I’m on vacation so this is a good prompt. Honestly, the other topics from the year of exploration are wearing me down. I think that might say something about how closed off I am, even though I pretend I’m not.

  • Did you have a special place that you often went to as a kid? This can be anything from a tree fort to an arcade to a fictional land in a book. Tell us all about it.

My special place as long as I can remember is the beach, any beach. I don’t remember my first trip, but there have been a lot of them. I know we went when I was young, staying in those cheap hotels (that weren’t that cheap) in Panama City Beach. It was basically an annual trek. At some point, we started camping, first in a pop up and then in a bigger camper. I remember feeling free there. My mother loved the beach and was happy there. Looking back, I’m sure that impacted everything else. Somehow rules were looser and the close watch they kept on me at home loosened a bit. I could explore and make friends and walk and bike without restriction. That fed my soul then and continues to now.

There’s a peace for me at the ocean. The salt air and sea breeze truly feed my soul. I love the sun too. My favorite beach days are the ones where I can spend the whole day there, packing a sandwich for lunch, napping, walking, reading. I love the feeling at the end of those days, showering, feeling the slightest sunburn.

  • If you like the outdoors, think of a favorite place and describe it as if you’re an explorer discovering a new land for the first time.

Since the pandemic especially, I have come to truly love my front deck. I mean I liked it before, but now I get to drink coffee most morning there, escape outside during the day sometimes and then enjoy the evenings too. This time of year I love listening to the birds and watching the squirrels. It’s a peaceful place.

What place have you always wanted to visit? Why?

My dream trip is Italy.

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