Travel

Photo of
Dad and I Biking near Vail Pass

I love to travel. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to see some really great scenery and meet some fantastic people through my travels. Since I am a full-time graduate student, the best opportunities I have for travel are over the summer months and during the holidays.

Domestic Travel

I have been to most every state in the U.S. (except the states on the West Coast). Twice a year, once during the summer and once around the holidays, I fly out west to visit my father in Colorado. My dad lives in Eagle, CO, which is just west of the Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts. During the summer, we spend time playing golf, hiking, fishing, and biking. During the winter, we usually spend several days out on the ski slopes and take a day to go snowmobiling. It is always a ton of fun out there, but I always feel like I need another vacation when I get back.

Furthermore, I travel to Texas twice a year to visit my mother. She lives in Brenham, TX, the home of Blue Bell ice cream, which is located halfway between Austin and Houston. Much of the time I spend there is over at my grandmaw's farm working. Yes, it's a working vacation, but I truly do enjoy it! In the summer of 2009, I spent 2-3 weeks painting her farmhouse, shredding fields with the tractor, and trimming trees. It was rather hot out most days so I tried to get an early start each and every day. Over the holidays, our family gathers at my grandmaw's place for a big family reunion. One of the highlights every year is our Christmas night hayride. Most of the family piles in the wagon while I take the wheel of the tractor for a long ride around the property under the stars. I always enjoy and look forward to the holidays in Texas.

One of my favorite trips was to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. I loved seeing the many natural wonders, such as the geyser Old Faithful, and observing the variety of wildlife that could be spotted from the many trails that I hiked. The best part of the trip was seeing all of these incredible sites with my mom, brother, and stepfather.

International Travel

I've done some international travel, but plan to to do much more of it in the future. While in high school, I flew to England and Scotland for a two-week vacation. I was fascinated by the architecture of the castles, cathedrals, and many other historic buildings. I also met some very interesting people along the way, including a Scottish forester while on a hike up a moor adjacent to our hotel in North Scotland. I think the one thing that struck me the most about England and Scotland was just how old everything is there as compared to the United States. I look forward to traveling once again to England next summer to visit my brother and his family who live in London.

A second trip I took to foreign lands was by sea. In November 2004, I cruised to the Eastern Carribean. Our first stop was Puerto Rico followed by stops at the islands of both St. Thomas and St. Maarten. I had a wonderful and relaxing time on the cruise. Two of my favorite memories were snorkeling off the coast of St. Maarten with one of my brothers and participating in a karaoke contest on the cruise ship.