Everyone looks forward to their vacation time. Most people can only take one vacation a year, so we make sure to plan something big and exciting. It's the one week where we get to step away from the daily grind and truly relax. Those 7 days of fun can be the key to recharging your battery for when you get back to your regular life.
As of writing this, my personal vacation will be kicking off in 24 hours. I'll be heading to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It's a beach spot which has been growing in popularity for a number of years now. I would know, as I've been going to the Outer Banks once a year for over 20 years now. While some may find going to the same place every summer a bit boring, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Visiting North Carolina for a yearly vacation kicked off back when I was barely in the double digits, and all vacation plans were handled by my parents. My Mom's sisters had been going to the Outer Banks for a couple years, and she thought my parents might enjoy the trip as well. After a bit of discussion between my parents, they settled on a week in the summer where we could all pack up and get together for a family vacation.
Our first year at the Outer Banks almost became our last. The rental house my Mom and her sisters settled on turned out to be in desperate need of repair. The house was tiny, dirty, and pretty much falling apart. It was almost enough for my parents ditch the house and find a hotel for the rest of the week. After some whining from myself and my sister, my parents decided to put up with the house for a week and see how things went.
While the accommodations may have been lackluster, the time with family was priceless. The shoddiness of the house became a running gag for the week. It gave us something to laugh about when we were stuck inside during bad weather. The memories of the house, mixed in with all the fantastic times on the beach, made quite a lasting impression. It was enough to convince us of a second trip next summer, albeit in a better house!
A Tradition in the Making
The next year, more members from my Mom's side of the family started to tag along for the trip. This meant we needed to find a bigger rental house, which was an equally good excuse to get away from our first place. We found a place much better suited to everyone involved, and the year's newcomers kicked off their vacation with a much better vibe.
The new house paved the way for a lot more fun, and signs of relief from everyone who was part of last year's trip! Our second year would kick off a tradition without us even knowing it. When the week would come to an end, everyone agreed on doing the same thing the next summer. This is how it would always go, year in and year out. Each yearly getaway would bring crazy amounts of fun with it, and no one would want to miss out on a guaranteed great time the following summer.
Still Going Strong
Here we are over 20 years later, and the tradition is stronger than ever. The first year of our Outer Banks trip, we had a house with 8 people in it. For our 2017 week, we'll have 14 people with us! Some new people have joined the gang, thanks to marriages and births over the years. We've also had some people who unfortunately had to hang back, due to college and work getting in the way. There's one thing for certain.
Over all these years, anyone who has gone along for the ride wants to be there the following year. If you don't attend, you know you're missing out on some amazing fun and lifelong memories. The yearly trip isn't about the beach or the ocean, the various restaurants, or outlet shops. The reason we all come back every year is due to the company we keep. The fun I've had with family over these years is something I'll always cherish.
Even though my 2017 vacation hasn't started yet, I already locked in for next year's return. Are you planning a beach trip this summer? We've got some tips to help make the best of it all. Or, you could check out our tips on how to stay safe this summer as well!