Photogratree

At the midpoint of this week, I wanted to try something a little different. Unless you remember my very first blog posts, I tend to avoid using pictures in my posts. To some extent, I don’t see a point in just finding random pictures when the words speak for themselves. On top of that, I’ve never been too great at photography, although it’s something I would love to get better at.

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So here I am, with a new year comes a new opportunity to just experiment and see what happens. I have made the commitment to myself already to go out and explore my surroundings at least once a week. Go somewhere new, try a new store or restaurant, and really get to know the town I’m spending these few months in.

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My first attempt at doing so was this past weekend. I didn’t even go far at all. In fact, it was so chilly and windy, I decided to just walk around my campus and see what it all has to offer.

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Simply put, I fell in love. I fear most of these photos will look very similar because I am just in awe of the landscape here. I come from the Midwest where it’s flat as a pancake, where you can gaze out for miles and see nothing but grass and the occasional cow. Something as simple as a cluster of trees makes me excited. I was breathing into my scarf the entire time on my little nature walk, but it was so worth it. The weather in general hasn’t even been that bad recently, warmer than where I came from, but this particular weekend dipped down into some colder temperatures.

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This has only been a week so far, and I already love it. Taking random pictures and getting lost are the exactly the reasons why I wanted to take on this adventure. While yes, I am a student, I am also a globetrotter. I have just over three months to soak in as much as I can, so I want to make sure I’m really taking advantage of this community.

Who knows where I might want to wander off to next? I know a thrift store and a used book store downtown are in my sights, but from there, I’ll keep learning all I can and finding those hidden treasures because every moment I spend here is a treasure.

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This is an attitude that I hope to carry back with me in the spring. It’s far too easy for me to get into a rut of routine and lose sight of the present moment. My mind is constantly swirling with worries and thoughts, rarely do I consciously observe my surroundings. Of course, just having a change in scenery is generally good for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still find an appreciation for life, wherever that may be.

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Hopefully I can continue to share my snapshots with you more often, and hopefully that statement encourages me to take more pictures. I think back to past travels to places like Las Vegas or Chicago or even Europe, and while I didn’t have a decent camera on my phone at those times, I still regret not capturing more of those moments. We focus so much on making “picture perfect” opportunities to share with the world online, that we forget how wonderful it can be to have photos just for yourself to look back and reflect. Especially for someone like me who can have a really bad memory.

So if you take anything away today, just remember to relish life. Make that effort to find the good in every day. Take time for yourself to do the things that interest you. Be a tourist wherever you go, your eyes open to beauty and possibility.

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Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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