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Making your vacation meaningful

4 Tips for Making Your Vacation Meaningful

It’s time to plan your next vacation (and of course we want you to book a charter aboard Take Me There for your next vacation!), but if you decide to do something other than a sailing charter, we really hope you’re thinking about making your vacation meaningful.

making a vacation meaningful aboard take me there

Meaningful? What’s that? You’re right- most people do not think about meaningful as a way to describe their vacation. Most of the time people choose to think about having a fun vacation, a relaxing trip, or an adventurous journey. Meaningful is not usually the first word that comes to mind. So why should you care about making your vacation meaningful?

Making your vacation meaningful is really all about planning a trip that makes an impact on your life, has a lasting impression on others’ lives (especially your children), and has the potential to change you. The added bonus is that by making your vacation meaningful you usually end up having more fun, being more relaxed, and making more positive memories.

Ok, so that describes what a meaningful vacation is, but WHY should you care about making it meaningful? Great question! Wherever you go and whatever you do on vacation, you are going away for a reason, right? You are usually taking a vacation to see new sights, escape from the current routine, visit with family and friends, or just rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Whatever the reason you are taking a vacation, why not get the most out of the time and money that you are investing in this trip?

Making your vacation meaningful elevates the perceived worth of your vacation (Wouldn’t you like all your vacations to be worth a million dollars?), increases the significance of the experiences in your life (Isn’t it great that your kids talk about certain vacations years later?), and has the potential to transform that way you think about things or interact with the world (Wouldn’t it be amazing to come back from vacation with new perspectives?)

So now that you have an idea of what a meaningful vacation is and why you would be interested in making your vacation meaningful, now let’s look at HOW to do it.

Many other folks who write about making vacations meaningful come from the perspective of the activities to engage in that would make your vacation meaningful like going on a mission trip, spending time in nature, engaging with people in different cultures, or buying products that are locally made. My perspective on making your vacation meaningful comes from within yourself rather than what you choose to do. Whether you choose to go hiking, visit new cultures, be with nature or take the kids to Disney World, making a meaningful vacation will enhance your fun factor, and change the way you look at many activities in your life, not just how you take a vacation.

Here is a bit of background on the origin of these 4 tips for making a meaningful vacation. For the last 7 years, I have created an intention to guide my thoughts and perspectives during that year. I set the intention on January 1 each year, and then let that intention guide me as I move through the events of that year. It has been uncanny how each of these intentions almost seemed to be a premonition or a divine inspiration of what was needed to survive and thrive during that upcoming year.

meaking a meaningful vacation by creating intentions

For example, when I determined my 2020 intention to Create Balance, I had no idea that we would be facing the world COVID pandemic and there would be an urgent emotional need to create a balance between staying safe and maintaining connections with family and friends. Or the balance that was needed when Steve and I were renovating Take Me There at the same time that my dad was dying of cancer. Repeating the intention to Create Balance over and over reminded me to not make decisions that were so lopsided that I forgot the importance of the other responsibilities and passions in my life.  This intention, as with all the other year’s intentions, helped me to remain mindful of my thoughts, deliberate in my actions, and grounded in my goals.

When we took our two-month RV vacation this past summer, I had plenty of downtime to reflect and allow my mind to wander in ways that I don’t usually get to. The last several years’ intentions kept coming to mind as we really immersed ourselves in the delights of new places and visiting with family and friends. After returning home, I realized how meaningful this trip was to us and our family and how the past few years’ intentions were the guiding principles of making our vacation meaningful. We hope you find these tips helpful as you move toward making meaningful vacations for you and your family.

making a meaningful vacation by enjoying a place of peace

1. Find Joy – In 2015, my grandmother died and my world was forever changed. Even though I was 49 years old, age does not matter when you lose someone important to you. I was not only sad, I felt lost, insignificant, and guilty that I was enjoying life without my grandmother. I was in a dark and gloomy place. My 2016 intention was to Find Joy to help me reevaluate my feelings about my grandmother’s death and to help me find joy in my life again.

When we were on vacation this past summer, there were things that happened that I did not plan for that had the potential to make me feel frustrated, rushed, or disappointed.  Reservations were unexpectedly canceled, it rained on days that we planned to be outside, and plans were suddenly changed. By reminding myself to Find Joy, I was able to divert my attention away from potential disappointments and refocus on new delights.

Finding joy in order to make a vacation meaningful

We ended up jumping in mud puddles, tasting new dishes at unknown restaurants, and discovering waterfalls that were off the beaten path. Possible disappointments were not even on the horizon, but instead, surprising joys were found. The process of staying focused on finding unforeseen joys created amazingly meaningful memories. Are there moments when finding joy would have contributed toward making your vacation meaningful?

2. Make Space – In 2014, 3 years after we got married, Steve and I moved from our 2500 square foot house into Take Me There, 420 square feet. I’m not going to lie, living in closer quarters was a huge adjustment. Tighter living spaces were a clear physical reminder that we needed to make space for each other. But making space was bigger than our physical dwelling. My 2015 intention to Make Space inspired me to make space for more of Steve’s unconventional ideas, his hobbies, and his opinions.

When on vacation, it’s easy for one person to drive the events of the day and the others to tag along just to be together. Allowing everyone in the group to choose an event, a restaurant, or an activity prompts us to compromise, exposes us to different things, and motivates us to prioritize the ideas of the people that are important to us. Making Space for everyone’s plans and passions supports making your vacation meaningful so that everyone feels included and an important part of the vacation planning. Making space means putting the ideas of others ahead of your own and allowing their ideas to take priority. Are there moments during your vacations when making space for others’ wishes would have made for a meaningful vacation?

Make space in order to make a vacation meaningful

3. Create Balance – I’ve already mentioned the personal background of Creating Balance in 2020. During our two-month vacation this past year, we recognized the importance of creating balance when we were going 90 miles an hour day after day exploring new places that we had not seen before. It’s no wonder we were exhausted at the end of the day. This exhaustion left us with little energy to enjoy quiet time with each other. After many days of exploring to the point of near lifelessness, we realized we were checking a lot of sights off our list, but we were not really finding the joy in the experience.

Creating Balance reminded us that we needed to set priorities for each day as to the most important sights or events and allocate time for rest, and quiet time. Extending yourself and your family to the point of collapse is not only not fun but can leave you irritable or short-tempered, which can ultimately lead to undesirable memories. This naturally detracts from making your vacation meaningful.  Reminding yourself to create balance prompts you to set priorities which include rest and downtime.

Creating balance in order to make a vacation meaningful

4. Be Still- Being still is my current intention for 2022. As somewhat of an extreme extrovert, my mind, my mouth, and my body work overtime. I am constantly thinking of the next thing I’m going to do or say. Sometimes an overactive mind (and mouth) is not always a good thing. I find that I can often interrupt people or spend more time thinking about what I am going to say rather than listening to what others are saying. This intention has been so beneficial to me.

Prompting myself to Be Still gives me the permission I need to shut off my brain, my body, and my voice. I can allow myself to enjoy the tranquility found in stillness. I don’t need to fill in every empty space of time in a conversation with endless chatter or fill up every moment of the day with activities. I can just be still. I must admit that it is often difficult to do this.

Making a vacation meaningful and intentional by being still

Have you ever been so busy with work, family, home life, volunteering, and all your other responsibilities that you have trouble shutting things off? Do you find that the first few days of vacation are difficult because your mind is still focused on work or other obligations? Do you ever feel guilty because you feel like you are “doing nothing”? Being still is not “doing nothing”. It is knowingly respecting the space that lies between. The space between two people, two events, two thoughts, or two entities. There is something freeing about being still. In yoga, this concept is known as savasana, a time to let go of the distractions of the body and simply rest. And isn’t resting our soul what making a meaningful vacation is all about?

Sometimes, it seems that we return from vacation feeling more worn out or depleted than when we left. A meaningful vacation focused on finding joy, making space, creating balance, and being still found us feeling rejuvenated and connected when we returned home from vacation. How do these tips resonate with you? How do you think that focusing on these tips would make your vacation meaningful? We hope you enjoy making your vacation meaningful! We’d love to hear all about it!

 

Thank you from Take Me There

Thank you from Take Me There!

We want to take a few minutes to express our sincerest THANK YOU to all of you who have sailed with us in the last year and a half. We do not take our business relationships for granted and we are so grateful that you said TAKE ME THERE!

As many of you know, we spent 2020 in the Salt Creek Marina and DIY Boatyard with Take Me There up on land while we literally tore her apart and then put her back together in order to create the most beautiful vintage boat (as well as the safest) that would also meet restaurant standards. We spent a year being dirty! But we learned so much and enjoyed the journey.

Take Me There at Salt Creek Marina

We did not know whether we could make this private sailing charter business work– especially during COVID. We were experiencing supply chain issues and not being able to get parts, we struggled to get the qualified labor to help us (so we just did it ourselves), and there was so much about opening a restaurant with a beer/wine license that we did not know. Many times we felt like we were flying blind. But one thing we were always sure of- we believe in giving exceptional service, having a great time, and treating people fairly and with respect.

After a year of renovations, we called a few dear friends and asked them to accompany us on our maiden voyage as a sailing charter boat to Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda. Thank you, Michelle, Joanne, and Chris!

Friends aboard Take Me There

Within a few days of putting our signs up in the marina, the phone started ringing and it was time to actually do the work that we had been planning and preparing to do! As a licensed restaurant with a beer and wine license, we quickly became known as the go-to charter for special events.

We want to say THANK YOU to all of you who called on us to host family gatherings,

Honeymoons,

honeymooners aboard Take Me There

Anniversaries,

Annoversary aboard Take Me There

Many birthdays,

birthday aboard Take Me There

And many, many family and friends gatherings!

friends gathering aboard Take Me There

We did lots of eating!

food aboard Take Me There

LOTS of drinking!

Drinks aboard Take Me There

And of course, we did lots of sailing and enjoyed a lot of amazing sunsets and beautiful Florida skies!

Florida Sky

We kayaked, floated, swam, snorkeled, enjoyed the beaches, and most importantly made INCREDIBLE MEMORIES! For all of these amazing experiences, we want to say THANK YOU! We hope that we have given you opportunities to have memories that you will reflect on over and over again.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Thank you for welcoming us into your life events. And thank you for trusting us to help you create unforgettable memories.  Take a look at our short video that shows you more memories made aboard Take Me There.

And if all of this was not exciting enough, we have a lot more exciting things happening onboard Take Me There.

  • We have now partnered with NauticEd to provide sailing instruction
  • We have our CUA (Commercial Use Authorization) to charter in the Dry Tortugas
  • We just finished installing our new dive compressor so we can provide you with multi-day diving experiences in the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas.

Our online calendar is always up to date so you can visit our website anytime and see if your desired date is available. Remember- we love planning special events so be sure to let us know if you are celebrating something special or are looking to make this an “over the top” memory. We will take care of all the details. And if you want something special- just ask. We will do everything we can to say YES.

We look forward to making more beautiful memories with you! Thank you for saying, “TAKE ME THERE”

 

Beautiful Sunset

We launched Take Me ThKimberly and Steveere Sailing as a private sailing charter business in January 2020. After spending a year in the boatyard renovating our 1975 Gulfstar, we brought Take Me There to Burnt Store Marina in January 2021. We’ve been having a blast hosting customers aboard Take Me There since March. During this first year in business we have figured out what our customers want (You wanted Daysails so we added 1/2 day and full-day charters) and we also figured out what our customers really like (The comfortable deck chairs and the food have received the most glowing comments so far!)

When we moved the boat to Burnt Store, we were not even sure that we would be able to keep this business afloat- but thanks to your decisions to book Take Me There for your family outings, honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, and end of life celebrations- we realized that we are offering something that you want- so we are excited to move into our second year here in Punta Gorda. Please keep saying “Take Me There”!

Like any successful business, we are starting to think about our next steps. And we felt that the next most important piece of our business was to update our website to broaden our reach of potential customers. We found the BEST website partner E’s Website Design. Eleina helped us to reconceptualize our business and make some fresh updates while optimizing our site for advanced web searches, greater online stability, and faster processing speeds. We are excited to launch our new website in the near future and get your feedback. Please keep telling us what you want and we will keep listening. We want to continue to “enrich lives through exceptional experiences” and we strongly believe that YOU DESERVE EXCEPTIONAL! All you have to say is Take Me There!

Private Sailboat Charters this Week

WOW! What an incredible week this has been. And we are so thankful to everyone who came out and enjoyed special events with us.

We started the week with a full day sail. Laura and Dave were hosting Laura’s sister and brother n law and their two children. What a fun family outing!! Due to light winds, we mostly motored to Cayo Costa State Park. We enjoyed a lunch of my tropical chicken salad, with sides of Caribbean coleslaw and seafood salad. After arriving at Cayo Costa State Park, it was time to get the dinghy in the water and get to the mangroves to see the manatees. During the two hours that we were anchored, there was time for swimming, kayaking, shelling on the beach, and walking around the state park. Let’s not forget about time for lounging on the deck with a glass of wine too! The day ended with a magnificent sunset and everyone smiling and laughing as they disembarked. What a fun-filled day!

But that was just the beginning of the week!

Then we moved into a half day sail with John and his wife and their niece and great-niece. And boy was she a GREAT niece. Amy was thrilled to lounge on deck and take in the sunshine while here for spring break from up north. We had an amazing 4 hour sail. Steve was overjoyed to have an opportunity to share the helm with John and tell him a bit about trimming the sails. Lunch was served and then we headed back to Burnt Store Marina. Amy really wanted to try kayaking. Since we only book one sail a day, while we started cleaning up the boat, Steve dropped two of our hard kayaks in the water for Amy and John to enjoy a bit of paddling around Burnt Store Marina. Steve and I started Take Me There Sailing with the mission to “Enrich lives through exceptional experiences”. We are always glad to say YES to something if that is going to bring a smile to someone’s face. Life is too short to say NO.

 

We ended the week with a dinner and an overnight sail to celebrate Jerry and Kristen’s anniversary. The winds were perfect and we were able to get Take Me There cruising at 6.5 knots on our way to a little anchorage near Alligator Creek. It was a perfect anniversary celebration! We bought some flowers for Kristen and Jerry and enjoyed praying at the bow before throwing a few flowers overboard as a gift to the sea. We are all about having fun and making memories- and what a great memory it was.

 

We now have a few days with no charters booked so we are heading back to our home in New Port Richey. With my birthday this week, it’s time to focus on us, our friends, and our family. We love our new friends that we are hosting aboard Take Me There, but we also want to stay connected with our neighbors and family. It’s time for some yoga, golf, wine with my besties, and quiet time with my wonderful husband. Take Me There!

We’ll be back at Burnt Store Marina next week and prepping for the next charters. Stay tuned for more of our sailing adventure stories. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to be a part of your story.  We are abundantly blessed.