Why yes.  I am sitting here on one, right now.

And it's really heavenly.  REALLY REALLY heavenly. 

So you're probably wondering a) why am I online & b) like anyone needs a reason to take a family vacation.  It's part of our DNA that we need time to step away from the rat race and really take some time for ourselves. 

2014 was really an amazing year for me both personally and professionally.  The very last 2 months were hell as some things happened with someone who was working for me.  But that is life for sure.  Without a doubt.  

But if that's not a big reason to tell everyone WHY you need to take a FAMILY vacation - then I don't know what is. 

BUT - I'm not here to tell you about 'work'.  I'm here to tell you why you MUST take time out and NOT work.  I know, there is every excuse in the book NOT to with 'we can't afford to' as the #1 reason, I'm sure. 



But that's a crock of bull.  Sorry.  I get that you may not be able to afford renting a house on an island for a couple grand like I did.  (Yes, this is the FIRST 'non-work' trip I've taken in years.  I know you see me heading all over the place - but when there is WORK attached to it?  That's NOT a family vacation.  It's a vacation for my family - but NOT for me.  I work my tail off on those trips.)  

With that being said - taking your family along on YOUR business trip ONLY counts if you add on an entire week outside of why you're there for work.  But, taking a 'vacation' can constitute many things.  Whether a chartered sea expedition or an overnight at a local motel.  

Need a reason why?  Well, I'll give you NINE.  

9 Reasons Why You Need to Take a Family Vacation

1) It gives you and your family something to look forward to.  I LIVE for looking forward to things.  Things that I look forward to really motivate me too!  I lost 20 pounds before going to Turks & Caicos!  Yes, that was a work trip and I took my friend - not my family - but that set me up for the trip I'm on now in North Captiva!  I feel GREAT.  More to lose - but I'll set my sights on the next 'future date'.  Forward momentum, people! =)

2) It is educational.  Yes, I may or may not have pulled my son out of 1st grade for the week but it's so worth it.  He's bonding with his parents (who are hardcore workaholics, I might add.)  But so far, he's learned about seashells (cause they are amazeballs here).  He's learned about drift wood.  He's also learned about some of the awesome wildlife we have seen!  

3)  You HAVE to turn it off to really turn it on.  Yep.  I am a firm believer that for someone to feel refreshed and ready to conquer the world - you have to take yourself somewhere and REALLY force yourself to turn it off.  It's not easy, I know.  But I can tell you - I have turned it OFF on this trip.  A LOT.  And I'm finding myself really feeling feelings and present with my kids.  Why, yesterday - my toddler and I took the golf cart around (there are no cars on this island - only carts.  Fun, right?)  Anyway, Hudson and I went out and I guess he picked up on me saying "Good Morning" to everyone we passed because then HE says it now!  Too freaking cute to hear, for sure!  We pass a cart and this little voice arises with "Good Morning!"  I giggle.  He feels special.  Now tell me - would I have caught that moment if I wasn't fully present?  Nope. 

4) Vacation IMPROVES productivity. Don't believe me?  Read the book Work to Live by Joe Robinson. 

5) Burns off BURN OUT.  Look, I am hands down the 1st to tell you that burn outs are BAD!!  Especially if you are a go getter.  A self starter.  Entrepreneur.  You GO GO GO GO GO and GO till you start to not want to 'go' anymore.  That means your on the way to burnout.  And all that does is slow you down.  

6) Cold Weather is depressing.  I can't even begin to tell you how great it feels to get messages that school is closing early this week from snow as I'm ON A FREAKING ISLAND. Seasonal Disorder is the real deal.  I am prone to depression.  So if I need an excuse to visit an ISLAND to ward off the S.A.D?  Done.  

7) Enhances Creative Thinking.  Vacation sets the stage for the time off thinking.  I know that since I've gotten here - I have completely and totally put all myself into it and it's hard to think about letting go... And sicne I've really let go.  Of everything.  My creative ideas are keeping me up at night! lol

8) Educational Value.  Boston has to turn in a JOURNAL from his vacation!  I think that is so awesome.  Even though we are on an island and barely leave the house we really get to experience cool things together.  At one point I dragged him out to see this GIANT turtle!  We talked about turtles, how they move, eat, etc.  It was fun to do.  Not to mention the stories about the insanely gorgeous sea shells here.  

9) Give Every STAR in Your Family a Chance to Shine.  Seriously.  How many times do you do talent shows in your house?  Never in mine!  But you and I both know everyone in your family has at least one big talent!  Go somewhere and give that person a chance to shine.  I have a family member who is so shy.  Scared.  Timid.  Barely out of a shell.  But I ended up at a dueling piano bar with them years ago and I literally fell off my stool when they took over the baby grand!  

Now, I'm not telling you to take your family to a KARAOKE BAR to see what their talents are. lol.  But I am saying that even if your daughter is a lousy soccer player but an amazing cook - take your crazy athletic family to a place that has cooking lessons.  LET HER SHINE!  ****

BONUS:  Did I mention that vacations are educational?  They are!  I promise they really are.  I mean, in fact - I know more about every place I visit!

*As an aside.  I'm going to get personal.  As an adult, I have made the conscious decision that my kids will see the world.  They WILL be seasoned travelers.  Not that my parents did anything bad!  They did what they thought they could.  I know my mom would LOVE to be here.  Every trip I take I always say 'my parents would love this.'  EVERYONE of them.  Cause they would.  

But truth be told, we didn't do ANYTHING when I was a kid.  One family vacation from hell to Branson, Missouri was our one family weekend away.  It was horrific. lol.   But they couldn't afford it.  I don't blame them.  They didn't do it before in their own lives so they don't realize the importance of it.  I only wish I could take them everywhere with me to see the world.  My dad did in the army, obviously that is different and NOT a vacation.  But my mom grew up in Kentucky with nothing but the things they needed.  They were simple people.  Am I a travel diva and crazy spoiled now?  Eh.  Kinda. hahaha  But my family reap the benefits too!  =)

And if I can open up my heart here for a minute with words.  I can't even begin to explain the feeling that takes over me when I look at pictures of my kids growing up.  And knowing that I was fully present in the moment of my little people while on this trip totally validates everything.  

I'm an emotional person.  And I can assure that my emotions are in overload right now.  My kids are my life.  And watching the time fly by while they are little is scary.  In fact, this morning - I found myself getting annoyed as Hudson goes off on a tangent where he repeats one word until you do it.  UP UP UP UP. Or APPLE SAUCE - APPLE SAUCE - APPLE SAUCE! ha.  And there is a phrase that he started saying as he continues to add more words to his vocabulary.  The phrase 'HOLD YOU MOMMY' was something that Boston use to always say when he wanted my attention.  Those three words are a new reminder of the old that I wanted to quickly to go away.  Now I take every second with my little people like it's all I'll ever get with them.  Oh how I love them.  Now... back to vacation.


Where is the best place you went on a family vacation?

What made it the best vacation place?  Was it the company you kept, the location?