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​Hello there! I hope you can forgive me for being a day late here, yesterday was a long day. I’m here here to finally tell you the stories of my recent travels. 

December 19th, 2016 : I remember pacing my small bathroom getting ready to leave for the trip of a lifetime. I had never been past my neighboring state of Nevada, and the thrill of adventure had left me light headed.

We rode a train for many days.

We made several stops along the way.  

We ended up in some place called Michigan.

It was cold, but filled with so much warmth. 

Truth be told all these pictures are a bit of a cover for a severe case of writers block. I learned so much on my trip to Michigan, but I can’t seem to force it out of my brain. It disappoints me that I can’t muster up words to explain their kindness. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I showed up in that tiny town, but to my surprise it was everything I expected. A Midwestern bubble filled with charm and deer meat. (The deer meat was so tasty.)

As natives of our respective places of origin, we internalize what we were raised with and who we were raised with and that is the lense we use to view the world. It’s how we determine for ourselves what we view as normal and what we view as foreign.

For example : Growing up my family always celebrated things like Christmas or Thanksgiving with large informal parties. The parties were about everyone being together rather than tradition. Everyone served themselves and sat where they pleased and they laughed and joked over my grandma’s peach cobbler. 

I didn’t grow up setting the tables or taking family photos, passing salt or with many traditions, but it took a trip to the Midwest to help me understand it was alright. 

I encountered a lot of things that were very foreign to me, like place settings. I for the life of me could not understand why people placed knives and forks in a certain order only to move them after they began eating. The head of the table thing was weird to me also. The dirt roads, the grass fields, and the Amish were also so new to me. It left me with the fuzzest of feelings. I live for diversity and here I was in the heart of it. It was diversity of experience. I found myself mixed into a small majority white town in the middle of nowhere filled with people who were teachers, doctors, students, ect. They were just people living normal lives, just different kinds of lives.

I guess I’m just a hippie who wants everyone to take the time and emerse themselves in a situation that is very different from their own and challenge themselves not to think of it as better or worse than what they grew up with. I had the thrill of a lifetime learning to play card games, frosting cookies, singing hymns, and learning what kinds of traditions differnt families hold. I also learned something about myself, I’m a slight traditionalist. I loved those big family parties from my childhood. Barbecue and pools. Peach cobler and greens. This is my experience, my home. 

As long as a home is healthy, traditionalism does not have a to have one face. I also believe it is possible to maintain traditions while investigating and incorporating others.

I’ll be married soon and this is something that I look forward to. I wait with excitement to see how my husband and I will blend our experiences and create a sense of normal for our children.

Michigan was amazing and beyond beautiful and the people were just as beautiful. I encourage you to travel and to see homes filled with different things and people. I encourage you to eat different kinds of food. I encourage you to watch different types of entertainment. I encourage you to hear different kinds of view points. The world can never really look the same form several different vantage points.

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