Main Image - Allyson Ayers

Travels

My dream job would to be a travel journalist, working for a well-known travel magazine. Even though I have only ventured outside the U.S. borders once, I hope that I'll be able to travel the world. I believe it's never too late to start!

Favorite Places

Paris, Lyon, Annecy and Chamonix (France)

Annecy, France

The first time I left the country was Summer 2005, the summer before my freshman year of college. I traveled with about a dozen other students from my high school and my two French teachers. The experience was like nothing I had ever had the chance to see, and I was so sad to leave. We spent several days each in Paris, Lyon, and Chamonix. On the long drive from Lyon to Chamonix, we stopped in the small town of Annecy in east France, where there are only about 15,000 people. I took this photo standing on the edge of a bridge. The town was so small and quaint, and it was like something out of a movie. Traveling to France convinced me to take a minor in French to improve my speaking and comprehension skills. Contrary to popular belief, the French are actually extremely nice! If I tried to speak French, they were really helpful, and they even wanted to practice their English with me. I loved having the opportunity to travel around France and get to experience and culture so different from my own. I loved the people, the food and the language. I hope I'll be able to study abroad in France sometime soon.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock, Vermont

My best friend from high school, Eleanor, has spent every summer since she was born in the small town of Woodstock, Vermont. For the past two summers, I have spent a week with her in the house her family rents. The climate and the scenery are so different for a Florida-bred girl. There's no humidity in the air, so the air is warm but not damp. There are tons of hills, biking and hiking trails and lakes. I have never enjoyed being outside so much - there is always something to do, despite the miniscule size of the town. Woodstock is so small that everything is within walking distance. There was no need for cars unless we planned a hiking trip that was 30 minutes away. My favorite days were the ones where Eleanor and I would wander into the small ice cream shop and then sit in bean bags at the bookstore. I took this photo on the top of Mount Tom, a nearby mountain that is more of what I like to call a "glorified hill." The hike to the top takes about 20 minutes, and the view is amazing. You can see the entire town of Woodstock from just one side of Mount Tom - that's how tiny it is!

Marco Island, Florida

The beach at Marco Island, Florida

This past Spring Break I went to Marco Island, Florida with two of my best friends from high school - Eleanor and Alex. It was nice to get away from the busy life of a college student for a couple of days and just relax on the beach. Marco Island was nice because it wasn't overcrowded with tons of college students on their Spring Break, so it was quiet. We spent several days wandering around the town, exploring new restaurants and reading on the beach. The shoreline was absolutely covered with shells and parts of shells. I was always afraid I would scratch the soles of my feet whenever I went to dip my toes in the freezing water. I took this photo of Eleanor and Alex digging through the endless amount of shells. I think it perfectly captures the essence of Marco Island - the quiet and the beauty. Since most of the beaches I've visited have been on the East Coast of Florida, it was a nice change to discover a new beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Even though my dream is to travel the world and visit as many countries as possible, I still think that nothing beats the natural simplicity of laying on the sand on a quiet beach in the sun.

Where I Want to Go

London, England

I have always had a fascination with London, so I'm excited that I will be able to live there for 10 weeks this summer for a study abroad program. My roommate Danielle and I are traveling to London to do journalism internships and to take a course. I love the fact that London is a big city, and I can't wait for the opportunity to go. I'm also glad it's so close to other European countries - I can start checking off cities on my must-see list!

Beijing, China

My mother's side of the family is Chinese, so ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by the idea of one day traveling to China. I hear my grandparents and great aunts talk about growing up in Beijing, and I would love to one day be able to see the place for myself.