Road Trip to the Badlands

I saw my footprint in the sand, step by step I walked closer to the edge until I saw a view that made me feel like I was far, far away. The Badlands National Park in South Dakota, was a spur of the moment trip, well somewhat. I found out that I was fortunate enough to enjoy a four day weekend and what better way to spend a long Fourth of July weekend than getting in your car and traveling 12 hours to South Dakota. The Badlands are the way to the Black Hills National Forest, which has been recently on my mind of places to road trip to, a telling sign that I should go. So I went.

Going somewhere new wipes away everything from anxious thoughts, sleepless nights, to endless “what ifs”. This trip consisted of long drives, with views that I would never exchange. I believe every adventure has their ups and downs, but the ups outweigh the downs by tenfold creating an experience that I could never imagine of having nor will ever let go.

I’m not going to lie, I enjoy traveling to places by myself. I’m in control, I can wake up when I want to, stop where I have to and take pictures whenever I please; it’s the ultimate feeling of self indulgence. I thought that my last trip to Door County and Pictured Rocks were going to be a daunting task but this was hands down the largest test of my sort of independence I’ve experienced so far.  Traveling solo is neither a preference nor a last resort, I just do not want to miss out on an opportunity solely on the basis of “I had no one to go with” or “maybe next time”. I hear of too many times of people who put off their travel dreams because they don’t want to do it by themselves, including me. Excuses I’ve used and experienced way too many times and the main reason why I jumped the curb sort of speak. This mindset has really changed me, allowed me to open up my eyes and be more in tune to exactly where and who I am. Maybe it’s just the whole disrupting your comfortability to make you realize how fragile and beautiful the world around you really is.

Well whatever it is, I’m just happy that I realize it now, 29 years later. Long story short, it’s still mind boggling that this, the Badlands, is just a half a days drive away from me. I wonder what else is out there. Well enough babbling, here are some pictures.

 

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