The Grand Tetons & Wild Yellowstone. How do you describe something so awesome, out of this world, and mind-blowing? When experiencing Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons those are just some of the questions that came to mind. For me, it was an adventure that was centering, spiritual and fortunate. While both Yellowstone and Grand Teton had limited services, a big bummer for families - I didn't care. The reason I came isn't for services, it's for everything that makes these places National Parks. The mountains, waterfalls, streams, steam pots, mud pots, wildlife and more.
I bought the "America the Beautiful" Pass through a third party that had some left over after the actual government site stopped selling them. I remember when it came in the mail I held it up high, and felt like Ralphie when he got his BB gun in "A Christmas Story." The cost is $80 and it gets you and another person in to every National Park Across America, in my case saving me hundreds of dollars.
Since I wrote last, I've seen 3 National Parks in Wyoming and one in Idaho. I've met more local vendors, and will be rolling out the series "Adventures Across America" 2021 starting mid July. The places and things we'll do will stay true to the My XO Adventures brand. We'll have excellent vendors, experience based trips, cultural inclusions with indigenous peoples, culinary delights and a light hearted feel. This is our goal, which is a high bar. In the end we hope you not only enjoy whichever part of the series you purchase, but make friends along the way. If you haven't been following along, please do at www.facebook.com/myxoadventures. I'm on a scouting mission, so please keep in mind some of the crazy things I do along the way we won't be doing as a group necessarily. Our group sizes will be from 8-15 and we will use a combination of Vannah White (Our Tour Van) and some of the vendor vehicles to accomplish our mission.
There will be time for shopping and doing some of the very hokey touristic things, but these items won't be our focus. They'll be more like the cranberry sauce to your turkey. For now, I ask that you keep following along, and if you would like to be put on the waiting list, email me at [email protected] to be considered first in line to review and decide to participate. I sincerely hope you all are well and safe, and ask for you to reach out and say hi or give a virtual wave as I travel across the country.
Lastly, Romania Fairytales and Legends is on. It is the last international trip I've designed and will be for some time. It's September of 2021 and very limited. We're offering down payments of $100 per person on this trip with a maximum of 16 people going. It's a place I love and want to share with you. Again, visit the website to reserve or email me to get on the list! [email protected]
My XO Adventures has left the room and hit the road! My name is Daniel Milks and I’m the owner of the company. After coming back from Cuba on March 17th it was a different world. My business, (the tourism sector) came to a complete stop. Immediately before anything else, my colleagues and I went from boom to bust. Now many of us are in the same basket. I did my share of isolation and housekeeping with the business and as I read article after useless article and time-wasting ZOOM meetings offering virtual encouragement followed by expensive marketing plans that promised to get us all out of this mess I had enough. I literally said to myself, this is all BS. I’m not saying the intentions of these efforts were bad, what I’m saying is they were as stale as a brick and mortar Travel Agency stocked full of dusty plastic plants, brochures, and reeks of coffee with a side of regret. The stories that hit my heart were the ones of hard-working people and small businesses The stories of fear, worry, and desperation.
Families to feed, possibly businesses folding, unemployment systems unable to help the unemployed, disaster loans, and more.
I thought, something is wrong with all of this. Really wrong. Not the virus, not the masks, but real action on the part of those able to help. I had to ask myself, “Daniel, what are you going to do?” I can help others, learn in the process, promote my hometown, and keep my business relevant. There are some things you can do that if planned right, contain multiple facets and click right into place like a swiss watch.
I was going to do this. I reached out to multiple organizations early on but got a lot of maybe’s and no’s when it came to helping to promote Sarasota. I’d ask another way, offer to pay, do the work for free but just dead ends. This is from an area that would be crushed without tourism long term. I thought, here I am offering to get on the road and do the work for free as a resident of Sarasota. Wait, there’s my permission. I’m a resident of Sarasota for 28 years, I don’t need the endorsement, help of, a degree from or the blessing of anyone to do this. I am smart, I am important and gosh darn it people like me. All it took was the first step. I took all the seats out of my van and packed it with camping gear, a kayak, food, and self-made curtains friends would make fun of for years.
I headed out the backroads (the roads less traveled) and it’s much, much more interesting. Longer but a great experience. I’m meeting mom and pop businesses and promoting them as I go along. Relationships are blooming and some pretty amazing things are coming from it. Next year is going to be awesome, but today is amazing.
Strength comes from within. It doesn’t come from a TV monitor, a radio flap jaw, or a party leader. You’ve got everything you need to succeed and to overcome today’s challenges. You can do anything you want, and you can do it well. Don’t believe me? You’re free to choose. My hope is that we get to travel together on an adventure. Keep following along will I confidently stumble through this exercise. www.facebook.com/myxoadventures and like the page.
So far, Adventures across America has been quite interesting. Leaving Sarasota in the rearview mirror, on my own headed to who knows where in the middle of a crisis felt ridiculous and made perfect sense at the same time.
If you haven’t been following along, please like our Facebook Page. You’ll see Vannah (Our Tour Van) and me travel across America to see as many Parks, Monuments, and Curiosities along the way. You’ll also have to choose from that will actually determine the direction and place I’ll visit along the way. You in part will take the wheel for me.
I have a few objectives in this project. One is to provide you with a real-life interactive way to travel and keep interested in My XO Adventures. The second is to promote Sarasota as well as the businesses I’m visiting along the way. I think we have an obligation to do what we can to help one another, and this is the way I believe I can do it. I hope you follow along, participate, and provide words of encouragement as I make my way across the country!
In the meantime and for the rest of this year, I’ll continue to promote Sarasota and Florida vacation packages. It’s My XO Adventures belief that recovery starts at home and spreads from there.
Next, I’d like to talk about the changes we’ll be making over the next couple of months. We will begin to set specific limits on the size of groups we work with on each departure and never deviate from it. Cleaning protocols are being discussed and implemented for any tour utilizing the van. Our vehicle will be cleaned after every use, with a CDC recommended disinfectant. Hand Sanitizer will be made available and utilized before entry, and upon exit of the vehicle. The doors, as always will be opened and closed for you. That doesn’t change, it’s just good customer service!
Lastly, we will be looking at COVID-19 Free Zones to Visit and focus on those destinations over the next few years. What we mean and where these are located will be explained over the next few months so stay tuned as we work with international organizations on a cohesive response to the New Next of Travel.
In the meantime, please support your local small businesses. There is a reason the airlines are bailed out and the Bus Company isn’t. Why large businesses are put to the front of the line and small business is left to survive on their own. I can tell you this small business can and will survive with or without government help. We’ll do it through innovation and determination, and also with your support. We thank you, wish you good health, and give our best to you and yours during this time.