Written by: Katherine 'Ringleader' Imp
I have seen more of America in the last 4 months than I have in the last 24 years.
I've always loved traveling, but when you're young, places like Rome and Paris sound far more appealing than Bennington, VT or Dalton, MA. So those are the places I went. And now I'm 24 and I've seen very little of the country I've spent my entire life in.
For some people, the Appalachian Trail is place of solitude, a place to become one with nature. I wanted my experience with the trail to be more than that. I wanted to see America.
When you only have 2 weeks of vacation time in a given year, as many Americans do, most will choose to spend those 2 weeks on a beach, in a national park, or in some foreign country. Why? Because these places are welcoming, relaxing, and exotic ... and when you've only got 2 weeks of freedom ... these are the exact characteristics many Americans look for.
I live in a bubble. I know I do, and I don't pretend otherwise. It's a bubble filled with lawyers and city dwellers. And starting in August, I will join the rest of America that lives on 2 weeks of vacation a year. It is this thought that has kept my adventurous spirit going for the last 4 months. I came out here to get in touch with my country, and with the people that live in it. And that's exactly what the Traveling Circus has done.
In the last few weeks, we've worked on an organic farm, wandered the streets of NYC, and stayed in the homes of beautiful Americans living in Bennington, VT and Dalton, MA. We've also trekked over numerous mountain tops and saw the natural beauty that Connecticut and Massachusetts has to offer.
Europe is beautiful. As is Cancun. But America is also a place enriched with interesting people, beautiful towns, and breathtaking mountains. What an amazing place to live.