Having been born in Tampa and spending the better part of my youth on the beaches of Clearwater, Pensacola and Panama City, I have a deep affinity and love for my home state of Florida. After 64 days of continuous oil and methane leaking off the coast of Louisiana, my beloved home state is now at high risk for severe contamination. And the end is nowhere in sight.
Never before have I felt such a strong urge to immediately make the sojourn back to the coasts of my beloved Florida to revel in what are still some of the most amazing and pristine beaches in all of America. I can’t help but wonder how much longer that will be the case. As each day passes and no solutions are found and the oil keeps flowing, my need to go gets more and more strong.
In the midst of confirming reservations for our upcoming group trip to Costa Rica and a FAM to Ixtapa in August, I have noticed that the joy I would normally feel in finalizing plans to visit these two amazing places for the very first time, is somehow sadly diminished. It feels like a betrayal on my part to even consider going anywhere else right now.
I begin to realize that my concern has turned to worry. Worry, that started out as a small nagging throb in my temples, has now become a full fledged migraine that I seek daily to quell, with no relief in sight. Until a solution is found to stop the oil flow or completely contain the spill, I have no doubt that I will remain deeply pained both emotionally and physically.
Having been based in one of the states most damaged by the mortgage crisis, then fighting to survive the recession amidst repeated battering on both sides by last year’s hurricanes, I am continuously amazed and proud of how resilient this peninsula has always been. But will it be able to survive the onslaught of the worst environmental disaster of all time?
No one can predict what the outcome will be or which coastline state will be most damaged, although the computer generated timeline predictions look most dire for Florida at this point. If these timelines are even remotely accurate, the entire coastline of Florida from the Gulf to the Atlantic will be inundated with oil before the end of summer, if the oil is not stopped soon.
Not only will this be a death knell for the tourist industry, but perhaps for the entire economy of Florida. And then what? Personally, I know that no matter where I find myself fortunate enough to be vacationing or traveling, until this is resolved, my heart and mind will be in Florida. And all my prayers as well.
April Scarlott is a lifetime Houston Bay Area resident, travel and adventure junkie, and member of the International Travel Writers and Photography Alliance. She attended college at the University of St. Thomas and currently holds multiple licenses in real estate and is a member of OSSN. She is full partner for Thrillseekers Travel Club which arranges group tours for other travel and adventure enthusiasts. She has combined her passion for writing and adventure travel into a full time dream career. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 1-888-970-8747 or visit at the website at www.thrillseekerstravelclub.com.
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