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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!

 

3 Reasons to Take a Great Family Sailing Vacation

Hi there sailing friends! We’ve been enjoying planning one after another great family sailing vacation, so this topic is top of mind for me. Since many folks are busy planning their family vacations, I thought this would be a good time to talk about the value of a great family sailing vcacation and how to go about planning one. A great family sailing vacation is one of Take Me There’s specialties. We love showing people the beauty and serenity of the waters of Southwest Florida and we really enjoy talking with people and finding out what would make their vacation exceed their expectations, and then making that happen. Family vacations are an important part of growing up and creating memories that are remembered for a lifetime.

When I was a child, my father worked tirelessly all year as a police officer and looked forward to taking his family on a memorable family vacation. Most of our vacations centered around visiting relatives in southern states. We enjoyed theme parks like Walt Disney World or Kings Dominion but we spent most of our time in the oceans of Virginia Beach or Clearwater Florida. During long weekends, when there wasn’t enough time to travel south from New Jersey, we found enough time to escape to Swartswood Lake for swimming, boating, and picnicking. The memories of these times are special and were important to my early development. Experts agree that family time raises children’s feelings of importance and value, and parents gain valuable insights into their children’s strengths.

Great family vacation

“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.” – Sandy Gingras, Writer & Illustrator

Steve and I have been so blessed to blend our family and to have enjoyed many great family vacations together. We were especially thrilled to have had our children and granddaughter onboard Take Me There for four days to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Our great family sailing vacation aboard Take Me There reminded us that having fun together, creating shared memories, and prioritizing the importance of our family time are essential reasons to bring our family together on a regular basis.

As we help other families plan their great family sailing vacation, we focus on the same 3 things that we found important for our own family; 1. Having fun together, 2. Creating shared memories, and 3. Prioritizing the importance of family

The first ingredient to a great family sailing vacation is having fun! And many times the key to having fun is doing something unique. When we continue to do the same thing over and over again we are limiting our creativity and restricting our minds from experiencing new challenges. And when we don’t engage in new things, our minds and spirits can become disinterested. But when we inject something new into our routines, we feel invigorated and enthusiastic. And with this enthusiasm comes more fun and excitement. Fun is what Take Me There is all about. We love turning up the music, dancing on the deck, and laughing together as a family as we sway with the waves, enjoy the Florida sunshine, and appreciate the fresh air. Research shows that having fun is also good for our relationships because it helps to build trust and enhance communication.

That leads us to the second ingredient of a great family sailing vacation which is creating shared memories. Being together bonds families and encourages close ties. Sharing space together on Take Me There creates the opportunity for enjoying experiences together. Enjoying a tandem kayak excursion through the mangroves, swimming around the boat, or just relaxing together on the deck while gazing at the stars creates family memories that will be talked about for years to come.

And as time goes on, and we reflect back on family vacations we realize that it was so much more than just spending time together; those family vacations remind us of the importance of our family. The third ingredient of a great family sailing vacation is the priority that we place on spending time together. We realize that scheduling, planning, and enjoying these family vacations show each other that we value our time together and prioritize our family time above other activities in our lives. We realize that time is short and our relationships with each other are what matter most.

These are the top 3 reasons to take a great family sailing vacation. So where do you start? How do go about planning this great family sailing vacation? Take Me There Sailing makes it easy for you. We love doing the planning for you. Give us a call! Tell us some of the activities you would like to do or sights you would like to see. Tell us how much time you are able to spend on this great family sailing vacation. With that information, we will be able to put together a suggested itinerary for you. And then we make the preparation easy for you. We provision the boat with all the food and drinks you love. We have all the necessary sundry items you would need like shampoo and sunscreen, and we make all the necessary reservations for any special events you would like to enjoy like golf, jet skis or shopping. And then all you have to do is come onboard, relax and enjoy. And it all starts by saying TAKE ME THERE!

We look forward to seeing you onboard Take Me There for your great family sailing vacation.

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain, American Writer