A new year means another set of New Year’s resolutions. Whether you do them or not, we all want to make our lives happier, healthier and more fun — so why not make everything into an adventure?! That’s exactly what I decided to do over the holidays and I had a blast!

Yeah, I could’ve hopped on a flight back home to St. Louis to visit my family over the holidays, but why do that when you can make a road trip of it?

Instead of taking the easy route across the country from Jacksonville, FL, to STL (via plane), we decided to pack up our car and take an extra day for travel. It was so worth it!

Not only did we have more room for our belongings (and Christmas presents) but we were able to experience parts of the country we had never taken the time to stop and visit. My boyfriend and I stopped in Athens, GA, overnight to stay with family and visit the cute little college town. This was my first visit to the University of Georgia and I liked it! (Although this Mizzou girl was definitely in enemy territory.)

The next day– after having breakfast at the adorable Ike & Jane Cafe in Athens– we continued north to Chattanooga, TN, where we took the day to visit the breathtaking Rock City and Ruby Falls. Anytime I can get outside and check out the natural wonders of our country, I do. This is a MUST stop if you are ever in the area. Dinner at night in fun, downtown Chattanooga is a perfect way to cap off your time in the city!

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This won’t be the last time we road trip from Florida to our hometown in St. Louis. Not only did we experience new parts of the country, but we spent quality time together in the car and that was a lot of fun too!

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But our adventures didn’t end there. Of course, we had to create additional new experiences when we got back to St. Louis. From hiking the bluffs in the Mississippi River bottoms, to checking out the holiday lights at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery — we even did NEW things in a place we’ve lived for most of our lives. (Like crush balls from the top of the bluffs, 850+ up. So cool!)

So next time you are thinking about taking the short way home, resist and make it a road trip! How about that for a New Year’s Resolution?!