“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Dalai Lama 

Many of us only think of travel as going to a far-off destination, halfway around the world. I know I always dream of going to some exotic place or another — the more remote the better. Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who lives in Europe. He was planning a trip to the US to see Mount Rushmore. Upon hearing this, I thought it odd that he would fly all this way to see a monument. After further reflection, I began thinking about all the places in my own backyard that I had never seen: Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Washington State. The list kept growing. So with the help of a friend, I decided to make it my goal to see every state by making a trip at least once a year to a place I had never been. It doesn’t matter which state I visit or what I do there, the only caveat was that I had to spend at least one night and it couldn’t be on a layover. While I still have many more states to see, I have been to some amazing places right here in the good ole USA. I have seen the Eye in Seattle, Washington and  the Gateway Arch Park in St. Louis, Missouri. I have eaten donuts at Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon. And yes, I have sat outside on a warm summer’s night to see Mount Rushmore lit up in all its glory. It doesn’t matter where you go, just go. See the world, but also see what’s in your own backyard. Be curious. Each new place we visit expands our view of the world and our own relationship to it.