Link Up: Best Purchase of 2016

One thing I haven't talked about here yet is that I'm attending a crazy good conference, AltSummit, at the end of January in Palm Springs, CA. I'm so excited to rub elbows with bloggers, designers, photographers, and other creative types at the Saguaro Hotel in just a few days!

The conference is exposing me to a lot of opportunities to expand my comfort zone and knowledge base; this post is the first leap! I accepted a general invitation to take part in a blog link up. Everyone who participates writes about the same topic (in this case, it's your best purchase in 2016) on the same day and link to each other in our posts.

I took a few days to mull over the many purchases I made for this trip in 2016, considering gear, food, clothing, camera equipment, souvenirs, and places to stay. There were a lot of good options, but then it occurred to me that, without a doubt, my purchase of an Annual National Park Pass beats everything else combined.

The pass gives me access to over 2,000 Federal recreation sites, including national parks and wildlife refuges. It covers day use fees at national forests, grasslands, and land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

At $80, the pass quickly paid for itself as I visited Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Arches, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. Right before I attend AltSummit, I'll head to Joshua Tree and the Mojave Desert, both of which will be covered by my annual pass.

There is nothing quite like the sense of wonder that comes from standing on the edge of a vast, virtually indescribably beautiful landscape, knowing that it it yours to drink in with all of your senses. These lands are a gift that you can give to yourself, places that will feed your soul long after you return home, places that will leave you wanting to return as soon as you are gone. I encourage everyone to invest in an annual pass. Get out! See what there is to see! There are wild, magic spaces out here in the world!