, I couldn’t be in China that long and not see the Great Wall. It’d be like living in America and never going to a Cracker Barrel. Same thing.
I was nearing the end of my time in China, so I decided to take a trip by myself and head up there to see it. I took a few days off school, took a 24 hour train ride, and headed to see a wall. I was not disappointed. It’s a pretty impressive wall.
We hoped you enjoyed our tribute to Earth Day. Our world is big with so much to see, so go take a peek. Once all of this quarantining is over, book a trip. Where have you always wanted to go? Columbus, Ohio? Berlin, Germany? Aspen, California? You do you, baby.