Going Home

By | 2015-02-28T17:10:24+00:00 January 24th, 2011|10 Comments

Update: I had to postpone my Nebraska road trip. :( I’m hoping to make it happen sometime in the next few years.

I’m not exactly sure how this came about. One of my goals this year is to travel somewhere I’ve never been, somewhere new, non-touristy and visually spectacular … so where do I choose to go? Yep, that’s right … Nebraska. Cause if you ask me the words “Nebraska” and “tourism” are about as close to an oxymoron as you can get.

Okay, a little background before the Husker fans out there start sending me hate-mail. The majority of my life was spent in Lincoln. I was born there, and aside from a few years in Minnesota (which I don’t remember) the entirety of my childhood was in the South side of town. I remember two of the three houses we lived in (one of which my brother and his family now own, and the other house is my parents’ current home) and had a very happy childhood. I love the changing seasons (however the freezing cold and hot humidity I could have done without) and usually try to make my way back home at least once a year to visit family.

The thing is, growing up I pretty much stayed within the borders of Lincoln and never really ventured out to other cities, except to visit the grandparents every so often. I thought Nebraska was boring and that there was so much more out there … from my perspective the only things that Nebraska had to offer (other than some great people and my loving family) was cornfields and football. My family took a few vacations outside of the state to see mountains and the ocean, but those were few and far between …. I wanted more.

So, a year after I graduated High School I enlisted in the US Navy. I traveled throughout the country for two years, and then was stationed in Northern Japan for three years, then Hawaii. I definitely had my fair share of ocean and mountains … I lived in freaking paradise, and it was gorgeous! But at some point during my time in these amazing places I had this revelation … I finally understood the beauty of my home state.

So at some point during a conversation with a friend this idea came out of my mouth and evolved into what it is now. I’ve also been inspired by a few photographer friends of mine who have had similar types of travels, and since I LOVE to go on road trips and enjoy my alone time, I thought this would be a good choice. This might not be the only place I travel to this year, but if it is … I’m okay with that. :)

The trip, so far, is a pretty rough outline. I plan on crossing the border through Wyoming, and then heading up to see Chimney Rock, drive through the Sand Hills, head up to the Niobrara River and then make my way down towards Lincoln to visit family, head to the South part of the state and then make my way back West through Colorado. I don’t really have an agenda, other than photographing the landscapes and people as much as possible, and maybe do some writing while I’m at it. I’m hoping that it works out for me to be on the road mid-late June, just after the final deadline of a book I’m working on, and hopefully in time to catch some great cloud formations and a thunderstorm here and there.

I am, at the moment, extremely excited about this trip. I’m guessing that my family will probably laugh at me when they find out about it, mostly because my parents always joked about taking a “tour of Nebraska” for one of our vacations when I was a kid. I guess I just have this desire to photograph what I always considered a very boring place, but this adventure will give me the opportunity to see it through completely different eyes, and from the perspective of a photographer. I can’t wait. :)

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website, nicolesy.com.


  1. Rich Newcomer January 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    There is no place like Nebraska!

  2. Gordon Jones January 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Great idea. I was talking with friends about the places in Missouri that I haven’t seen or photographed. I have been wanting to get out and explore those potential places. Have a great time!

  3. jac January 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    On your way home, if ya run through Wray, Colorado (corner of Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado) give me a shout ;-)

  4. Denny Wells January 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Be sure to check out Carhenge near Alliance, NE – odd, but fun.

  5. Ann January 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    be careful, one of these trips will lead to another, and another, and the next thing you know…road trips are a sickness and I got it bad.

  6. Myron Schaffer January 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    When were you at Pearl Harbor? I worked aboard the Lake Erie in 2003 for some BMD missions,(FM??) the Navy contracted us for an S-Band antenna test. Like you, I loved it! Nothing beats the feeling you get when you sail out and you see people lined up on the banks saluting, hands on hearts, very touching, I’m very proud of all who’ve served, thanks Nicole.

  7. Iza January 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Hey, I hope you are going to have a great fun. I will follow your trip on blog or on Twitter, wherever you decide to share, and maybe change my mind about Nebraska, too, and see some more then I-80 next time I drive to Colorado.

  8. JoanE January 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Hey Nicole…God speed. Sounds like a good choice.

  9. Kathryn January 25, 2011 at 8:34 am - Reply

    That sounds like a great idea. I too grew up in a state I didn’t explore nearly enough. Your trip will be fantastic. I’ve never been to Nebraska so I look forward to following along on your adventure and seeing the state through your lens.

  10. Angie January 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Um, so this is how I found you’re visiting? Sheesh!

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