Taking a vacation might just be more important than you think. I think we should all be taking one vacation each year, but some people actually skip taking one! Sundance Vacations can help you get to that bucket list destination at a fraction of the cost, so you can have the opportunity to travel more. Birthdays and holidays are important too, right? You spend so much money on Christmas gifts and Birthday gifts each year. Not to mention the time you spend thinking about buying the perfect gift. We all know that the person you buy for will either love the gift or hate it. There’s no way to really know what the perfect gift is. Or is there? or is there?
I’m going to ask you a question that I was asked the other day, and I really want you to think about it.
What did you get for your 5th birthday or Christmas?
What about your 10th birthday?
How about your 16th birthday?
Can’t remember? Me either!
I honestly can’t remember much of what I got for my birthday or holidays when I was younger. I do remember getting a Barbie corvette and being upset because I really wanted the Barbie Jeep. I played with that toy, but where is it now? Who knows, I don’t.
Here’s where it gets interesting. What is your earliest vacation you can remember? How old were you? Where did you go? What did you do? Who was there? Can you remember? I can!
The earliest vacation I can remember is at my family’s cabin in New York when I was little. I was probably 5, if not younger! We would go there every year for the 4th of July, and I looked forward to that trip every single year. The drive there seemed to last forever though. One year, while there, I had pink jelly sandals on, and I lost one while swimming in Lake Ontario. It slipped off and I tried to catch it, but the little waves were no match for me, it was long gone. I cried because they were my favorite shoes and I thought my mom was going to kill me.
Every year we bought red-eared slider turtles for $1.00 and had turtle races. (Believe it or not, this was not just something we did. It was an actual event with prizes.) There was a bullseye spray painted on the ground and you would kneel along the outer edge with your turtle. (We would paint a little something on the shells to identify what turtle was yours.) I named my turtle slowpoke. It was fitting because he didn’t win and was so slow. My Aunt Angel always knew how to pick them, because her turtles would always win!
After the event we would catch lightning bugs in jars, in the giant field at the neighbor Mikes house, across the street from our cabin. The lightning bugs were not like the ones I see today. They were huge and so bright, and I remember the field being littered with thousands of them. It was like a scene from a fairytale every night! I can remember the adults roasting a big Ole’ pig while us kids would peel the corn on the cob. We would always play hide and seek too, although there weren’t many hiding places around. We somehow kept ourselves busy.
I remember one night the adults went out and the older kids were in charge of the younger kids. This particular night it was raining cats and dogs outside! The thunder and lightning were unlike anything I have experienced, and it was pretty scary at times. To take our minds off the rain, we decided it would be a great idea to make smores in the microwave. We learned quickly that it was not such a good idea. My Pop Pop was always the first one awake and was not a happy camper when he woke up to a sticky, marshmallow mess that morning.
Another memory I have, was walking down the long road to the big red barn on the left, where I milked my first cow. It was not easy, and it smelled so bad, but I remember that day and who was there, and I remember taking that walk. We had a great time and made memories that will stay with me forever.
I can remember each vacation to Disney with my Nanny and Poppy. They would take us grandkids every year to Disney World in Orlando or to Daytona Beach. We would all pack into my grams minivan and drive the excruciating 24 plus hours straight to Florida. We did stop overnight once or twice, but Poppy always wanted to just get there. I remember stopping at the South of the Border, in South Carolina along the way and thinking it was such a cool place. I found tiny glass thimbles and thought they were so cool. Everyone got little glass thimbles as a gift from me that year. Thinking back now, I realize that was a ridiculous gift, but they were cool to me at the time.
I never realized how truly lucky we were, being able to experience a Disney vacation, not once but multiple times. I didn’t realize back then how expensive it was to drive there, for the timeshare, park tickets and even food. When we went to the parks, we only ate bologna sandwiches and drank bottles of water. To this day, I can’t eat bologna! That is how they saved money to take us all on that vacation, I guess. I never got to thank my Nanny for taking me on vacation and for the memories we made. I guess I took her and those vacations every year for granted.
Other things I remember include my first Red Barons baseball game and indoor movie theater with my Aunt Bj. I remember my first Halloween attraction with my cousin Justine was the Haunted Mansion! I remember the vacations I got to go on, but I don’t remember the “things” I got. I never realized how important vacations were until I was asked that question. It’s not just a few days away from home, you’re literally making memories that will stick with you and your family for years to come. I am going to be thirty years old, and I have memories from my early childhood and throughout my life. I realized You will have the memories much longer than “things”.
Since being asked this question, I have asked my family and friends the same question. I was genuinely surprised to hear that many of them haven’t been on a vacation “In God knows how long.” Surprised, I asked “Why?” Their answers were almost all the same, “Because I have to work, and can’t take the time off.” That answer made me feel sad and fortunate all at once. While my family vacations aren’t as extravagant as others, I still have been lucky enough to go on a vacation every year.
I work every day just like everyone else, but I do take time off because it’s needed and well-deserved. We get so caught up in making a living, that we forget that we also need to live our life to the fullest. We wake up and go through the same routine day in and day out. If you’re spending your life working all day and don’t take time for a break and to get away, you’re doing something wrong. A vacation doesn’t always have to cost a ton, and you don’t necessarily have to take a plane to get there. You can drive to a nearby amusement park, state park, or you can look into Sundance Vacations. They have many resorts that are most likely a short drive from your home!
It’s time to take a break, recharge, disconnect from social media and experience something new! Fill up your tank with gas and just go somewhere, anywhere on vacation this year. Try a new food, make new friends, create new memories, take pictures! (I remember having a 35mm camera and taking pictures that I would have to wait weeks to develop! Now taking a picture is so instantaneous. Can you think back to taking a picture and having to wait until the entire roll of film is used, then having to send the roll of film out to get developed and waiting a week or two to get it back? Sometimes the roll of film had terrible pictures and you waited all that time for nothing!)
Vacations aren’t just important because you’re creating everlasting memories, but that is the biggest reason for this blog. This has probably been my favorite blog to write so far because it made me take a break from my work day and took me back in time. Back to when life was simple and easy, when I was a carefree kid. It made me stop and realize that a vacation is not just a few days away from home, it’s much more than that. There are actual benefits to traveling and just getting away from your everyday routine too. Traveling allows you to get away without deadlines or chores, and it allows you to have a few days to just do what you want. A few extra days away from home a year will be SO worth it! Traveling can improve your health because lowering your stress levels, reduces the risk of heart disease.
Your kids are used to seeing mom and dad getting up and doing their daily routine. Taking a Vacation literally takes you away from all of that, and forces you to unwind and have a good time. Vacations let your child see you in a different way, a more fun, playful way! You get to forget all the chores and what’s waiting for you at home and you get to enjoy yourself and the time you’re spending with your family.
I won’t be skipping out on buying toys altogether, but this has opened my eyes and it turned my focus from toys and things to vacations. Instead of going all out for Christmas or Birthdays, I’m going to put extra money away for vacations. A weekend away or a week away, it doesn’t matter. My boyfriend asked me what I want for Mother’s Day this year and my reply was “Money to put towards Brigantine. Whatever you’re planning on spending for a gift, put it away and towards that vacation”. I want to go on a vacation through Sundance Vacations in September, at our recently renovated ‘Brigantine Beach Club’, located just 15 minutes away from Atlantic city! I want to pack the car up and go to the beach when the crowds have disappeared. I want to experience the beach away from prime season and I want to stay in a luxurious beachfront property and just relax.
I am very lucky actually. Working for Sundance Vacations gives me the opportunity to vacation more at a discounted price. I’ll be able to take more vacations, more often and I am ok with that! If we take more vacations, we get to experience new things and even gain an appreciation for all the memories we make along the way. I want to be able to say “I am glad we did that” instead of “I wish we did that”. I’m one of the rare people who actually print out photos. I have a few piles ready to be organized into albums. When I’m old and gray, I want to be able to look back at the smiles and memories I made during my life. I want to be able to reminisce with my family, and look back at all the days we got to be together. Memories are all I have left of some friends and family and I would not give them up for anything. I challenge you to take a vacation this year if you normally don’t, you will thank me later!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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