I had spent months working on this. Waiting for the big reveal. I was so excited for that morning to come! It was Thanksgiving weekend 2013, Wednesday morning, and I had planned an entire trip for Amelia, Julie, Natalie, Tony, and myself. The catch – I was the only one that knew where we were going. I had given everyone instructions on when to take off work, what to pack, and what the weather would be like. They had given me instructions on budgets and what kind of vacation they wanted for their holiday weekend.

It was about 8 am when everyone lined up in front of my kitchen island. I handed them each an envelope. Inside were pieces of paper, each with a letter on it. When arranged correctly, it spelled out our destination – BAHAMAS. It didn’t take them long to figure it out, and when they did, they jumped and screamed. I was elated to see the smiles on their faces.

We had a short flight from Columbus, OH (where I was living at the time) to Nassau. When we arrived, we had a very typical ‘beach resort’ vacation. Lots of lounging, a few sunburns, Julie and Tony played volleyball on the beach, and lots of food.

What I remember the most about this trip, though, were the yachts. One evening we went outside of our resort to check out some of the other hotels nearby. We found ourselves wandering the streets of Nassau, in what was evidently the wealthy side of the island. We had dinner at a restaurant that overlooked a small bay. After we finished eating, we walked the boardwalk that ran along the water. A few turns away from where we started, we encountered some of the largest, grandest, most beautiful yachts I’ve ever seen (including in the movies and on TV). There were dozens of them. Bigger than homes. More luxurious than a five-star resort. All lined up along the boardwalk. We walked for an hour or two, completely in awe with the yachts that filled the bay. I couldn’t help but think that someday I wanted to have a yacht like that. I would sail around the world and then I would be happy. I’ve changed, though, and know now that a big yacht, worth millions and millions of dollars, will never make me happy. I’ve seen too much now. I know too much. Now I just want to relish in opportunity…experience. Those are the things that I will have forever. The words on this page and the memories I made on that trip. I’d take a 100 trips to a new part of the world before I’d take that yacht.



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