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Joe Noonan
It's All About The Ride was founded by Britta and Joseph Noonan. Britta and Joe are a happily married couple who share a love for travel, exploring and experiencing all that life has to offer. Currently on a work assignment away from their home in beautiful Coeur d' Alene, ID, they are presently living full-time in a fifth wheel near the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. Both Britta and Joe are adventure seekers with experiences and insights into all aspects of exploring and visiting unique locations. From camping off the back of a motorcycle to living out of an RV and exploring off the beaten path, their product and trip reviews come from first-hand knowledge and a love of seeing and experiencing all that life has to offer.

Travel Tips: Research And Discover Adventure In Your Own Backyard

If there is one comment that Britta and I hear the most, it's, "We love following your trips! I wish we could travel as much as you two do."

One thing I noticed returning back to my home state of New Jersey around Y2K, after living in Seattle for 10 years, was how little I actually knew it. I mean, I knew my home town intimately. I knew major sites like the Jersey Shore, and Giants Stadium. I had not traveled in the Garden State though. I had traveled a little on vacations but they were the kind you save for and go once every couple years. Then, once vacation was over you went back to the grind and the blinders went back on. It was family, then to work, weekends to the bar and then repeat. I never viewed New Jersey as a tourist who was visiting the state for the first time.

copyright@ 2017Jospeh Noonan Photography
Japanese Garden in Manito Park in Spokane. We would never have known this beautiful spot was a short drive from our home if we had not decided to go out and explore our area.

Subsequently, I never went out and just explored New Jersey History. New Jersey is loaded with historic parks and monuments. The "Top Ten Things To Do In Your State" list was never on the radar because, as a resident, they were just things tourists did.

Patriot's Path in Jockey Hollow, Morristown, NJ
Patriots Path in Jockey Hollow, Morristown, NJ. This park was is my backyard growing up and I never gave it a second look. When I returned home years later, I hiked here weekly.  This award-winning photo of Patriots Path, Take A Hike, has become one of my best selling prints.

Something changed during those 10 years away- I had changed. Driving twice across the country
makes you realize how accessible the country is once you hit the open road. I think that was the biggest change, my perspective. During the drives crossing the country, coupled with my time on the west coast, I found I was living in an exciting area that tourists go to. So, as a new resident and, honestly, an excited tourist, I started visiting every little cool thing that I could ride, drive or bike to. My mini "staycations" would be crammed into a weekend. These outings also ignited my photography bug. I wanted to share these new unique places with family and friends. I knew my parents, for example, would never or could never go to these places in person. It was rewarding to capture a landscape and have someone view it in awe.

The Cliffs of Moher is one of my favorite shots from our trip to Ireland.

 I succeeded in bringing images of my rides and travels to them. Photography became a passion and is rewarding to me on many levels.

Enter Britta, my one true love and partner in life. Britta has always had a passion for travel as well. She is the inspiration behind It's All About The Ride. "Visitin" is a term I soon learned that her Oklahoma and Texas kin like to say. It could be a trip next door for coffee, or a surprise cross-country trip to see an Aunt or Uncle. "Visitin" is a travel bug that Britta's family loves to do, and luckily for me, instilled into her.

Combined, Britta and I fuel each other's thirst for exploring. I could not think of a luckier man than myself in that regard. We love to see the weird, small, and unique places off the beaten path.

Every trip we do, from the 1 hour drives- to visiting Ireland accomplishes one thing for us. It satisfies our curiosity about the history and uniqueness of that area, and gives us a memory that we love to discuss later through a good story or through a photograph. It's All About The Ride means travel. Britta and I love to, and we do not spend a great deal of money on most of our weekend getaways. Once you start researching small day trips, one thing that is for certain is how you will be amazed by how many fun, cool, and interesting places there are within a short drive from you.

Start close to home and work your way out. A very fun series of books that coincidentally started in New Jersey as a newsletter was called "Weird NJ". It was reader submitted and publisher verified oddities, mysteries, odd news stories, and hauntings that are in the Garden State. Fast forward 10 years and the newsletter has spread into a full blown country phenomenon called "Weird US". They have books for almost every state. Purchase a book and just start reading and soon you will have a list of things you want to explore.

Have lunch in a haunted hotel. Take a photo at the spot where Alexander Hamilton was mortally wounded in a dual. A cool trip for us we found in our "Weird Arizona" book is one of Arizona's oddest, and oldest tourist attractions. A 2 hour drive from our home is none other than England's London Bridge, the very one immortalized in the nursery rhyme in which it's falling down, falling down, falling down.

The original London Bridge is in Arizona on Lake Havasu.
The original London Bridge was brought over from London and re-assembled brick by brick on Lake Havasu in Arizona.

Another great example of inspiration for exploring is researching, and finding movie filming locations. Britta and I are huge movie buffs.  We were very surprised to find that so many of our favorite films were actually filmed in our home state. We also make a point to research an area we are planning to visit, and see if any movies were filmed there. It is exciting to see the real locations of your favorite films (most locations are free to visit). When in Washington D.C., we made a side trip to see the famous home and neighborhood of one of our favorite films,"The Exorcist".

copyright@2017Joseph Noonan Photography
The stairs made famous in The Exorcist are free to visit and a great example of exploring famous film locations. 

Film locations, Goonies was filmed in Astoria, OR
Goonie fans will recognize this as the museum where Mikey's dad works as a curator. Goonies was filmed in Astoria, OR.

You have no more excuses! If you want to start exploring and going on adventures you only need to look in your own backyard. Grab a couple off the beaten path books, research filming locations, grab your camera and just get out there and go! You will be surprised how much is right next door once your start exploring. Have fun and enjoy!

It's All About The Ride!