Story of Say Hello To America

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It’s safe to say I’ve always had a fascination with the United States.

As a child I can remember taking pride in learning all of the states capitals, hopping from state to state while playing the Carmen Sandiego computer game, and our family trips all along the East Coast. I definitely give my parents credit for not planning the typical family vacation to the shore. Instead we travelled to destinations like Cape Cod, Gatlinburg, Acadia National Park, and Williamsburg — which helped further grow my appreciation for the country I call home.

Travel stories are what I remember the most. Between my parent’s & grandparent’s tales of their trips out West, there was never a shortage of motivation for me to one day want to have similar travel stories of my own. My grandfather was quite the storyteller. He had a way of making a simple moment during a trip sound like the most amazing adventure you had ever been on! I recall listening to stories of his trips and being in complete awe. Over the last few years I’ve realized that he’s the main reason behind my love for United States travel. Without knowing it, he also instilled in me a passion for photography. He always had his camera on hand, ready to document the landscape or a moment in time. I found that this used to annoy me as a child, but as I grew older I discovered myself doing the same thing. For me, travel & photography go hand in hand…and I have my grandfather to thank for that.

With my grandparents at Longwood Gardens, Age 5

Although I had this desire to explore, many circumstances throughout my twenties did not allow me to travel very often. My passion for travel was rekindled a few years ago when I went on my first solo trip to Savannah and Charleston, and I haven’t looked back since. It was also this trip that made me realize how amazingly beautiful and diverse America really is!

Why the name Say Hello To America? It really has a two-fold meaning. First, I wanted to find a way to honor my grandfather through this site. Probably only the grandkids would know, but he had this funny way of ‘saying hello’ and a little wave he would do…which has always stuck with me. It was important to me to have a little bit of his spirit in my new endeavor. Secondly, I figured it fit in perfectly with the personal reason for the name: I really have only just begun to explore this country, and am now on my own mission to Say Hello To America!

My sister and me at Acadia National Park, Age 7