Great Wide Open

You may have heard of the band 30 Seconds to Mars, if you haven’t then may be the names Shannon and Jared Leto might ring a bell.


If either of those don’t, then let’s just discuss travel!

What does 30 Seconds to Mars and Jared Leto have to do with travel?

And why does it matter?

I’ll get back to Jared Leto in a second, but first:

Have you ever been to a National Park?

Would you like to visit a National Park?

Do you know or like Jared Leto?

If the answer is yes, then this post is for you!

Nicole Zion

{My love for National Parks has grown considerably over the past couple years; they are very special places and it’s time I explain why and what inspired me to visit them.}

Just about the time I decided I wanted to explore more of the outdoors and when National Parks started to peak my interest, I’d noticed one of my favorite artist (30 Seconds to Mars) band members ( Jared Leto) posting about something called “The Great Wide Open” on his social media accounts.

{Though I was a little late to the party; I dug a little deeper to find out that he was promoting a docu-series. Unaware about what I was getting into, the short series is about National Parks and 5 people’s stories.}

Each video is 15 minutes in length. Each story is very personal and each shares a reason why National Parks are so important (to them).

{I highly suggest starting with Episode 3 and then watching Episode 1,2 & so on}

After watching the series, my interest in seeing National Parks blew up! I needed to see them immediately, I needed to experience what was left of the “wild!”

The fact that, there are still areas like this in the United States is pure insanity!

{I found the series about the time that I had started planning our Road Trip last year, which sparked the trip to Joshua Tree early in January of 2017. While visiting Joshua Tree I realized the importance of these places.}


When you experience nature in the raw, there is a feeling that washes over you that is unexplainable; it’s exciting and overwhelming but brings joy and shows you something real and genuine. It can also show you your place in the world and how small you truly are.


30 Seconds to Mars recently released their newest album America which features a song called “The Great Wide Open.” Granted there are various interpretations of songs and can be perceived as a love song, but I was able to get the bands’ input on the meaning:


{I recently went to see them in concert where I participated in a Meet & Greet before the show. The band hosts a Q&A session that typically lasts 30 minutes, followed by a photo op. During the Q & A I was able to ask them about the song and series which are both called “The Great Wide Open.”

When asked about the meaning of the song:   Jared explained that it was about a feeling, but also asked the questioner what they thought it meant. He also stated that it’s left up to interpretation but for him it was a feeling. This question led me to ask them if the series was created first or the song: Both Shannon and Jared answered simultaneously that it was at/around the same time they were filming the series. It was very clear that the feeling and experience of these parks (visited during the making of the doc-series) ignited a creative feeling for them to make this song.}

The feeling Jared got, must have been similar to what I experienced while I was in Joshua Tree.


{I’d been wondering about this series and why it was created since seeing it. During my trip to Joshua Tree, I needed more answers and I also wanted to know why Jared decided to get involved (Hints the reason to want to meet him). I also wanted to learn more about these places, why are they here and who in the hell stumbled across them and thought to themselves… this needs to be preserved; It must be kept in the raw and saved for “future generations?”}

Just a little history:

It was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt who brought Yellowstone and Redwoods to the the forefront and showed the American people that our lands were not just for establishing communities on, but were to enjoy and explore. He initiated the cause and sought to establish specified sites after visiting various places during hunting trips.

Yellowstone Arch

Turns out there were acts of congress to have them preserved. It was President Woodrow Wilson who signed the act to create the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916 who succeeded Roosevelt’s presidency.

The NPS just celebrated their 100th year in service in 2016 (The Great Wide series open was released also in 2016). Though Yellowstone had long been a park since 1872 and was the “first” established park, many places were on the list to follow such as Hot Springs, Yosemite and Sequoia.


Yosemite was actually deemed the first park, but only established as a state park before Yellowstone. As well, Hot Springs was established as a reservation 40 years prior to Yellowstone and used for utilitarian resources for distributing hot water.

As the United States grew and migration started taking over more and more of the lands, preserving these areas became an important part of our history. An important part that is somehow is always left out of our history books.

Here’s where Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars comes back in:


In this day-in-age, “celebrity” advocacy plays a major role in society. Without the endorsement of “X” celebrity some causes can loose traction. These causes are just asking to be heard. As America/ the United States changes, grows and carries the future generations there are certain things that we must remember the value of and the reason this country exists.

{Over the past year, Shannon and Jared have asked the world what America or “The American Dream” means to them. If you didn’t get a chance to see or hear about their single Walk on Water they give a portrayal of what today’s “American dreamers” believe:

During the Q & A at the 30 Seconds to Mars Meet & Greet I also asked them what America meant to them. As difficult a question this can be, Shannon did his best to try and answer my question by explaining that it’s (America) a place where freedom is unparalleled and that you can do almost anything. It’s a place to take chances and believe that there is something better. He then followed by saying that it’s a bit of a loaded question that can be challenging to answer without being political (at this time).}

So what should we remember?

  1. America/ The United States was founded on Freedom {I will leave that to your interpretation}
  2. This country was not always like it is today (mentally, physically & politically)

If this dock-series doesn’t inspire you, then here are some other important reasons why you should visit a National Park…

If you want to go back in time, head to Yellowstone. If you want to see something amazing, go to the Grand Canyon. If you want to test your limits, go to Zion. If it’s life you are in search of, go to a National Park; You will have a whole new perspective on it!

30 Seconds to mars is only asking that you pay attention to what is going on and where  America is going next, so pay attention.

This land was made for you & me


Until next time,

Safe Travels!


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