LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Las Vegas is a place unlike any other. And to be honest, I don’t know that it’s my favorite (yet). I would actually love the opportunity to explore outside of the strip – go hiking, explore Seven Magic Mountains, go to the Grand Canyon, etc. But unfortunately, when I am in Las Vegas for work, I am surrounded by convention center walls, recycled air conditioning, the smell of casino smoke, and the “bing bing bing” of slot machines.

So far, I’ve stayed at three of the hotels on the Las Vegas strip. The Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, and The Aria.

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA

Last year around this time, I was in Fayetteville, Arkansas celebrating my 26th birthday with some of my closest friends. It was perfect. This year, it looked a little different. I was surrounded by coworkers and sunshine, but it still was wonderful. I’ve never been to Boca Raton, but considering the weather back home during my trip here, this is one for the books.

KOHLER, WISCONSIN

Kohler, Wisconsin is a beautiful place. It’s about an hour north of Milwaukee, bordering Sheboygan. My favorite part about Kohler is how peaceful being there was. It’s a town unlike no other, and its centered around essentially a bathroom factory. Unfortunately my time in Kohler, Wisconsin was cut a little shorter than I had anticipated.

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

My travels to Palm Springs were a little tough, but I made it safely. Let’s just say the airline accidentally booked me on a trip to Canada, after missing my layover. Thankfully I caught it, but had to fly into Ontario, California and then take a (two hour) Lyft to Palm Springs airport to pick up my luggage. Like I said, it’s a long story – and one of the many reasons I prefer Delta over any other airline. Anyways… when  I thought about traveling to Palm Springs, I thought I would see hot pink and palm trees. I wasn’t completely wrong… and you’ll see why.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

To be honest, geography has never been my forte. I actually thought San Diego was much more north than it is. My bad. You win some, you lose some. Anyways… when I landed in San Diego, I was relieved. Do you know that feeling of getting out of the car and smelling the salt water air after a long road trip? I never flew to vacations when I was younger, so stepping out of the airport in San Diego and smelling the fresh, saltwater air gave me that same sense of calm.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Chicago is one of those cities that I visited a few times growing up because of its proximity to home. It’s an Amtrak ride away, and for just a small fee, you can upgrade to a First Class seat. It’s cheaper than a plane or even a drive when you consider the cost of parking fees at hotels.

Chicago is familiar. It is the home of my two least favorite sports teams (you know who you are Blackhawks and Cubs), the greatest St. Patty’s Day celebration, and the closest beach that actually feels like a beach in proximity to St. Louis. It was the city where I spent a spring break week in college, it was the city where I took my first subway, and it was the place that I learned to see architecture.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Seattle, Washington became one of my favorite places quickly. From walking around Pike Place Market to finding trendy restaurants, there was always something new to do, see, or eat. Downtown is accessible and easy to navigate, and nothing is a far walk away. The suburbs have history and beauty at every turn, and venturing a little further out will lead you into the natural beauty of Washington state. I felt so at peace in Seattle and its surrounding areas, and I have no doubts that it is because I took every chance to explore.