8 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Florida Keys

8 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Florida Keys

Sit back and relax as we count down the reasons to visit this tropical destination.
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With the recent increase of snow in the past weeks, it has been hard to imagine relaxing outside on a beach chair in 90 degree weather. One state that is able to have a year round luxury of this is Florida. While Disney World or Miami may be key destinations to escape the cold, many forget about the other Keys located just south of the Florida mainland. Listed here are reasons why you should visit here over any other destination.

1. Key Lime Pie


If you are anything like me, you like to eat, especially dessert. This delicious concoction comes together in a mouthwatering dish you will have to try every time you go out. Originally not even from Florida, the key lime was brought over by Spanish explorers, eventually becoming naturalized on the Florida Keys. Topped with an egg white meringue cream, this will become your new favorite dessert.


2. Fishing

The Florida Keys is home to some of the best fishing in the country. Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, you are surrounded by water home to all the fish you can catch. In addition, many of the fish have beautiful colors, like this mahi-mahi in the picture above. Just make sure to bring a pair of gloves as many of the fish have teeth.


3. No Passports Needed

Do not let the Conch Republic name fool you. As long as you live in the United States, a passport is not needed since these islands are a part of Florida. This will save you hours of paperwork and having to wait for the mail when your passport to finally arrive. Also, it is one less thing you will have to worry about forgetting on your kitchen table the day of your flight, now for your license, that is up to you.


4. American Money

Similar to the hassle of passports, you will be able to avoid having to convert your money prior to your vacation. Not to mention you will get to avoid those conversion rates where the U.S. dollar is worth much less in another country. Even if you wanted to leave your money at home and just take a debit card, you would be able to use any ATM machine likewise in the comfort of your own state.


5. The Wildlife

One of the best aspects of visiting the Florida Keys is getting to see all the wildlife you would not normally see. Amongst the wildlife, iguanas are one of the most popular. Now before you say gross, these reptiles are herbivores and mostly just hang out. Their color makes them extremely difficult to notice as they blend perfectly into the palm leaves. Other animals include lizards, alligators, and birds of all sorts.


6. Beaches

Covered in palm trees and fallen coconuts, the beaches of the Florida Keys provide a very tropical feel without even having to leave the country. The waters are mostly calm and have a beautiful light blue hue to them. Not to mention, the water is much warmer than your northern beaches, just remember to wear that extra sunblock.


7. Water Sports

From snorkeling to water jet packs, the Florida Keys are full of water sports. While some may prefer the more adrenaline sports such as jet skiing or kite boarding, others may prefer kayaking or paddle boating. Whichever you prefer, the Florida Keys have everything to accommodate everyone's desires.


8. Scenery

When driving on the highway, it can become very boring staring at the same things for hours on end. In the Florida Keys, you will not mind driving from island to island, not just because the distances are short but because the scenery is gorgeous. Just walking around you will see the beautiful flowers of vibrant colors and the different shades of water as you drive over the Seven Mile Bridge.

Cover Image Credit: homeaway.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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4 Cool Ideas Uber/Lyft Should Add  To Help Keep Riders Safe

Because enough is enough already.

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Over the past few months, there have been issues where Lyft/Uber drivers have been harassing, assaulting and even killing passengers. You never know who you get into a car with because there are sick people in this world. One girl came to social media to express her horrifying encounter with a Lyft driver. She was trying to go to CVS, but the Lyft driver turned the system off and proceeded to ask for her number and smoke. When the girl declined, he went off route and demanded she take her clothes off. She tried to call 911, but the driver tried to attack her. Luckily, there were people who witnessed her calling for help through the window and encouraged her to jump out of the car with scrapes and bruises.

This is scary because I had two Lyft drivers; BOTH were men, who asked for my number and to get a drink with me. I politely gave them my number out of fear, but immediately blocked and reported them once I got to my destination.

I shouldn't have to be put in this situation at all and no one else should either.

Earlier this year, a college student named Samantha Josephson was tragically murdered after entering the wrong car, which she believed was her Uber ride. After hearing the news, I started becoming super paranoid about riding Lyft/Uber. I started to become highly cautious when it came to the license plates matching the ride as well as the driver confirming his name. It is important for passengers to ask, "What is my name?" Before entering the car.

In April of 2019, Lyft shared its commitment to safety by informing customers about enhanced background checks and identity verification. However, that isn't enough in my opinion. Anyone can lie on their resume and still get the job. It's a sad case, but it's true. These ride-sharing companies should do more to ensure passengers are safe. You never know if someone is really trustworthy or not.

Riding in a vehicle with a stranger will always have risks, but these suggestions can keep passengers safe and stay alert to danger. After all, the key goal is to get to your destination in a safe manner. Some suggestions include:

1. Install a GPS warning/alert to authorities if the vehicle starts going off route.

There is no reason why your driver should be going off-route in the first place. Even if there is construction or an accident, the Uber/Lyft will update automatically for the driver. If the driver were to go off-course in the car, having the GPS notification will alert authorities immediately and track your exact location.

2. A safety/emergency button that will immediately call 911 (and also notify Lyft/Uber), which works if you cannot talk in the car.

This add-on will allow you to press and hold down a button, which immediately dials 911 and notifies Lyft/Uber. It will warn you and make you aware that you are alerting authorities. In most situations, calling 911 and "talking on the phone," will make the drive panic and act quickly. If the driver knows you're calling the police on them, they will strike. The key is to do everything in secret There is also an app called Noonlight (formerly known as Safe Trek) that does this. This works with or without internet.

3. A camera device that begins recording when the passenger enters/exits the car.

Some drivers have personal cameras for their own safety, however there should be one regardless that starts once the passenger enters and leaves. Some people are hesitant towards being recorded, but this will only be viewed by authorities/Lyft/Uber. I would rather be safe than sorry.

4. At the end of the ride, the PASSENGER would have the opportunity to end the ride, confirming they made it safe, rather than just the driver.

At the end of the ride, you get notified that you've reached your destination and the rating of your ride. However, the passenger should have the opportunity to confirm the arrival as well. Some drivers will say you arrived but you were probably dropped off at a further location. Some Uber/Lyft drivers will turn everything off. But the passenger will still have the power to confirm. If there is no confirmation after 30 minutes from drop-off, the authorities will be notified.

Honorable Mention: For now, it is best to start carrying pepper spray or a small knife with you. Always trust your gut.

Like I said, always trust your gut and if you have the opportunity, don't hesitate to take them down. This would be the last resort if nothing works out. But always CARRY a defense weapon on you. Your safety is the most important thing when getting from A to B.

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