Teen Travel Chat: My Favorite Travel Photos & What I Learned

Capturing moments through photos has been something that I have taken a big interest in. I really enjoy taking pictures and am always excited when I get the opportunity to do so. There is something unique about photography, and I absolutely love it. As I am learning more about photography, I have been able to snap some shots that I have grown to love. Below is a selection of some of my favorite travel photos I have taken when traveling. I hope you enjoy the pictures as well as hearing what lessons I learned on these trips! 


Brooke Chicago BarrisTourista

These shots were taken on a trip to lovely Chi Town. I snapped them on a nice spring day while walking in the city with my dad and little sister. What I like about these pictures is the colorful flowers that seem to brighten up the statues’ rainy day as they head to their destinations in the city. I also love how freakishly perfect the buildings appear against the blue sky. Throughout the walk, my head was on a swivel, marveling at the sleek skyscrapers, busy streets, and pops of color from yellow taxis. I learned to take time to enjoy my surroundings and live in the present moment, without clouding my mind with what just happened or what might happen next. I experienced taking time to appreciate things around me a little more, whether that meant lingering a little longer at something I felt was cool, like the statues.


Seaside, Oregon


Brooke Beach Small BarrisTourista

I went to Oregon for a summer basketball camp with my teammates. This was an intense week packed with everything basketball. My coach said that it was going to be hard (and it was), but looking back, I am glad I went. We all pushed ourselves and I believe we became better players by the end of the camp. My coach told us was that we would skip the very last day of the basketball camp and have a fun day instead. When the last day rolled around, my team and the coaches drove to Seaside, Oregon. We shopped, ate, and spent some time in Seaside, a beautiful beach located on the Pacific Coast. My favorite part was definitely going to the beach. It felt so good to go out and enjoy the sights in Oregon since we hadn’t been able to venture out before. I learned that it feels great to work hard and overcome a challenge, but it feels ten times better when you are able to reward yourself by relaxing and having fun as a result of that hard work.


Washington, D.C.

Brooke Memorial BarrisTourista

On my trip to D.C. a couple of years ago, I got the opportunity to see and experience a ton of things I will never forget. I got to participate in laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The only reason I was able to do that was because I decided to take a chance and write an essay in the hopes of being one of the four students picked to be wreath layers). I saw the White House for the first time in real life, and I went to a number of impressive museums and monuments. Overall, I learned two things from my trip to D.C.:

  1. You have to put yourself out there if you want to do something extraordinary.
  2. Putting in extra effort is extra evident in the end.

Las Vegas

BarrisTourista-Brooke Paris small

I took these two pictures when I traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada with my family, including a side trip to the Hoover Dam. They are my favorite because I conquered some butterflies that were in my stomach that lingered while I was up high in those mountains. They also remind me of how much fun I had in Las Vegas.

Photo watermarked with iWatermark for iOS.

Now, these two shots do not have a long explanation for the lesson that I learned. However I believe what I’m about to say can apply for multiple areas in life. What I learned is that you have to be brave and just do what you got to do! I had to do this in order to capture these Hoover Dam pictures!



Brooke Beach 2 BarrisTourista

When admiring the sunrise one morning and the expansive ocean, I’m reminded of how serene it was. Hearing the waves come up on the shore was extremely calming. During this vacation, I had been working hard all summer to complete an online American history class. I had made lots of progress but still had a portion of things to finish before the online class came to an end. Unfortunately, I needed to spend some time working on the class during my vacation (instead of relaxing in the pool 24/7), and that was a bummer. Although I wish I did not have to worry about the class on vacation, I had to because it was a priority. I managed to make progress in the class and still have a wonderful time doing what I wanted to do when I took a break.

I ended up finishing the class as well as enjoying the rest of my time in gorgeous, warm, memorable Cancun! I learned that it is so beneficial and necessary to take breaks from school/work, and that you shouldn’t work so much that you miss out on precious moments with the people you love.


I hope these photos were fun to look at and that perhaps these lessons are relatable to you. Be sure to come on back in June for a debrief of my trip to Florida.


brooke bio cancun spring break in chicagolandI am Brooke Lauryn. I am a high school student with diverse interests. I enjoy being a member of my high school band and marching at Friday night football games, along with participating in basketball and track & field. I appreciate art and music and learning about other cultures. I love spending time with my family and friends. Since I was a child I have always enjoyed traveling, and I look forward to sharing some of my favorite places and “cool” things to do with you.


I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

19 comments on “Teen Travel Chat: My Favorite Travel Photos & What I Learned”

  1. Great collection of photographs Brooke Lauryn! It looks like you were pretty high up on the Hoover Dam! I think I would have been nervous looking over it like that! Keep traveling and exploring the world, it will never cease to amaze you 😀

  2. I love that you are showing your daughter the roops to blogging and getting her involved in travel young. I wish I had that opportunity so sweet!

  3. Brooke it’s so awesome that you are able to reflect on the lessons learned after each of your trips. I think I will start journaling after I return home from each trip to allow myself the time to reflect on the experience. May you continue to enjoy exploring the country and the world and learning all of the lessons these experiences will provide.

  4. I love that a high school student you are already reflecting on life lessons and things you can take from something like travel where alot of us choose to turn off our thoughts and just enjoy. What a remarkable young lady. Thank you for sharing with us!

  5. The Cancun shot is my favorite; I live in the DC area so that shot is familiar. Like you every time I go somewhere I try really hard to capture the landscape around me.

  6. Great photos. I can’t wait to go to Vegas. Was supposed to go for my birthday, but I ended up going to Barbados. I always like taking pictures of my travels over selfies and pictures of me because it gives me a good feeling looking back and remembering the experience I had in that city or country. Thumbs up to those who get featured on those instagram accounts, but I always think “Are they going on vacation for likes or an experience?”

    1. Vegas is so much fun… but Barbados sounds absolutely amazing! I hope you have a blast when you are able to travel to Vegas. Totally agree with you on taking pictures of what’s surrounding me over selfies. I love looking back at the pictures of what I actually saw during each trip.

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