abk Lifestyle: Redefining the Summer Vacation

“Summer is for falling in love.”- Musician Sarah Kang

A funny thing happened to me the other day while I was talking to my sister on the phone. She and her family were spending a week at the beach, and she was busy telling me all about it. While I was absolutely buzzing for her and knew that she was having a great time, an odd feeling crept inside of me. As someone who loves to travel, for the first time maybe in my life, I felt numb to her location. Summer vacation? Beach week? Something had changed.

Over the past four plus years, I’ve done a complete 180 on roughly 4,297 things (roughly). Of all of those things, most of them were intentional, and most of them I am very pleased with.

I knew I was moving to a place that claimed beautiful weather 10 months out of the year. I knew I was going to a place with a coastal vibe. But until I actually experienced it, I didn’t really understand what all of that meant. Until the lifestyle really started coming together, I didn’t really know what it would look or feel like. But having been deep inside of it for just over two years now, I have a decent idea. The beach is literally across the street. I spend every day at a beautiful golf course, working, playing, or both. A boat ride is a quick text away. A jet ski ride relies merely on calm seas. 80% of the time, the sun is shining.

Recently, summer hit, and the talk of summer vacation cropped up. I was as baffled as I had been in a while. Summer vacation? It feels like I am living in a summer vacation. Long story short, I’m constantly looking it wind speeds, wave heights, and my work schedule to determine which activity wins the day: snapper fishing for Christy, island days for Banks, golfing days for Benj, or all three. It’s as non-traditional as it comes, but that’s the whole damn point. As long as the naps and stretching get done (shout out last week’s piece), it’s a limitless opportunity.

So now that it’s actually time for summer vacation, I guess it’s time for another 180.

The small towns of Wingate, NC and West Point, MS likely do not top anyone’s summer vacation list. But for the next two weeks, they will be my Vegas, Key West, and Pebble Beach, and I am so excited.

The hardest part of moving away from NC, for me, was moving ten hours away from my family and friends. The move was tailored primarily for Christy and her family, secondarily for Banks’ childhood freedom, and I was tasked with making it all work while embarking on an ambitious personal journey of my own. It’s been a hell of an adventure, and it’s been absolutely the correct move, if there is such a thing. But…

It’s time to visit old family and friends. It’s time to celebrate certain major milestones. It’s time to eat Bojangles, Gino’s, and Dave’s Pizza. It’s time to see Coach and watch my big man play on the field I used to roam. I’m so excited. Little ol’ Wingate, NC has me feeling like I’m going to Milan.

With mixed emotions, I have to leave the vacation early to make the nine hour drive to east central Mississippi. I have a smoking hot date with Mossy Oak Golf Club for, I hope, five days. I’m buzzing, but I’m also very nervous, which could easily be the tag line for my last four years of firsts. I’ll be joined by my main man Kris, who will be tasked with keeping me calm and loose. Little ol’ West Point, MS has me feeling like I’m going to Tinseltown.

And then summer vacation will end, and I will return to my regularly scheduled summer vacation. You know, the one where I play golf in shorts on Christmas Eve.

Have a great week.-Benj

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