Going new places is something that always seems to intrigue people. Exploring unfamiliar areas creates a feeling of joy and achievement, maybe also a little fear and chaos. That's why this summer I've been trying to explore more around me. Little did I know that there was so much to do in the state of Missouri.
Early June, my boyfriend and I decided to get out of Washington, Missouri and go for an adventure. We took out our handy-dandy cellphones and googled "fun things to do in Missouri." Both of us were fascinated by Elephant Rocks State Park and Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. We decided those two spots would be great places for our first summer trip together.
We took on the two hour drive with lots of laughs and unharmonized singing. Having many activities to do on the trip down occupied our time and made the drive more tolerable. After going through several little towns and many fields of grass, we ended up at our destination.
While exploring the Elephant Rocks, we learned a considerable amount. The sights amazed both of us. After all the climbing and walking, we were exhausted. But the hot summer sun could not keep us from adventuring more. Our next destination was Johnson's Shut-Ins.
Only about 15 minutes away from Elephant Rocks, the shut-ins are a nice refueling body of water. We grabbed our sunscreen and water—both necessities on a hot day in June—and jumped in.
On the way back, we had one more last minute stop (those are the best on a trip). On the side of the road was a scenic view area to see the Ozark hills of Missouri. We stopped there and took in the view, then headed back home.
Did you also know that this region is home to the highest peak in Missouri, Taum Sauk Mountain? That's a place we will have to add to our list if we head down that way again!
This trip was full of good and bad experiences, but that is how you learn—from your achievements and mistakes. It taught me how to be patient and how to be in the moment.
Also, driving a long time in an unfamiliar setting, along with being surrounded by people, taught me patience. I had to understand not all things happen right away; some things just take time. Being in the moment on this trip allowed me to enjoy it more. I wasn't worrying about what was going to happen or where to go next, I let my instincts take control and went with the flow.
Traveling can open a chapter in your life full of exploration and adventure. Leaving your daily reality behind and going into the great beyond can be peaceful. It also creates memories and stories to share with others.
Don't be afraid to get out of your shell and go somewhere new to try new things. It may make your life a little more interesting.