Thursday, May 22, 2014

Checking off the must-do vacation adventures

Shell Island by Christy Woodrow
PANAMA CITY BEACH — What’s on your bucket list?

I ask, as the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau is celebrating (and promoting) tourism with a new campaign called “Real. Fun. Beach. Bucket List.”

The effort kicked off recently with a party at the recently expanded Harpoon Harry’s featuring five “family and adventure” bloggers, as well as the launch of a new interactive website that helps visitors explore Panama City Beach from end to end, throughout the year.

The site encourages visitors to click on photos to add items to their vacation bucket lists and qualify for prizes by posting photos of their visit. The prizes include CVB-branded towels, T-shirts, stickers, Frisbees and more.

Some of the suggested experiences on the list include: snorkel, boogie board, get a picture with a pirate, hook and cook your dinner, master body surfing, play miniature golf, watch a breathtaking sunset, build the ultimate sand castle, run a race, watch dolphins, gather seashells, scuba dive, and write a love note in the sand.

Reading the complete list, I can safely say I’ve already checked off nearly all of those items. That’s what it means to live in paradise, I suppose. Our same-old same-old is someone else’s dream vacation. Our day at the beach is someone else blowing their whole savings account.

The visiting bloggers included Jessica Bowers of “Suitcases and Sippy Cups,” Keryn Means of “Walking On Travels,” Kristin Luna of “Camels and Chocolate,” Christy Woodrow of “Ordinary Traveler,” and photojournalist Spencer Spellman of “TheTraveling Philosopher.” They spent a few days in Panama City Beach exploring and filling out their own bucket lists, and sharing their experiences with their multitude of fans.

The group has been “posting some great shots and video, and because of the number of followers that they have, they’re reaching a huge audience,” said David Demarest of the CVB. “A sunset photo one of the bloggers posted early in the trip quickly reached over 200,000 views, and that’s just one of the five bloggers sharing their experience.”

The term “bucket list” has always bugged me because it’s about trying to get some things done before you kick the bucket. I prefer Spellman’s use of the term “life list” on his blog, as that’s what it’s really about — getting the most out of this life.

When I remember to look at it from the outsider’s perspective, I realize again how lucky I am to live here, and I hope you feel the same.


Peace.
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