May is almost over, and the summer is beckoning me to take some time off. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of vacation time to use, but that doesn’t mean I won’t find a way to enjoy some summer fun. I’ve seen many people already going to the beach to get some summer fun in while they can. I’m jealous because I’d love to feel the ocean splashing over my feet while walking on the sandy beaches. I can’t tell you the number of times I would love to be sipping on a margarita while reading an intense thriller. Or how often I would crave the moments of feeling like I was one with the mountains. Something is exhilarating about getting away from the chaos in our worlds and finding our footing.
With the summer quickly approaching, I started thinking of places that I could venture for day trips with friends. If you are into wine, wineries are a fantastic option. Not only can you learn about various wines that are available, but you learn about the wine process, get a chance to sample various blends, and expand your palate.
I have a cousin who moved to Hawaii, and she has gotten quite adept at free-diving. She makes me jealous on many levels because her body has all but become one with the ocean. She’s exploring all kinds of marine life, swimming with dolphins and sharks, and finding a happy place that many only dreams of finding. I find it fascinating to see the underwater pics that capture her dives and visits with the world of the sea. She’s been so close to sharks that I admire her ability to join them in a world I don’t understand. When I was in Hawaii, I was in awe of the waterfalls that seemed to go on forever. In many ways, visiting the Big Island was a rebirth for me because it allowed me to taste paradise for a spell.
I’ve mentioned I’ve traveled a lot. If I could go anywhere for a summer vacation, I’d be in España. Why? Because Spain is rich in history, the atmosphere appeared calmer, and the people made me feel alive. There is a beauty within the old cities that is difficult to duplicate and explain. In many ways, it felt as if the journey was calling me home. Olive trees are abundant, and even though I’m acutely aware of how their dinner times reserve for the later evening, I still surround myself with the wonder of a child when it comes to traveling somewhere that I may encounter. Traveling abroad is not something to do for a short spell. If you’re going to use the time to travel overseas, make sure you have time to soak up every opportunity possible.
Thinking about places I’ve been made me think of some other traveling spots that people might be interested in because now that the COVID restrictions are lifting, people are more inclined to explore a little further from home. Here are some of the places you might want to explore.
- Grand Canyon, Arizona. North Rim of the Grand Canyon at sunset. It’s been a few years since I’ve been there, but the Grand Canyon at sunset is breathtaking. From the air, it looks like a masterpiece, but on land, it is indescribable. It’s one of the few places on earth that will make you feel the majesty of its presence.
- Yellowstone National Park. This park is one of my favorite spots to visit. The canyons and rivers are vast and leave a lasting impression. To explore the entire park would take time, and if you love the outdoors, you will want to check out this incredible place in the United States.
- Outer Banks, North Carolina. I’m a sucker for the outer banks. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a beautiful sight to see, and we have many different lighthouses in our state of NC. The best part of the outer banks is the history and legends that accompany the stories and buildings. If you love history and are a bit of a paranormal buff like me, you might enjoy some of the incredible ghost stories that align with the banks. After all, there’s a reason that it’s known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
- San Diego Zoo. After my safari in Africa, all zoos seem to pale in comparison, but I admit that the San Diego Zoo is the next best experience I could have gotten. With their wide array of animals to visit, the zoo is constantly changing their experiences. Learning about exotic animals helps everyone understand the significant roles these incredible creatures play in the wild and our everyday lives. Even if we don’t encounter these animals often, they are a part of this world and contribute to things we don’t see. That’s why places like zoos and conservation centers are essential.
Okay, so these are four places that give you a few ideas. If you don’t want to travel out of state, look at areas you’ve never been to and see what interests you. Sometimes there are places in your backyard that you never thought about exploring. Maybe there’s an upcoming festival that you have been looking forward to, or there might be a historical marker near your home that you’ve wanted to check out. There might be a pool or river rafting close by and waiting for you to visit. The possibilities are endless, and giving ourselves a chance to live our lives to the fullest is something we all should get excited about because life is too short to keep putting our lives on hold. Enjoy the day, everyone, and start planning your summer adventures!