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Time to Explore

Time to Explore

I have spring fever. I hear birds chirping, my crocuses are just coming up and I have a bad case of wanderlust. I’m itching to road trip and explore. Just to get in the car without an agenda other than to see, eat, and experience so many big and small things that make this country what it is. 

I was always curious as a child but didn’t know there was this side to me that is always seeking to explore. I guess it makes sense since as a child I was always exploring the creek down the street, climbing trees in the woods, walking the nearby parks, and feeling confined by my suburban city.

Later in college, I loved exploring the western end of Michigan’s upper peninsula. Finding (and climbing) waterfalls, hiking to scenic views, finding old ruins, coming across ghost mining towns, and local places to eat was a day well spent. Once married, I told my husband my goal was to get out of our state at least once per year to explore somewhere else. Sometimes we could only afford gas money to get to the next state and camp in a tent, but we’ve held to that goal for 28 years. 

But this desire to explore and experience places and cultures different from my own backyard has affected my kids too. I’m so glad that it has. They are fantastic road warriors and feel comfortable in large cities and on mass transit just as much as hiking in a forest and climbing a trail, since we’ve spent equal time in both types of places. I love that they are curious and open to trying foods from different cultures. And I love that they dare to dream of where they will go in their future. This world is too big and has so much waiting to be explored that I love that they haven’t limited themselves to just a small corner of it.

So what is on your horizon? Where are you dreaming of going and exploring? Even our own states have so much to see and do, so I’m looking forward to making some time in the month ahead to do just that.

Where am I going?
My friends from other states have been posting pictures of flowers blooming that won't bloom here in Michigan for another two months. Two months is a long time wait for spring and temperatures to warm up enough so we can see some flowers! I'm thankful we are getting more daylight most days and I keep looking at websites for weekend trip ideas. But in the meantime, I am spending some time in the windy city of Chicago this month! I've got restaurant reservations all lined up, live jazz music spots scoped out, and art exhibits planned. I'll be meeting a few friends to catch up and spending time in various coffee shops and cafe drawing and working on illustrations for clients. I can't wait to explore some new places and have a change of scenery!

I've got some fun travel ideas and gifts for Chicago that you can check out here.

What am I working on?
My bucket lists have continued to be popular and in addition to completing ones for the NYC area last month, I just finished creating ones for the southeastern states: Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and also Missouri. It's been fun researching all the great things to experience in each of these states and it has definitely added to my itchy feeling of wanting to get out of here to warmer climates. Time for a road trip? Before that happens, you'll be able to find these new designs available as art prints and notecard sets on my website.

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