We love to complain about where we live, don’t we? The traffic is awful, Crab Island is an eyesore, and so on. It’s easy to forget to appreciate the beauty of our home.

I recently visited a few Caribbean islands on a vacation. All of them boasted about their beautiful beaches and they weren’t lying. But I couldn’t help but think how much better Destin is.

In a flyer for Saint Thomas, it described Magen’s Bay as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. I expected crystal clear waters and pristine, white sand. Instead I got rough, brown sand and sand fleas. The lush green mountains surrounding the beach were spectacular, but I could only look at them for a few seconds before I had to slap yet another sand flea off my arm.

In Grand Turk, I got into a debate with a lifeguard about their beaches versus ours. He didn’t believe me when I said Destin was prettier and I didn’t believe him when he told me Grand Turk had been rated the world’s most beautiful beach in 2018. Sure, the sand was softer than in the Virgin Islands and the water was blue but it didn’t beat Destin. Once I got home, I found that a beach on a nearby island is considered one of the most beautiful beaches but hey, so is Destin.

The only beach I visited that could have given Destin a run for its money was in Nassau. The sand wasn’t white but it was soft and the water was a beautiful emerald green. But getting to the beach from the cruise port was an adventure in itself. Think Destin traffic during the Fourth of July, but with no rules and people running across the street. By the time we got to the beach, my energy was spent.

Once I got back into town, I went to my favorite beach on Okaloosa Island. The aqua-blue water and the soft, powder-white sand made me realize how blessed I am to live here. Sure, tourist season can be frustrating but it’s also vital to our economy.

Next time you’re out and about, take a moment to look around. Be grateful you live in an area that most people only get to visit and that you don’t have to go to a Caribbean island to see the most beautiful beach in the world. It’s only a short drive away.

Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at skotzum@thedestinlog.com or 315-4353.