beauty at hand. | My Family Travels

most of us have that one solid picture in our minds of what “vacation” looks like. there is that place we frequent throughout our childhood that begins to hold even more meaning as our life becomes busier and our trips are less and less due to life and responsibility creeping in on our free summers and our workless lives.

so how sacreligious is it to mix those two worlds? making the decision to pursue summer work in the one place that i considered my perfect vacation felt all too ironic and a little off. but on the other hand, how genious was i? in hopes of making money a little more enjoyably, why not do it in the one place that makes me feel most peaceful?

and it worked!

in the summer of 2008, following my sophomore year of college i took a job working for the National Park Service up in Northern Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. after camping there all summer, every summer growing up with my family, it was weird coming home to it at the end of every day.

but the perfect sunrises on the drive to work. the brilliantly lit up sunset skies over Lake Michigan with a big ol ice cream cone after work. and the balmy three day weekends we spent going on adventures with our hard earned cash were more than i could have ever imagined.

there is something about believing so truely that a place is magical that can really revive a person’s spirit after a rough go of a year. in the midst of making “life changing” decisions and trying desperately to figure out who i was and where i was going in life, this safe haven served as the perfect break and the perfect way to wind down and remember what was truely important in life.

when a place can remind you of so much more than just a vacation spot, that is when it becomes so special. driving the winding roads in a G6 convertible with my new summer friends. floating down the lazy river passing all walks of life converging for that one afternoon to forget their troubles and just have fun. laying in the sand wondering what the rest of the world could possibly be doing on such a perfect day. trying new things. meeting new people. working harder than you ever thought you were capable. and then at the end of the day to see that same sun go down again. smiling at you. saying – you are good. this is good. it will all be good…

that is the [[beauty we have at hand]].

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