Northern Minnesota has always held a special place in my heart. Ever since I was little I've found Lake Superior breathtaking and utterly mysterious(I was a really curious child). I even went as far telling my friends that whales lived in the lake and that we should always watch for them. I felt as if the North Shore was a dream world. I also remember running along the shore (I was probably about 6) searching for the most beautiful agates. That's how I spent most of my time up there as rock collecting was my favorite hobby at the time...I also thought I was the coolest for that.
Overtime I found myself going farther and farther up north. From Duluth to the farthest point before Canada, Grand Portage. Whether that'd be on road trips with friends, family vacations or even just a getaway for myself. I love the outdoors so I've always particularly enjoyed hiking and exploring new places, so road trips up there always ended up being extra long because of all our pit stops at state parks, small towns and lighthouses.
Personally, that's probably my favorite part is the journey. Driving for hours with friends or family. Singing in the car. Stopping whenever we want. Especially having no schedule. Life is so much more exciting that way. The random stops to explore and the feeling of being free from day to day life is so refreshing. It's crazy because when I'm up north, I don't even mind waking up early! It's a miracle! I love waking up to the cold crisp air, hearing the waves hit the rocks and the pebbles rippling across each other as the tide goes back in to meet the depths. Holding a warm coffee in hand from a small, cozy cafe and then seeing the sun peak over the horizon to greet me good morning as the sunlight kisses my cold face. I get all warm inside just thinking about it!
Some people talk about having a "Happy Place." Well, this is definitely my "happy state" or "happy lake," if you will. Every time I visit I always leave with a clear, renewed and refreshed mind. Away from all the technology, expectations, pressures and drama of day to day life. I step forward in life with a new found focus and gratitude.
These places all have special memories that will always live on in my soul and remind me of the beauty that life consists of. The laughs, the moments of awe, the long, joy-filled drives, finding that special place on a hike that you just can't seem to walk away from. Everything. It all will always hold a special piece of my heart.