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[Headlines] (HL-예술/취미/종교) Young Traveler Hopes to Visit Every National Park
최고관리자  |  16-06-19 11:07

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Many Americans dream of the day they can retire and take a long-awaited road trip across the country. But Mikah Meyer believes that life is too short to wait. At 30 years old, he is about to start an all-American road trip, one that he hopes will take him to every U.S. national park. If he reaches his goal, he will become the youngest person to visit all 411 sites within the National Park Service. He will also be the only person to ever do so in one continuous trip. Meyer’s trip is driven by tragedy. He was 19 years old when his father died. “My dad passed away at age 58 before he got to retire, when I was 19 years old, and it really made me realize that life is short and we don't always get the retirement or the time that we think we’ll have to fulfill our dreams. So I wanted to do my dreams now at age 30 while I'm still alive to make sure I can reach them.” Every year since his father’s death, Meyer has taken a road trip. But nothing quite as extensive the one he is about to begin. To honor his father, Meyer will start his trip on June 19, Father’s Day in the United States. He has already spent the last few months visiting the many National Park Service sites near his home in Washington, DC. “I lived in DC for four years and didn't realize that there were about 40 national parks within 30 miles of my house,” he said. “We always hear people say, 'Oh, I've never gone to that place. It's just down the road. I think it's easy to forget about all the amazing places that are close to us.”
* dream of ~ = ~을 꿈꾸다/ retire = 은퇴[퇴직]하다/ long-awaited = 오래 기다리던[고대했던]/ road trip = 장거리 자동차 여행/ all-American = 대단히[전형적으로] 미국적인; 전 미국 대표의, 미국에서 최우수의/ drive = (사람을 특정한 방식의 행동을 하도록) 만들다[몰아붙이다]/ tragedy = 비극(적인 사건)/ fulfill a dream = 꿈을 실현시키다/ extensive = 대규모의, 아주 넓은[많은]/ honor = 공경하다   

Meyer’s first plan was to visit all 59 of the major national parks in America, like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite. “But then I learned that this National Park system is way more than these capital “P” parks. It’s everything from national seashores to national monuments to national historical sites to national battlefields. It's this entire system that's so much more than just vistas.” Meyer’s trip will take him to all 50 states. He will be on the road for about three years, driving and living in a special van. Meyer receives an ink stamp in his National Parks Passport book for each site he visits. The passport book is issued by the National Park Travelers Club, an organization that helps visitors follow their national park visits. His first stamp of the trip came from his visit to the Washington Monument. He said he wanted his first stamp to be “something iconic, something all Americans and people around the world recognize, but maybe not know is a national park. He saved for his trip for four years and worked two jobs. But, he says, he is only fully funded for the first year. After that, he says, he hopes to raise money online and through sponsorships. Meyer plans to share his journey on social media. He also started a website for his trip. He hopes to encourage more young people to visit national parks. The average age of visitors to Yellowstone National Park, for example, is 54. “It’s important to me to show everyone around the world that the United States has this amazing national park system that has so much to offer beyond just the Grand Canyon…” He plans to end his long journey at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial, just a short distance from where his adventure began.
* national park = 국립공원/ national monument = (국가 지정의) 천연 기념물 (사적·명승지 등)/ historical site = 사적지/ iconic = ~의 상징[아이콘]이 되는, 우상의/ raise money = 돈을 마련하다/ encourage = 권장[장려]하다; 격려[고무]하다