Last week, I made my first trip to West Virginia. My reason for traveling there was a bit unconventional. For his entire life, my dad has wanted to travel out there to see sites where our ancestors lived. So he took me and my brothers to go see them.
I’m used to family vacations that are primarily historical. I grew up in a family of history lovers, so vacation usually meant visiting a Civil War battlefield. I don’t remember many of the experiences, because I was young, but I like that it instilled in me an appreciation for history and preservation.
However, this trip was different from those trips , since I am no longer five years old and can now comprehend the history behind the sites I visit.
Not only did I appreciate the fascinating places we visited — including a mountain named after my ancestor, Daniel Cresap — I appreciated the comforts of the small towns we visited.
West Virginia is definitely much different than Illinois, but the small towns we visited were the same. It almost feels like stepping back in time, into a world that’s separated from its surroundings.
That’s both good and bad, but for the most part, it made me appreciate where I grew up.
I grew up in a small town in central Illinois, a town I used to be embarrassed of, but now I find myself appreciating it more and more each day. It’s a relief to come back to a place that hasn’t changed much since I was born.
I’ve traveled across continents and to cities large and small, but there is nothing like strolling through a small town on a warm, sunny evening.