paris-photographer-portfolio-engagement-and-proposal22If you tune into Mark Zuckerberg, it’s likely you’re aware of his themed years. In the past he’s made a goal to run every day, read a new book regularly, and so on. This year, he’s all about connecting. The goal is to go somewhere new once a month and connect with someone there. It’s a real positive way to get out there and learn about something outside your box. In particular, it’s wonderful to get a new perspective of the world with the travel bans taking place.

After my first trip to Europe last month, I found this challenge one I could really accept with open arms. I joined the Mark created FB group that is open to interested participants from around the world. Very quickly I was able to get my communication on with people from all walks of life. It was perfect timing for me personally, I had experienced a new year lull in my chatting so this was a nice breath of fresh air to get back in the groove of multiple conversations.

So far this month, I’ve had some wonderful chat time with a wide range of people from all over the globe and gloriously varied personalities. As a foreign affairs major from college, I found connecting really helped me learn a lot about these places through the eyes of locals. Even more interesting, I’ve been able to see America through the eyes of the world. With all the swirling uncertainty about what we’re up to over here, there has been somewhat of a microscope placed on Americans and their intentions when chatting.

Fortunately, everyone has been pretty welcoming. Everyone has mentioned the current man in charge and expresses fear for what could be to come. It’s interesting how world citizens from everywhere have an opinion and lean towards being nervous about the current state of affairs. I get it. This unfortunately makes me second guess places I’d really hoped to get to this year. I will for sure be putting more planning and thought into my adventures abroad.

With that being said, I have 12 months worth of trips to plan for. Some overseas, some to explore this country I was born into. Some to explore this state I moved to. I haven’t gotten any 100% trips bought and packaged as of yet, save the one I just went on. I have had several conversations with friends both here in Texas and those elsewhere about places I could meet them up or travel with them to. I wanted to go ahead and document now some places I’d like to go. It will be fun this time next year to see which ones I made it to and which ones I will need to make out for 2018. Without further adieu, here are a few of the places I’m trying to plot.

My first would be Egypt. I’m not really sure when I will be visiting here but I’m really looking forward to stepping into Cairo. For multiple reasons. When I was a child, I dreamed regularly about being an Egyptologist. I have been obsessed with Egypt and its ancient past since as long as I could remember. I used to carry around a massive book about how the pyramids were built. I could go on for days about all the things that draws me to this city of more history than most places on earth. However, my heart is there and I’d love to soak it up in person.

Next, Paris. It is the city of romance but it’s also very historical. There’s a lot I’d like to see, including Versailles, and there’s not many places that are on everyone’s bucket list the way this place is. Have dreamed about going here since I started taking French as a 12 year old. I mean, it’s kind of crazy how much stuff I have in my home that is Paris related, all accidental. I think I’ve been slowly attracting a trip to France for a while.

Rome and Athens would also be very high up there on places I’d love to see this year. Two different countries but both equally historic. Italy has had many lives as famous and popular with world leaders and the history stretches into infinity and the places to see would be hard to condense to one trip, as would be Greece. They are both important for me too see, though. I could probably spend a month in each country just taking photos of days gone with the wind. Both places are forever important due to how much they shaped the world.

There are many others, too many to take the time to talk about here. One such is the entirety of the UK. That is where my ancestry is linked to so I’d like to go to England, Scotland, and Ireland with as much about my family history as I can find and do some educational sightseeing. Who knows, perhaps even reconnect with some distant relatives? The list of places I want to visit is endless.

Aside from places I’d like to go, I have some tentative destinations planned. First, my brother Chris would like to visit Germany, home of BMW which he loves, sometime in October. Esther wants to go to Iceland maybe in the spring. I have two friends who want to go on a girls trip to Europe before summer. I have a friend from college who wants to go to South America this fall. We shall see who comes through. Igniting the interest for exploration is exciting enough for me.

I look forward to all the adventures to look back on this time next year.

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