When our kids were young, we enjoyed many adventures in a small RV. I’d plan detailed itineraries using a few AAA maps and a copy of National Geographic’s Guide to the National Parks. Sometimes we’d be on the road for a week or more, exploring the incredible beauty of this great land. Most often, however, we took advantage of long holiday weekends to visit family in Florida and North Carolina.
One favorite trip became an annual event. We’d drive to Pensacola, Florida for the Memorial Day weekend and stay with a relative who lived on the beach. The water was always warm, the sand pristine, the fresh grilled fish delicious, and time together wonderful.
One year, however, circumstances beyond our control prevented us from going, and we were all disappointed. Yes, we’d miss the water, the sand, the food, and time with relatives, but we’d still enjoy the holiday together as a family. And then a crazy thought occurred to me…. What if we pretended that we went?
With a truck load of builder’s sand, I converted our backyard pool and patio area into “Pensacola Beach.” After spreading the sand appropriately, I put up the big umbrella, broke out the beach chairs, iced down a cooler of soft drinks, and grilled fresh caught salmon. We swam in the pool, batted a beach ball, and played favorite songs by the Beach Boys on a portable CD player. It wasn’t quite the same, of course, but feeling the sand between our toes created the desired illusion that we were beach-side and added to the air of festivity!
We can’t always do that which we wish to do, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon a dream. Want to drive the Pacific Coast Highway, visit New England in the fall, hike Arches National Park, or take a trip on Route 66? Stop wishing! Sit down with a pencil and pad of paper and start planning. List all the reasons why you don’t think you can pull it off, and then write down all the reasons why you can. Think creatively, find ways to eliminate the obstacles, and – this year – make it happen. If you don’t, no one else will! Happy trails…
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”