Hey everyone, I hope everyone is doing well, especially those in the black community. I hear you, I see you, I stand with you, and I love you. Here’s a link to a comprehensive list of resources to donate to and petitions to sign…even if you can’t donate or are unable to go to a protest, sharing these things on whatever platform you have is also very helpful! And don’t forget to use your voice to VOTE.

Growing up, I didn’t really have the opportunities to travel or go on class trips that involved interstate travel. I eventually got my license and my first car was a 1987 Volkswagen Jetta (loved by all) but the steering wheel violently shook at speeds of 45mph and above and could barely handle the Casey highway, let alone the interstate. It wasn’t until this past year when I bought my Mazda3 that I started seriously traveling. I went on a road trip to Maine and Massachusetts with my best friend last summer and that kick started my intense desire to see the world (what I would eventually learn as the very definition of wanderlust). I realized after that trip- and a three-day trip to Pittsburgh, PA- that I could go wherever the hell I wanted and it was liberating. Within the past year or so, I’ve visited a few new states for the first time which included a scenic drive through the Blue Ridge mountains in VA and visiting Baltimore and Annapolis, MD. I’ve also been very fortunate to have flown to two new continents! (my travels to Japan and Ireland). 

All of that being said, travel right now is very difficult and it has started to heavily weigh on me. I miss being able to visit friends and take those road trips. Most importantly, driving is a way for me to clear my head…if I need a space to think, it’s not in my room but my car (her name is Genevieve, by the way). I love the freedom that comes with being able to hope in my car and drive and it seems the further I drive out of the Scranton area, the clearer my mind becomes. I’ve realized that I hate the idea of being stagnant (and that is no shade to those who are happy staying in their hometowns! It’s just not for me, I feel too much of a desire to see and learn from the world around me). 

Last week, I got very overwhelmed and felt like I really needed some alone time to myself, it wasn’t enough to simply sit in my room, I needed to GO. I grabbed my DSLR and decided I would drive to the Delaware Water Gap, a very beautiful and scenic area, but I was trying to find a scenic overlook that I liked and did a quick Google search which resulted in my finding Sunrise Mountain- an overlook in the Stokes State Forest in Sussex County, NJ. It was less than an hour’s drive so I jumped back in my car. I drove through the Forest until I reached a parking lot right next to the Sunrise Mountain Overlook (stopping at two other scenic overlooks on the way). As the name suggests, this Overlook is optimally viewed at sunrise and I arrived around 7:45 in the evening, but it was breathtaking nonetheless and I was almost entirely alone (aside from a few other people passing through). 

The images above are from my first two stops at scenic overlooks on the way two the Sunrise Outlook. The road you drive on is a way one (which I honestly really liked instead of having to worry about traffic coming from two ways) and since it was still fairly light out, I wanted to stop and take photos and take in the silence I was by myself.

These two images above are from the Sunrise Outlook itself. I was there at the wrong time, technically you should be there at sunrise and I was there around 8pm, but it was still gorgeous. I plan on going back, it’s only an hour and half drive from where I live and I always love passing through the Delaware Water Gap. I was grateful to be able to escape to a different geographical location for a little while and to be able to sit alone with my thoughts. I encourage you all to try to get outside if able because it really does help ease the mind. Have a great week and take care of yourselves!

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