Sometimes you get that travel bug

I used to keep a list of places I would like to visit.

There were locations in West Virginia, spots from across the country, and destinations around the world.

I’ve been fortunate enough to do a bit of traveling over the years, but I hadn’t even made a dent in that list, so I discarded it a while back.

My fascination with watching the Travel Channel doesn’t help, either. Nor do those opportunities to check out whatever show Anthony Bourdain happens to be doing these days.

It may be time to start a new list. We all have to have goals, after all.

To this day, the only other country in which I’ve ever stepped foot (unless you’re counting EPCOT Center, which I don’t) is Canada, and that’s only been because of a few days in Niagara Falls.

My only time west of Tennessee, I traveled by plane. So, I’ve technically seen the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, but it’s been from the air.

There’s a great deal of West Virginia I’ve yet to explore, and other places I haven’t seen in many years.

I definitely need to see more of this country than I have. The U.S. is such a diverse nation, inspired by histories and cultures and environments probably more than any other country.

We’ve never really had that one, unifying trait, outside of being American. There are different accents, different beliefs and traditions, and just different lifestyles based on each region.

Just think about the different things one can see and learn from driving around this country.

From the shores of New England, to the fields of the Midwest, the deserts of the south, the Gulf Coast and the various mountain ranges.

There are numerous national parks, and quirky little communities stretched out across the country.

We all have different views and lessons to teach, derived from our experiences over our lives.

I’ve often thought about the possibility of renting a car and just driving around to different parts of the country.

There also are a few other countries I wouldn’t mind visiting.

To see different cultures, hear different languages, see some of the landmarks of the world would be interesting, and I’m sure we could all get something from it.

Maybe it really is time to start making a new destination list.

Start with a few simple day-trips; things in and around the Ohio Valley. Then move up to a couple of weekend destinations, and then increase it up to maybe a trek of several days.

Eventually, you work your way up to a distant trip, maybe even a week or two if you are able.

I like to take pictures when I travel. A few years ago, I started a bit of a hobby whenever I go to a new place, picking up a particular type of item.

It’s nice to have those little mementos of the travels, but ultimately it is the experience that drives the journey.

It’s all about seeing those new things, meeting people and learning from others.

It’s trying different foods, checking out local activities, maybe listening to some music from the area.

It’s experiencing the history and culture of a region.

Traveling can sometimes be a stressful process, and it’s not always going to be a good experience, but sometimes you just need to let the bug bite you.

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

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