• Madison Miller

U.S. Trip Wish List

Andrew and I near Asheville during our October 2019 road trip there

As sort of a follow up to my International Travel Wishlist, I wanted to make one for the U.S. too! There are so many places that I have yet to see in my own country, so I want to make sure I make time for those as well. Here's what I have so far:

Austin - Fun fact, I was actually born in Texas, right outside of Dallas. I have some family that still lives there, but unfortunately, I haven’t been in a while.

I have always thought that I would love Austin. I’ve had a love affair with Mexican food of all kinds for as long as I can remember, so of course I am drawn because of that. A couple of years ago, I went to San Antonio for a work trip, and I was so excited to experience Texas again and get some good tex-mex. Unfortunately, I got food poisoning on the trip (not from tex-mex) and I felt pretty gross.

Along with the food, it’s also known for having a great music and art scene. I get the sense that it’s somewhere where you don’t have to have a super specific agenda and you can still have a fun time. I think it would be an easy getaway trip that I could do over a long weekend. Maybe we’ll get around to going sometime this year or next!

PNW area - I have never had a chance to get up to this part of the country, and from what I understand, I am missing out. Specifically, I’d like to explore Portland and Seattle. Once again, the food, art, and music scenes sound top notch. I know that Portland has an impressive craft beer community. I need to do more research on Seattle in that regard.

I’d also love to do some nature exploring. Hiking looks absolutely beautiful there and much different than the Southern landscapes I’m used to. Overall, I think it would just be cool to experience an area of the U.S. that is so different from the South.

If anyone has any tips for dealing with the rain and cold in the PNW, let me know. Again, I hate both of those things so I’d hate for that to ruin a trip there.

Redwoods - When I was a kid, I remember studying the Redwoods in Northern California in either history or science class. I was amazed at how big those trees were compared to the people standing next to them. There were some that were carved out at the bottom that cars could drive through. It’s still amazing to me how long those trees have been there and what they have seen throughout their time on earth. Walking through them, I know I would nerd out hardcore. I’ve thought about a trip to see these ever since that lesson, so I have to make it happen soon.

Desert region - I have never been in a desert of any kind. For the past few years, one of my sisters has spent the summers in Santa Fe. She can’t wait to get out there every year because it’s so beautiful. Some of the photos she’s taken on her hikes are breathtaking. I’d love to go out and visit her, but I haven’t been able to make it happen yet. Maybe I’ll be able to do it this year! Along with Santa Fe, I’d love to get out to see the Grand Canyon and some other desert areas in Southern California. It could be a good destination road trip, meaning I could fly into Santa Fe and then road trip through some of these areas. We’ll see.

Chicago - I have some friends who went to Chicago on vacation last year, and they loved it! They are big craft beer drinkers, so I think I would have to hit up some of those spots. Also, I’d love to try all of the foods, especially a real deep dish pizza. Cheese is a love language of mine.

Hawaii - I feel like this has to be on the list. Have you ever seen a photo of Hawaii that isn’t gorgeous? Normally, island vacations are a bit of an afterthought for me, but the older I get, the more I think they sound really, really nice. A vacation where the point is to just calm down in a beautiful place? I guess I can see why people do that. When I do finally get a chance to visit, I’d like to have a good combination of relaxing on beautiful beaches, drinking ridiculous sugary beverages, and getting a chance to do some outdoor exploring. Maybe a volcano hike?

The theme of my list seems to be the West. I have to admit, I really haven’t seen much of it. What about you? I’d love to know what my list is missing! The U.S. has so much to offer, so I’m sure this list will grow.

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