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Holly McCamant: Got the bug: Ready to travel anywhere

I came to a realization recently. The two things I think about most are running/working out and traveling.

My bedroom is scattered with “Runner’s World” and “Lonely Planet’s Traveller.” I talk about a lot of things with my dad, but besides politics and running, the thing we talk most about is travel. Which means about half of the time when I’m talking with my dad, I’m telling him for the thousandth time how much I want to travel.

When I get to travel though, I don’t want to see just Paris and Hawaii. That’s what many girls my age think about when it comes to dream vacations, with maybe a few other places. No, when I think about where I want to travel, I think about Paris and Hawaii, plus Cyprus, Portugal, Socotra, Buenos Aires, and St. Petersburg.

That’s just the beginning. Once, I tried to make a list of all of the countries I want to go to but I gave up because my hand started to hurt after all that writing. So, I’ve summed up my places to go list as this: visit every European country and go to every other place that’s safe.

Up until this past Saturday though, I hadn’t even put my passport to use. When my dad told me he was going to International Falls, I wanted to come along and go across the bridge to Fort Francis.

I know, going to Fort Francis to eat on a dreary day is not the most spectacular way to go outside of the United States the first time.

International Falls is in a very pretty area with forests and clear rivers, but the Fort Francis – International Falls border crossing bridge is probably not the most scenic United States – Canada border crossing. You get to drive across on a concrete bridge, and the best part is that pretty paper mill. Once you get past the ugly crossing, the scenery is beautiful.

After paying an unreasonable amount to go across the paper mill viewing bridge, we got to go on a quest to find a place to eat. I know that sounds easy because there are a lot of restaurants in Fort Francis, but Canadian restaurants are not open as much as United States ones. After wandering around for 45 minutes, we finally found a Canadian version of Subway, Mr. Sub. The food was good, but the whole area was kind of run down. The washroom (not bathroom) had an out-of-order sign, and the lighting was dim.

The best part of the trip was getting to go to a nice store designed for people crossing the border, like me and my dad. We got to buy a moose cup, some delicious maple fudge, and a Canadian pin to decorate my bag.

I hope to have plenty more out of country experiences to go on. I feel a calling to go somewhere and do something more than eat amazing maple fudge. I don’t know why or where, but I know that I feel a lot more aware that I need to go somewhere than before.

How that’s going to happen, I don’t know. There are several ways that I could experience culture outside of the United States, but none of them are certain. I just know I will go when the time is right.

Holly McCamant is a sophomore at Frazee-Vergas High School.