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Vacation Goals?

I know, I know…the words “vacation” and “goals” do not belong together. But I’m not talking about the kind of goals that make your eyes glaze over, such as when your boss instructs you that during the next fiscal year you need to “expand your network” and “enhance your presentation skills.” Nope, I’m referring to a few things that can make your vacation even better.

1.) Try something different.
Believe me, I could spend every single summer day doing a little boating in the bay in the morning, followed by a BLT on rye, an afternoon frolicking on the beach, and then capping off the day with a nice mojito at a happy hour. I could do this for each of the 100 days of summer (weather permitting, of course). I’m not kidding. But last week I had the opportunity to go on a sunset cruise out the Barnegat Inlet on one of the commercial boats docked at Viking Village in Barnegat Light. I have not been on one of those boats since 1987 (I’m not being sarcastic). It was great fun to get out on the ocean and see LBI from that vantage point. In fact, a friend of mine who has had a summer home on the island for over 10 years remarked she had never been on a boat in the ocean! We felt invigorated by this new adventure. Sometimes it is worth it to break out of your beach routine. As much as I hate to admit it, summer memories can turn into a bit of a haze, but doing something different creates a stand out memory — something to make you smile during those long, dark winter days when you crave LBI. So maybe try to watch the fireworks on one of the boats from Viking Village, take an evening cruise or even book a fishing trip. Or this may not be your cup of tea at all. Or perhaps you do this every weekend. In that case, try spending a lazy day at the beach. The idea is to do something you wouldn’t normally do.

2.) Connect with an old friend.
LBI has a mysterious power of drawing people back year after year. It gets in your blood and you become programmed to get on the island as soon and as often as possible. Since so many people are afflicted with this magnetic attraction, chances are you have a few buddies down here that you played mini-golf with, guarded with or just sat on the back deck with. Go find this person! Even if it means traveling on the Boulevard farther than you’d normally care to go on a busy Saturday night, it will be worth it. There is something quite special about friendships formed on LBI; they are almost timeless and there is nothing like reminiscing about summers past. Back in the 90s (gulp) I scooped ice cream at the Windmill in Bay Village for six years. It was the only paying job I’ve ever liked. Later this week, I am going to meet up with one of my fellow scoopers. A lot of time has passed since I’ve bumped into her, but seeing an old LBI friend (I don’t mean she is old, FYI!) is like slipping on your favorite worn flip flop.

3.) Lean a new skill. Okay, this does sound a little like an office goal, but hear me out. There are tons of important summer skills. My goal is to learn how to grill. I know that sounds silly. I like to cook, but I have no idea how to even turn the grill on. It’s always something that my husband does. But then when I am home alone, I stare at a steak with no idea what to do with it other than make tartare. Over the last few days, I’ve taken an informal poll of some LBI ladies, and lots of women do not know how to grill! It’s actually mind boggling. Therefore, starting this weekend (no better time than July 4th for grilled delights), I will become a student in my backyard. Hopefully my instructor (husband) will be a patient and kind teacher and he will not over charge me for the lessons. My goal will to be to learn how to turn it on and then I’ll take advanced classes on how to grill meat and fish to near perfection. If you already know this skill, maybe you could try paddle boarding, sailing or crabbing. No matter what you chose, you’ll finish your vacation a little more knowledgable than when you began.

So give vacation goal setting a try. Believe me, it is way more fun than those goofy ones your boss seems to think are so important for your professional development (whatever that means) Besides, vacation goals are actually achievable and useful!

- by Beth Foster deTuro
Beth Foster deTuro believes Long Beach Island is the best little sand bar in the whole world. Passionate about clams on the half shell, sailing on Barnegat Bay and taking long naps on the beach are just a few of her favorite Island activities. When is she not busy staring at the ocean she can be found pulling weeds at her cottage in Harvey Cedars.