Gay Traveler Plans To Become Youngest Person To Visit All 409 U.S. National Parks

"Life is too short to delay your dreams."

Mikah Meyer, a traveler who’s spent the last several years driving across North America, has set an ambitious goal for 2016.

Related: Gay Filmmaker Marks Broken Engagement With Inspiring 3,600 Mile Walk Across America

“I’m Mikah Meyer, and I’m here today because in 2016, America will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service Organic Act,” he said in a recent YouTube video announcing his upcoming journey. “To celebrate this occasion, I want to encourage people to experience this amazing resource in our own backyard.”

“So in 2016, I will embark on a three-year road trip to become the youngest person to visit all 400+ units of the national park system, and the only person to do so in one continuous trip.”

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Mikah explained his need to travel in a 2014 blog post on Huffington Post Travel.

In it, he detailed the pain of losing his father to cancer when he was just 19, and how he traveled as a means to cope with it. His father’s death and his subsequent nine-month journey across the country taught Mikah that “tomorrow is not guaranteed; so you better make today everything you want it to be.”

He wrote:

America’s roads taught me how to best live the life I still had. Those roads allowed me to see all the sights I’d spent years only dreaming about. They took me to visit every person I’d come to love over my 25 years. And lastly, America’s roads inspired my spirit. They showed me how to laugh harder, dream bigger, and love deeper. And that’s something I will take with me for whatever days I have left to enjoy this earth.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed; only today is. So take to the road and experience your dream journeys — now. Life is too short to wait.

Mikah’s trip has been planned with the help of the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Park Traveler’s Club, and Chris Calvert, the current youngest person to visit all the National Parks. While traveling, he plans to fully experience every park, advocate for greater youth and diversity participation, and share the journey through his website, Travel Beyond Convention.

Mikah is asking for donations to help complete his historic trip on his website and Facebook page. For more information, visit TBCMikah.com.

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett