I love this picture. I look like crap, but I managed to capture the absolute happiness I felt at this moment. Nothing looks better than genuine joy and excitement… at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Also it highlights one of my not-so-far adventures to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. (The greatest state in the old U. S. of A.)

I’m sure by now you are just dying to know what small town I’m from, and how I started all this “adventuring”. Have you ever heard of Tarboro, North Carolina? For NC acquaintances I usually have to clarify TARboro not CARRboro, which is a nice town next to Chapel Hell. (Forgive me it’s my accent, it just comes out that way… or because I went to NCSU… anyhow). Tarboro is nestled in Eastern NC just east of Rocky Mount, and just north of Greenville. I grew up riding my bike everywhere, playing all the sports, swimming in the river, and attending the only high school in town.

After a semester in Boone at Appalachian State University, I transferred to NC State University and finished out my college career in Raleigh. Towards the end of my final semester I got the call that would change my life forever. My best friend asked if I wanted to travel to Europe. This might not seem like a big deal to some folks. But for this small town girl who’s first and only plane ride was to Boston as a 21 year old, it was a pretty big deal. It quickly went from planning a two week trip, to planning an epic two month backpacking adventure, filled with trains, hostels, and all kinds of sights I never imagined I would see. Looking back, I now realize what a difference it has made. Doing this one thing changed me as a person, gave me self-confidence, and gave me a desire to see more. It not only showed me the world, but how accessible the world is.