Favorite Places of the 2010s

I’m not a big traveler, but I’ve found some places I’ve enjoyed spending time this past decade, some closer to home than others.

As far as exciting destinations go, I visited Hawaii for the first time this decade. This is the only place I’ve visited off the North American continent, and I expected it to be nice but not up to the raptures one hears about it. I’m now part of the rapture contingent. I spent a week and a half on Oahu, mostly on the north shore. I was shocked how easy it was to find secluded spots to enjoy just sitting with the scenery. I don’t think I’ve hiked as many miles each day as in Hawaii because I couldn’t resist going out and seeing more.

I did find my favorite National Park this decade: Joshua Tree National Park. Perhaps I was just in the right mindset for it when I visited, but I think it has the best hikes through the most interesting landscape that I’ve ever seen – I remember one great hike that starts off through fairly even desert and then winds through rockier terrain and ends with a climb down into a ravine filled with cacti and trees that was a bit more challenging than I planned on but well worth it.

Close to home, I got a bicycle in the 2010s – I did have one as a kid but I never really got the hang of riding it back then. That’s led me to explore much of the Rails to Trails paths in the Western PA region and I love both the Montour and the Panhandle trails. As much of my summers as possible are spent out on them.

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