Humans often seek adventure in far off lands, forgetting that home holds a treasure trove of mysteries ready to unfold. As a species we are drawn more to explore space while knowing very little about our very own planet Earth.
Of course fantasized about foreign lands, when living in incredible India. Little surprise then, that even upon moving to the United States my travel wishlist consisted of exotic Middle-eastern and European getaways! That is just how we function. Always wanting what seems out of reach.
But I finally decided to stop always looking beyond the meadow and gave my own backyard a keener look this time. And what i found didn’t disappoint to say the least!
One of the most incredible things about living in the United States is its sheer size! 2,600 miles across 4 different time-zones and 1,500 miles all altitudes, it is the 3rd largest country by land mass.
No wonder then that there is exquisite diversity of natural terrain and landscapes that one can experience and indulge in while here.
There are 59 protected areas known as National Parks that are operated by the National Park Service (NPS), an agency of the United States Department of the Interior.
Created in 1916 “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations”, they are every bit wondrous.
From my numerous conversations, annual visits to national parks as a family remain integral to my American cousins’ and friends’ childhood memories.
On many of my own visits, i have seen a number of young kids interacting fondly with nature and learning to stay active. Kids build un-paralleled skills in perseverance on challenging hikes and an early love for travel by embracing the outdoors.
A childhood filled with travel and adventure is the best gift parents can give kids, for life. Visiting national parks are a fabulous way to do this!
It is comforting to know that National Parks will hopefully remain pristine and untouched for the foreseeable future. (Fingers crossed.) It is also heartening to know that many such national parks, forests, monuments, state parks and reserves will welcome us with open arms to escape today’s noisy, chaotic cities to find respite from the concrete jungles we live and work in.
While i have absolutely enjoyed visiting and living in some of the most iconic and quirky cities and towns in the United states, what eventually stole my heart away were the National Parks!
Years from now, I may not remember the names of the streets i lived on or the restaurants i ate at or the names of the buildings that are world renowned, but i will never forget the magical feeling of standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, or Kayaking in Acadia, or looking out into the fall colors of the Valley of Shenandoah or hiking in Arches and Canyonlands. These moments are etched in my memory forever.
That is the thing about nature, it has a beautiful way of leaving with you much more than you can even offer it.
In the five years here, i have had the fortune of experiencing a fraction of the 59 National parks, numerous state parks, national forests, recreational areas…leaving me with fond memories to go back to in my mind’s eye.
These blogs are an attempt to capture moments spent here, tips and tricks, and some lessons learnt about these natural wonders with you. The hope is not to conquer or mindlessly check-off a list of 59 but to continue to be motivated and hopefully inspire others to explore, travel and grow as the ever evolving nature herself.
In this blog-series i will share travelogues from the following national parks and add more as and when i visit them!
- Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (Twice already!)
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Arches National Park, Utah
- Canyonlands National Park, Utah
- Zion National Park, Utah
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
- Great Smoky Mountains National park, Tennessee
You can also follow me on the Instagram handle TravelTaleTelling where i share my travel clicks. Wishing a travel and adventure filled 2018 to everyone! Travel On!
Which national park stole your heart away? Which ones are you lusting to go to? Can’t wait to hear about them!
All 59 picture postcards below!