Some of the best trails in Central Florida can be found in Seminole State Forest in Eustis, Florida. With over 23 miles of multi-use trails (8 miles of which are part of the Florida Trail) this is a great area that you will return to again and again, whether it be for hiking or trail running.
It's common knowledge that people who love their Chacos really love their Chacos. They'll wear them anywhere while doing just about anything—from rock hopping, to running errands, to participating in life events many would deem as 'non-Chaco' as they come (like getting married, for instance). The original Chaco sandals were designed for river guides, and to this day they still perform exceptionally well in water. But true “Chaconians” love to wear them across all disciplines (hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, etc.) and in all seasons.
Traveling is certainly many things to many people, and few places is that evidenced more than at Travel Country, where people come in to visit places all over the world for myriad different reasons. And that is great, because there are few things more rich than experiencing a new culture for the first time. For me, it is the best thing about travel and, ultimately, I don’t think travel is healthy unless it is rooted in the traveler immersing himself/herself in the local culture. This can be quite difficult and definitely takes work. But when you choose to do it, it can make such a difference in your experience and—more notably—the experience of those whom you interact with on your visit. A nice byproduct is that when you do this, you can fit in quite nicely and experience a truer version of that culture.
Mike Plante credits the summers he spent with this family on the road in a motorhome for his love of the outdoors.
“I snored a lot, so typically I was sleeping in a tent most nights. We all spent a lot of time sitting around campfires,” recalls Plante, the family member now managing Travel Country Outfitters in Alamonte Springs, FL. “And we were always reading guidebooks and going hiking and fishing. We were extremely lucky to get to do that together for a decade or so.”
One of my favorite off-radar purchases of the last few years is a Coolmax Adaptor Travel Liner from Sea to Summit. I had no idea how critical it would be to my trip as I traveled around the U.S. There were a few particulars that made the liner so critical and that cause me to now encourage most travelers to carry a sleeping liner:
I’m not a doom-and-gloom type of person, but I like to be prepared. I’m not afraid to land at an airport in a developing country that some say may be unsafe, by myself, with a single bag, and spill out onto the city without too many fears that I’ll be troubled.
I generally know that I can take care of myself, fly under the radar, and not have much worth taking, but one thing people can take is technical information from my credit cards. That’s why the one safety travel equipment that I carry is RFID blocking accessories.
A night of travel and precious few hours of sleep had me worn out by the time I spilled off the train into downtown Kuala Lumpur. I followed directions from a couple Malaysian men toward my destination—a condo I’d have the good fortune of staying at the next few days with a friend. All I had to do was get there without passing out.
With the wind in my face and a full meal in my stomach, I sped around the northeastern side of Bali on my $1.50-a-day scooter, looking to experience the unique Balinese cultural in new ways. A wave of desire swept over me, and I knew it would be like discovering a pot at the end of the rainbow if I could find some palm trees on the shore to set up my ENO hammock for an afternoon nap.
Here are the second 5 of my top 10 massive U.S. city parks.
–I have to have personally spent time in the park.
–It has to be larger than 100 acres.
–It cannot be a national park or monument.
Balboa Park (San Diego, California)
One of the oldest city parks in America has just about anything you’d want in your local park—fields, trails, restaurants, a zoo, theatres, museums, beautiful Spanish architecture, even a hospital close by if you get injured. Sitting in this park at dusk, I could have closed and opened my eyes to find myself in a modern Mediterranean paradise, such is the feel of this park. Oh, and it’s a whopping 1,200 acres.
Most of my experience with park rangers is related to their extreme level of helpfulness. They’ve excitedly aided me and different groups of friends as we decided how to weave through the peaks and valleys of various national parks and forests, taken my calls from Travel Country for over-the-phone customer advice, and I’ve found them on the trail ready with smiles and tips about coming adventure.