Portrait of a Semi-Seasoned Traveler

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Portrait of a semi-seasoned traveler is an on-going series featuring fellow travelers I have known personally, whether it be a long-time friend or a new acquaintance. These profiles are meant to inspire and pinpoint through opinions and memories why travel is such an attractive and life-changing experience. 
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Name: Hollis Ireland

A star is born; Hollywood, CA
Background: I was born in the south suburbs of Chicago, where I lived until I graduated high school. I moved to Indiana for college and then to Florida to pursue an internship. I’m a recent college graduate and full-time, freelance, traveling model. Instead of choosing the traditional route of “graduate college, get job, settle down, wear ball and chain,” I decided to hit the road and see where I could take my modeling business. The job market wasn’t providing me with any enticing career options, so this was the perfect opportunity. I love being an entrepreneur, and thus fully responsible for my life, reputation, and income. I’ll settle down eventually, but I hope to pursue a more alternative career path than most of my peers. My next stop will be a move to Philadelphia this Fall, which I am eagerly awaiting.
Where have you been and when? In the past year, modeling has taken me to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, DC,and  New York City. I also managed to visit Miami and the Florida Keys during the time I lived in Florida. My most recent modeling tour encompassed New Orleans, and three cities in Texas: Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Chicago has been one of my greatest markets for freelance work, and I used to travel around Indiana a bit to model while I was in college. The first time I ever boarded a plane for modeling was on a trip to Seattle, which showed me just much fun this lifestyle could be.

St. Petersburg, FL  Courtesy: Ryland Sherman
Most memorable moment(s)? Visiting Los Angeles was simply magical! I’ve heard of the insanity that it brings when one lives there full-time, but visiting was everything I could have hoped it would be: surreal, full of adventure and beautiful.
A moment you wish you could forget? On the ride home to St. Petersburg from my New Orleans/Texas tour, I was pulled over in a tiny, Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque, small town in Florida. It was only a routine traffic stop, but the officer, like most small-penis-having, southern republican cops, decided to mess with me a bit. First of all, I wasn’t even speeding! He lied about the speed limit just to pull over an out-of-towner, as small town cops love to do. He had no probable cause, but asked me to step out of the vehicle. He then proceeded to ask if he could search my car. I said “no” and hightailed it out of there! All that for a falsely-given, routine speeding warning! I was terrified after seeing the lies with which this man was able to get away.
Destination wish list: I really want to visit one of my best friends in Boulder, Colorado at some point. I’d also love to check out the haunted history of Salem, Massachusetts, as well as Boston. The huge Stephen King fan in me also wants to tour Bangor, Maine. Internationally, I’d love to visit Paris, London, and Ireland.

What does travel mean to you? Travel means experiencing something completely different from one’s usual surroundings, although I prefer to think of it in terms of visiting areas more than a single state away from home. I am a bit of a snob in that way. I wouldn’t really consider, for example, an Indiana resident who has visited Louisville, Chicago, and Cleveland to be a traveler. I think the love of travel starts small, sometimes in one’s own back yard, but it is up to the explorer to truly make him or herself into a well-traveled individual.

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If you have a great travel repertoire, or just really enjoy being on the open road while constantly planning your next excursion, I’d love to hear from you and feature you.
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