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Danielle Williams

One of my favorite quotes is “Not all who wander are lost.” Cliche, I know. Whatever.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with places and people outside of my norm. (Maybe that’s more of the quote “You always want what you can’t have.” Again, whatever.) I’ve never wanted to explore cultures and behavior as a profession, I just wanted to travel all over the world whenever I possibly can. I want to learn what life is like for people other than myself.

Last week I watched the documentary series Chelsea Does… on Netflix. My favorite of the four episodes was “Chelsea Does Racism.” (Don’t worry, I won’t give anything away in case you want to watch.) It was an eye-opening episode to say the least. Sure, we all know America’s regions are vastly different, but it was amazing to see how different the same region is for different cultures. It really makes you think and realize your perspective of something is totally different than another’s. That doesn’t make anyone right or wrong, it’s just different.

The biggest priority on my bucket list is to visit every state of America at least once before I die. I think it’s important to see your own country and to explore what it has to offer. You won’t get the same experience by Googling the best part of each state. You have to go out there and find it! When you do, you’ll slowly start to find yourself (or so I’ve been told).

Living away from my family and making my own friends was a huge stepping stone for me. I learned a lot about myself, my friendships and my ability to pay a bill on time. I grew a lot in four years, as many other college students have. I couldn’t imagine starting my career and becoming an adult without having experienced college first. Similarly, I can’t imagine starting a family and a life without exploring my country and some of the world.

Too many adults say they wish they traveled more, or they planned to travel but “life got in the way.” That’s a pretty big fear of mine, and I’m doing everything I can to avoid any regret later in life.

So take the risk; travel before life holds you back.

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