Where I've Been

Traveling has always been a big part of my life. It began as something we did at Christmas to visit the rest of our family in Chicago and Kansas City, but as we got older my mom and dad began taking my brother and I on trips. My mom took us on two-week summer roadtrips, while my dad preferred to fly.

I've been to or driven through 36 of the 50 states, including Alaska. I've also been to Mexico and four Canadian provinces. The memories and experiences of these trips (which also include mission trips and traveling for Taekwondo) are numerous. They have shaped me as a person and influenced my thinking and my interests more than I can explain. I believe travel is an invaluable addition to one's understanding of the world, and of themselves as a part of the world.

Here, I am repelling down a cliff in an Alaskan forest. A whale gets playful on a whale-watching expedition in Alaska.

Some places I've been that I would recommend include: driving on mountainous roads from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Mountain-climbing and whale-watching in Alaska. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Indiana -- specifically, Mt. Baldy, a 126-foot sand dune overlooking Lake Michigan. The Dry Tortugas National Park off the coast of Key West, Fla.

These are just a few of the places I could think of off the top of my head that truly astounded me with their beauty and value.