Looking to satisfy a growing wanderlust

I’ve been fortunate to be able to do some traveling in my life.

Much of it has been through family vacations, but there has been the occasional work-related weekend trip through West Virginia, as well.

I’ve enjoyed those opportunities. Even if I visit somewhere familiar, there’s always been something new to experience.

There definitely are places I’d like to return to in order to do a little more exploring and discovering. It’s been years since I’ve been in Washington, D.C., for example, and my one time in Boston was only for a day.

In recent weeks, especially with the extremely cold temperatures and the various amounts of snow, my mind has turned to the idea of possible trips I may want to take.

I have friends who live all over the country, and it’s nice to see their pictures and see the world through their eyes, but it also would be nice to see some of these locations for myself.

I’ve always had a bit of a wanderlust; a desire to visit new places and see new things.

I think we all have a piece of us like that. We come up with dream lists of places to go, vacations to take, adventures to seek out.

There always are challenges with those desires, though. We might not always have the time, the money or the ability to travel.

A few years back, my paternal grandparents bought me a AAA membership. They renew it each year as my birthday gift.

While AAA is known primarily for automobile assistance, they also provide travel help, including car rentals, hotel reservations and even tour packages.

There’s a newsletter featuring many of these tours, with everything from treks through Ireland to Alaskan cruises featured.

There’s also a listing of available packages on the organization’s website.

I recently started looking at some of the options they may have for one of my wish trips; visiting Glacier National Park in Montana.

I’m not really sure why the park has appealed to me. Perhaps it is the sight of the Rocky Mountains, the vast amount of undisturbed nature or the opportunity to see the actual glaciers (before they disappear).

I’ve loved the idea of visiting Ireland and Great Britain, with the hope of connecting with some of my family roots.

I’ve seen amazing photos from Australia and various points in Canada and parts of Asia that would inspire anyone to wish to venture overseas.

Then, there are the numerous locations throughout West Virginia; from Point Pleasant to the Eastern Panhandle, the Ohio Valley to Huntington. There are our wonderful state parks, our rivers, our mountains, our restaurants and our people.

I think the one stumbling block for me actually making any plans is the idea of doing it alone. I’ve always felt adventures are best when shared with someone else.

There are some trips that are fine the do on your own. I even have friends who tell me it’s better, but there’s just something special about being able to share that experience with someone else, to have those memories together.

Whether it’s a weekend trip, a week-long vacation, or a long-term walkabout, giving into that wanderlust can be a good thing.

It gives us an opportunity to see the world, get out of our comfort zones and experience something outside of our normal lives.

It exposes us to different cultures and ideas, provides us an opportunity to meet new people and see new things.

We get to learn about the world and about ourselves.

So, I think I’m going to start looking into the various options out there, starting with making a list of my top places to visit.

I may not get to see many of them. I may even never get to see any of them. Hopefully, I’ll at least get to experience a few in my lifetime.

So, if you see me in the coming weeks and I seem to be distracted, I’m probably just ignoring the cold weather and letting my mind wander while planting the seeds of a possible future adventure.

(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)