Where every Tuesday: I confess.
Confession: I don’t go on vacation for R & R, I go on vacation to GO.
I will never (okay, maybe don’t say never) go on a beach vacation where you bring a book and you sit under your cabana and read and drink and nap and relax. It’s not my style.
I have also learned in my travels that sometimes doing the things you do not expect to like – might turn out to be some of your favorite experiences.
I just got back from Tampa. Seriously – who goes to Tampa for vacation? I’ve been to crazier, more exotic places – Vegas, New Orleans, Sedona, San Diego, but this year I went to Tampa.
The first and truly main reason was to see Winter the dolphin. Maybe you’ve seen the movie Dolphin Tale? Maybe your kids have seen the movie?
Short version of the story is Winter got a crab trap wrapped up around her tail and eventually she lost her tail. Because she was so resilient she learned to swim more like a shark which over time will ruin her back and her back muscles because that’s not how dolphins are built to swim. Prosthetic makers developed a prosthetic tail which Winter now wears for physical therapy and to try to counter act the challenges on her spine. She lives permanently at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
*I am uploading my amazing video of Winter doing crunches to my You Tube page and I will put it in the Friday Fun email. It is the most amazing thing to watch.*
Also in Tampa is a zoo, Busch Gardens and beaches galore. And the Taco Bus (which I will get to at the end).
My expectations of this vacation were low. I have been telling myself the story that I don’t really enjoy Florida, I’m not a super beachy person, and I don’t really enjoy roller coasters (so why go to Busch Gardens?)
Let me tell you. This vacation surpassed my expectations and I learned so much.
- I learned an outstanding amount about dolphins and marine life
- I learned that Busch Gardens has an incredible, incredible set up for animals and I loved watching them (more than at the zoo!) I also went on a night time safari and saw the animals UP CLOSE.
- I learned that walking on the beach released SO many business ideas that I had to sit down and take notes on my phone while they were in my head
- I learned to navigate around a new environment
- I learned to drive a little zippy sports car looking rental car
- And so much more
Vacations have taught me to keep more of an open mind, to experience different cities, and to truly be grateful for going to sleep in a new place for a few days.
But the most valuable thing I have learned from each time I go somewhere new is that I am always excited and ready to come home. I love living in the north, I love the work I do, I love my routine, my coffee, my bed, my dogs, and most of all I love my life.
Sometimes in order to really feel how much I appreciate and love my own life, I have to go somewhere else and come back (even somewhere like Tampa).
That to me, is the true value of traveling.
Like one of my favorite quotes “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Travel is not always about where you go, but the journey while you’re there. I love this quote so much, it’s one of my tattoos. Did you miss the confession where I give out all the details on my four tattoos? Read the TATTOO CONFESSION.
Okay, remember how I said I loved the Taco Bus? Well it’s true. We found this restaurant that was originally a taco food truck (actually bus) and the food is incredible. Design your own taco, burrito, quesadillas, and more with all this homemade meat full of spices. And on the menu they talk about which ones are gluten free, which ones are vegan and make you very comfortable with your food choices. Check it out.
I challenge you to experience travel – in any capacity. To a new town close to you, in your own town, or far away. Let it change you.
Have a great week and if it’s snowing where you live – ENJOY!