I originally published this on my original blog but felt it was worth mentioning again.
If you are anything like me, sometimes when you think of travel, the attractions close to your home are the ones that are farthest from your mind. It sounds so much more adventurous to travel around the country, visiting whatever you stumble upon. And though that is incredible when you can do that, I want to encourage you not to forget about that wonderful park 15 minutes from your home, the unique carousel downtown or the historic mansion and gardens across town.
I couldn't believe it when we were staying in Virginia Beach and the clerk at the library told me that she'd only been to the ocean once, and she had lived there her entire life! To her, the ocean just wasn't a big deal and wasn't worth fighting the crowds for. I can understand not wanting to deal with the crowds, but there is a such thing as an off season! And yet I was speechless when the same clerk was fascinated when I told her that we were from Ohio and she remarked how fortunate we were to live by one of the Great Lakes. She'd visited family in Cleveland and just LOVED Lake Erie and couldn't wait to return! You see, sometimes we think something is better if we have to travel a huge distance to get there, or if we have to pay more to see it and we aren't appreciative of what's close by.
My 4th grade teacher once expressed regret that she'd never visited the Smucker's Jelly Plant and she grew up right down the road. She always thought since it was close by, she could visit anytime and yet she never did. I know this to be true in my own life. There are still many sites in Ohio that I'd love to go to and yes, regrettably, one of those is in the town I grew up in.
So, when you're planning a weekend getaway or a quick vacation, why not make a list of what's nearby and visit some of the local attractions? You may be surprised by what you find! ~ Happy Traveling!