It’s nice to get away for a little bit

We all need that time to get away from the stresses of our worlds and just relax.

Maybe take some time to shut off the phone, go to a local park or just take some time for a drive through the region.

I’ve been fortunate to go on a variety of trips in my lifetime, journeying up and down the East Coast, driving through the Appalachian region, seeing the sights and hearing the sounds of other areas of our country.

Week-long trips are nice as they give us more time to visit a particular area. For me, though, they often also bring more stress while trying to figure out what to do while being somewhere different for several days.

It’s nice to be in the sunshine of Florida, or take in the culture of New York or Boston, or the history of Washington, D.C., the action of Las Vegas or the natural beauty of the northwest.

I hope to be able to see more of this country, or even other countries for that matter, in my years ahead.

I often take time to browse through the AAA circulars when they arrive at the house each month.

I often read about some of the trip packages they offer. Vacations to our the countrysides of Ireland, cruises around the Caribbean, or bus trips into Montana before catching a train into Canada.

The latest featured a journey into Alaska timed with the Iditarod dog sled race, which would be really interesting to experience, if it weren’t so cold.

Big trips like that are great. They open you to new experiences, new places and new people.

They are once-in-a-lifetime trips for many of us, and maybe one day I’ll take one myself, you know, once I save up several thousand dollars.

But, to be honest, just taking a couple of days and take a quick drive into our neighboring states.

Every community has its own history and culture to share, and it’s interesting to learn about them and maybe share a little of our own during the journey.

I’ve been trying to get out and explore our region a little more in the last couple of years.

Some trips up to Pittsburgh for some special events have been great, as have drives into the southern portions of the Mountain State for work-related conferences.

Thoughts often float around of arranging for a long weekend and driving out to Gettysburg or maybe Canaan Valley. There are lots of fairs and festivals going on this time of year, all with their own themes and feels.

Those quick trips, while not taking nearly as much time, can still have the same benefits for those who just need to get away from things.

I thought more of the idea of traveling Friday night after work when I looked at my mail and found this travel magazine.

I don’t have a subscription to this particular publication, but I’ve somehow gotten on their free promotional list, so I take the opportunity to look through it whenever one arrives.

It’s interesting to see some of the stories and suggestions of weekend or day trips included in each edition. It seems to focus primarily on our “local”?region, with West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania featured prominently, with stories also including places in Michigan and Kentucky.

It’s usually fairs or festivals, special classes or activities that only take about a day.

Some of just events to go and see, while many others are activities in which we can take part.

As it was a fall/winter edition, the magazine discussed seasonal holiday events, such as cookie tours of inns and bed and breakfasts through the Ohio Amish country, for example, or culinary classes in Parkersburg.

While there were a couple advertisements from a certain local racetrack, there surprisingly wasn’t much about some of the events in the immediate Tri-State ?Area.

No mention of the Festival of Lights at Oglebay, for example, or the holiday home tour currently in the works for Hancock County.

Maybe I’ll mention this magazine to some of our local folks to see if they’re even aware of it.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)