“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” That right there is a quote that I completely believe in. The memories you make and who you become are often rooted in the places you’ve been. One of the best feelings in the world is returning to your favorite places and being flooded with good memories and the familiar, warm feelings that come with them. So, here are some of my favorite places where the memories come back and it almost feels like another home:
Charlotte, NC – This one has to be number one on the list because it is where my story starts. It’s where I was born, lived for five years, and where my dad currently works. I still remember the warm Summer days spent sitting outside our house in the culdesac waiting for the ice-cream truck to come by & all the kids would go running. As I grew older, we spent a lot of weekend vacations wandering around downtown, cheering on the Panthers from Bank of America Stadium, and eating Price’s chicken in Romare Bearden Park. I’ve always had this conflicted feeling about where home is in comparison to Johnson City & Charlotte. I was born in Charlotte but spent the majority of my life in Johnson City, but whose to say it can’t be both?
Orlando, FL – Specifically Walt Disney World & Universal Studios. I love theme parks & Orlando is the home to some pretty great ones. My 16th birthday trip was to Disney & right before my 18th birthday we spent a week at Universal (not birthday related, just lucky that mom had a conference in Orlando) & one day at Disney to celebrate. Being at Universal & Disney fills me with a joy and energy that only theme parks to do. I mean they are the happiest place on earth!
Charleston, SC – Charleston is a really beautiful city. It also holds a lot of memories from my childhood vacations to Folly Beach and an eighth-grade school trip to Charleston. It’s an old city that is filled with history, great places to shop, and a beautiful seafront. There’s a short drive from Charleston to Folly Beach, which is also a great place. Folly Beach isn’t commercialized so it’s never too busy. It’s the perfect place for early morning walks to the pier spent looking for sand dollars.
Harrisburg & Hershey, PA – Lots of memories over the years have been made in Pennsylvania. My dad is from Harrisburg & that’s where his family still is. I love going up there and visiting Schmidt’s sausage shop, Hersheypark/Chocolate World, and more. Visiting Uncle Bobby and going to the Kipona festival was something I always looked forward to. We used to go every year for a labor day weekend family reunion at our great-aunt Ruth’s house. Since she’s been gone we haven’t had any big family reunions, but we try and go up every year to visit my cousin Jessica, her husband Matt, and their two adorable little boys Dylan & Noah (& now there is another little bundle of joy along the way!!). The nine/ ten-hour car ride may not be the best, but the destination sure is (& honorary mention to the dairy corner that had the BEST custard that we always stop at along the way). It is a place filled with a lot of love and memories.
Home, sweet home in Tennessee – Oh Tennessee, how I love you. Johnson City is where I’ve grown, experienced so much, and a chunk of my heart will always live here. Dandridge is also where my mom’s family lives, so of course, it is one of my favorites too. Within Johnson City, some of my favorite specific places would be Trinity Arts Center, good ole’ ETSU, Menchie’s on People St., Willow Springs Park, the Label, and First Christian Church. So much of my life and love is in Johnson City. I don’t see myself living here forever post-graduation, but it will always be home.
With the trend of posting what states you’ve been to on Instagram, I realized I’ve never been to the West Coast so that’s definitely next up on my bucket list. No matter where this journey called life that God has mapped out for me takes me I’ll always be making new memories and my list of favorite places will always be growing.
Top 5 bucket list places:
- Disneyland California
- Copenhagen, Denmark (specifically during Christmas)
- Brighton, England
- The Pacific Northwest, US
Where are some of your favorite places?