Don’t feed the animals

Laurel Mountain, PA-Ligonier, PA, 7.7 miles

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

caption=”Joe’s bar in Ligonier, Pa. has hundreds of taxidermy specimens including lions, zebra, ostrich and blowfish.”

Only an estimated 25-30 percent of the population of the United States owns a passport. But even more worrying than our low rate of international travel (though to be fair until recently Americans could travel a great distance without needing a passport) is the fact that many in this country have not traveled more than 10 miles from their place of birth. Now surely many people do not have the means, or more importantly the vacation time, to travel far and wide. But even venturing a little outside your comfort zone can have an enormous impact. In just a couple weeks I have walked nearly 200 miles and pushed myself right out of my comfort zone.

– By Jennifer E. Cooper