Curiosity. It’s why the first explorers set sail, why we built a rocket to the moon, and what moves each and every one of us to travel. The opposite of being curious is being bored, and we think being curious is a lot more fun.

That’s why we’re sending Nat Geo Young Explorer Shannon Switzer on a quest to uncover off-the-beaten-path treasures as she wends her way around the American West this summer. Her search for secret places is wide open. We’re talking epic and minute, people and places, oddities and beauties. Anything a curious traveler wouldn’t want to miss.

Sometimes the biggest curiosities are in our own backyards — the things we know best, and have had time to investigate our whole lives — and sometimes they’re way beyond. It’s the difference between being a native and being a tourist, if you will.

That’s why this SoCal native will need a helping hand from our readers to uncover the secret spots only (okay, mostly) locals know about along her route. Shannon will be heading up the California coast to Oregon and Washington, across to Montana, down through Yellowstone and the Southwest, then back to San Diego (her hometown stomping grounds) for a July 4th finale.

The adventure begins this Monday, June 4th. Follow Shannon’s journey here on the blog, on Twitter @CuriousTraveler, and on Instagram @ShannonSwitzer.

Comments

  1. Megan Snedden
    New York
    June 4, 2012, 2:51 pm

    Hey Shannon … wait a go girl!!! I’ll be watching out for your stories. Catch you out there.

  2. Shannon Switzer
    June 5, 2012, 3:55 am

    Thanks Megan!!! I’ve still been enjoying keeping up with your work as well!

  3. Tessa
    Carlsbad, Ca
    June 5, 2012, 12:50 pm

    I can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures!

  4. Ben
    Coronado, CA
    June 5, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Oh the places you will go!

  5. Diane
    Oceanside
    June 7, 2012, 12:33 am

    Water, under rocks, behind trees, and in the dirt. A dream come true for you!! Watching and waiting.

  6. Suzi
    June 8, 2012, 10:41 pm

    Am living life through you and tour adventures! You go, girl.. and show me all the places we must go!!

  7. Kal
    Huntington Beach, cA
    June 9, 2012, 1:35 am

    May be out of range, but definitely not out of sync for sure. A getaway to the nature world is an enjoyment. This is a reminder of how simple, beautiful, and amazing life is. I love that in a person. AWESOME!

  8. Casey G.
    San Francisco
    June 9, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Sounds like an incredible journey! And I couldn’t think of a more fun-loving, adventure-seeking person to do it! Right on Shannon!!

  9. Jenny
    June 14, 2012, 10:43 am

    Go girl go! We are so jealous/excited!!! :)

  10. Laura
    Oceanside
    July 9, 2012, 6:29 pm

    Looks awesome! I can’t wait to hear about everything at our next get together!!!