Saturday, 02 July 2022

F Find Your Adventure

What’s in Your State?

Last July I did a column titled, Exploration Close to Home in Wyoming. I hoped to encourage readers to look for adventures close to home due to Covid travel restrictions in place at the time. Most, but not all, of those have been lifted, especially in the U.S., but we’re now dealing with high gas prices, so I thought I’d dust off the concept and toss around some more ideas.

I am fortunate to live in a state with a lot of open space and outdoor recreational opportunities, but throughout my travels around the United States, I’ve discovered that each state possesses a unique set of historical, cultural, and natural treasures worth exploring. When I visit a new state, I first go to and see if there are any National Park Service administered sites in the area. Then, I visit that particular state’s official website and look for state parks and other opportunities nearby. As I travel from town to town on my way to or from an attraction, activity, or destination, be sure to check out local websites or visit Chamber of Commerce offices to avoid missing unique opportunities like craft fairs, concerts in the park, or other limited time events.

If you’re new to a state, there’s no better time than the present to get to know it. If you’ve lived much of your life in an area, dig deeper, as there are likely many things to do and see that have slipped under the radar. Even though I grew up in Wyoming and thought I knew every nook and cranny of the state, I’ve discovered a whole new side to it over the past couple of years.

I enjoy the epic adventure or visiting those once-in-a-lifetime destinations as much, if not more, than anyone, but I’m also a practical realist, and I’ve always been a compulsive budgeter. If I can’t get to a place, I find another. If the cost is prohibitive, I do something else. The key is to set realistic expectations and enjoy what you have or can do rather than stew on what you want or can’t do.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve managed to squeeze in a couple of really great adventures, but I’ve also taken the opportunity to explore a little closer to home, and I highly recommend this as well. This summer may be the perfect time to get creative and find the hidden gems waiting just outside your door and find out what unique opportunities are available in your state.

Columnist: Kim McMahill

Picture Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense and adventure fiction. After living in eight different states and enjoying a rewarding career with the National Park Service, she has returned home to Wyoming to focus on her writing and spend more time with family. She has published ten novels, over eighty travel and human-interest articles, and contributed to a travel story anthology. Find out more about Kim by visiting her blog and connecting with her on Facebook and Twitter @kimmcmahill

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