In 2014 I visited the Everglades for two purposes: to meditate and to see alligators. I stayed at a hostel near Ft. Lauderdale, where I met interesting people, played a few rounds of chess, and cooked delicious morning pancakes. From there, I was able to explore the area and take excursions into the Everglades.
Miccosukees and Alligators
The Miccosukee tribe of south Florida has a village you can visit and learn about the region's indigenous culture. I toured the huts whose roofs were made from banana leaves (much like those of the Mayans of Guatemala), and attended an alligator-taming demonstration. I love learning about alligators (and their crocodile cousins)!
While in South Florida, I made my way to Ft. Lauderdale for a three-day Transcendental Meditation (TM) retreat. I had learned TM in Tacoma back in August of 2013 and had practiced it continuously ever since. I kept it up for 1,281 consecutive days, but then stopped in 2017 in order to devote more time to my martial arts practice. Since then, especially since I've stalled with martial arts as well, I've only practiced TM upon necessity and convenience.