I vote yes, and here’s why.

Photo by author

Before the movie Dolphin Tale became a blockbuster hit, I’d never heard of Clearwater. I’d also never heard of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the now-famous home of Winter the dolphin.

But just like it did for so many other people, that film resonated with me. Something deep inside me felt a connection to this little dolphin and her amazing story of survival against all odds. Once I found out that CMA was indeed a real facility (and not just a movie set), I wanted to learn more.

This desire to see Winter in person and to find out more about the…

Your chance to meet an Imagineer

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Many of the millions of people who visit Orlando, Florida annually end up making a stop at one or more of the Disney World theme parks.

Kids from all over the United States and the world are drawn to ‘the most magical place on earth,’ and for many families, a stop at the Walt Disney World Resort is a bucket list item. Growing up, I was fortunate that my family was one of those. Looking back, I’m grateful to my parents for making it happen, because we did have some magical moments and created special family memories on that trip.

Why I’ve never forgotten this beach, despite experiencing beach towns around the world

Photo by author

Of all the sunny beach towns you could flock to in Florida, none are quite like Clearwater Beach.

Despite experiencing the beach life of many other places around the world, such as the Caribbean, Central America, and Asia (and even the endless string of beaches the Florida Keys provide), Clearwater Beach has always stuck in my mind as one of the most memorable.

My mom and I spent a few days exploring Clearwater when I was in my early twenties, and no matter what other excursions we’d done throughout the day, I found myself being called back to the beach…

No snow needed for this sledding adventure!

Lionello DelPiccolo/Unsplash

I recently learned that Alaska is home to some pretty massive sand dunes that are 100 feet tall in some places.

This was a huge surprise to me because I’ve always associated sand dunes with desert landscapes — and Alaska is by no means a desert.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a vast wilderness and wildlife haven that transforms from an oasis of lush greenery and rushing rivers in the spring and summer to a frozen tundra in the winter months. Nowhere in there was I aware of sand dunes.

But then I discovered the biggest sand dunes in…

Head to Old Town for some of the island’s best sights

Joshua Case/Unsplash

Key West is a remarkably walkable island.

In fact, my partner and I walked a good part of it in one day on a trip there a few years ago. We rented a sailboat as our accommodation for a few days, and then walked or drove everywhere we wanted to go.

At about four miles long and one mile wide, Key West is just small enough to make sightseeing on foot a possibility for those who are avid walkers, but I wouldn’t suggest trying it if you aren’t used to walking long distances or have a family in tow. …

Foodies/eco-adventurers will love these…

Photo by Florida Guidebook on Unsplash

I tend to be the kind of traveler that doesn’t do a ton of research before arriving in a new place.

I sometimes feel that you can learn a lot more about a place by going into it without preconceived notions or expectations based on what you’ve read and tried to “pre-learn.” If I do too much planning beforehand, I wind up treating my trip like a series of scheduled events that need to run on time with so many things booked per day, rather than the relaxed exploration and adventure it was intended to be. …

…it was better!

Photo by author

I’ll never forget what it was like to see an iceberg for the first time.

There it was, just floating there, less than a hundred feet away. I just stared at it for a few moments; I honestly couldn’t believe it was real!

Granted, it was nothing like the massive and jagged ice blocks the size of buildings that I’d seen on TV in places like Antarctica (and that’s only what’s visible above the water!), but it’s still etched in my memory as a unique experience I’ll always remember.

About ten years ago, my parents took my sisters and I…

I never knew there were wild monkeys in Florida…

By Anoldent/CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Cruising the Silver River feels like you’ve gone across the world and back in time. — Quincy Dunn-Baker

I’ve been to Florida several times and have come to love the Sunshine State’s sandy beaches, beautiful warm weather, and abundance of water-related activities.

I’m also drawn to its varied and fascinating wildlife, both on land and underwater, where another world reveals itself. I’ve come to view manatees, sea turtles, crocodiles, dolphins, and reef-dwelling creatures as Florida icons, and these animals are perfectly suited to Florida’s diverse habitats.

But I recently learned of an animal that I never would have imagined being…

Arctic sand dunes!? Come on!

National Park Service/Public Domain

“Massive mounds of golden sand look like a desert landscape randomly plopped in an Arctic forest.” — Atlas Obscura

Before ever traveling to Alaska, I imagined it to be many things. But I have to admit that a land of giant sand dunes certainly wasn’t one of them.

In fact, when I first read about them in a magazine, I thought it was a mistake. Maybe they’d mixed up the locations, I thought. Surely the 100-foot sand dunes being described were in a desert somewhere, not the frozen wilderness that Alaska is best known for.

I just couldn’t imagine it…

You can still make your great escape if you open your mind

Wren Cabin — View from Cabin. Photo by Cabinscape.

For months now, my partner and I have been itching to get out of the house and go someplace new. Recurring stay-at-home orders have become commonplace over the past year, and the most recent one came to an end last week.

The government is slowly beginning to roll out its phased re-opening plan, but many stores, small businesses, restaurants, and other attractions that would normally be ramping up for a busy cottage season ahead remain closed or are running modified operations to adhere to Covid regulations.

With the typical range of summer travel options severely limited, it wasn’t easy to…

Allison Burney

Life is an adventure, and learning is never finished. Sharing insights, experiences, and lessons learned to inspire your curiosity and creativity.

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