Friends Visiting a Cross-Road

If 2013 was a busy year, I can tell you right now that 2014 is going to be even busier. We’re into the last week of January and it seems we’ve had different groups stopping by and visiting every single day. You know the old saying “You Never Knew How Many Friends You Had Till?“, well I’ve heard that finished with “When you own a tiki bar“, “When you own a motel“, “When you live in Florida“, “When you live on the water” “When you live on an island” ….. How about if all of those apply to the end of the sentence!

AR-15, Shannon Danley, Bonish Photography

Ok, Ok, I’ll get you another beer!!

It’s so much fun, that there are weeks I forget which day it is, days I forget what time it is, and mornings I wake up not knowing where the heck I am. Just kidding, those mornings are just when Cindy’s gotten out of bed before me and I’m left cuddling Luca, the big smelly breathed Pit Bull.

We’ve had friends visit from Michigan, the crazy girls, Katie and Jessie that are sailing ‘The Loop’ stopped back by for a visit which was so much fun! Sunset Isle Campground next door to us is filled to capacity with RV’ers from all around the country which means we have fellow RV’ers and travelers of all types dropping in to introduce themselves and say “Hello”. The Tiki Bar has become the place to come watch the sunsets and gather around the wood burner to warm up with out chilly January weather.

Sharing travel stories and hearing about so many fun times from fellow travelers makes us realize how truly blessed we are to have such a fun place to hang out at.

While Katie & Jessie were here, we would sit for long periods talking about what they’re in the process of going through. Something that I think every fulltime explorer will go through at some point in their journey.

Katie and Jessie, Hunting, Bonish Photography, Girls

Having Fun while Hog Hunting

These two energetic girls happen to be at a cross-roads in their life. They started this journey with such excitement that the trials and hardships just seemed like part of the experience, which it totally is. After a full year on the sailboat, they needed to take a break and get away from the threat of Hurricane Season, and go back to what land locked, home based folks call ‘Real Life’, something most of us explorers like to think of as a very dirty term.

So they both went back to fulltime jobs, 9-5 duldrums, boyfriends or past lovers, and good friends. They became comfortable in the day to day comforts of their surroundings and lives, somewhat complacent if you will. But in the back of their minds, something kept calling to them. At this point, neither of them probably even know it was calling to them, but the urge was strong enough that they both said all those painful good-byes once again, and are now back on their tiny sailboat trying to get it ready for the next leg of the journey. That final stretch home where those boring 9-5 jobs and day-to-day chores will ALWAYS be waiting for them.

The cross-roads their in right now is something Cindy and I hit multiple time in our travels. A dwindling bank account, a pile of things needed to do to even get going again and that pull of Home, where ever or what ever that word might mean, since it means something different to everyone, trying to lure your conscious back to it.

Cindy and I would rarely blog about these fights, arguments, sometimes screaming matches we’d get into about just turning around and heading back, back to Michigan, back to Florida, back to where family that acts as a security blanket is at to keep you feeling like you cant fail. But luckily enough for the two of us, we had one another who would always talk whomever was going through the issue, down off the ledge.

We’d sit down and let the urgency of the moment pass. We’d mix a drink and start talking about what we’ve already done, what we’re actually doing. Something that most people, the majority, only dreams of doing, yet we’re actually doing it. ANYONE can just stay complacent. It’s the simplest thing to do, because it is the norm. For someone to say goodbye to their loved ones, their best of friends and that security of a job, a home….undo those ties and float away into a world all their own is very powerful, and it goes against what most of us have been taught our entire lives. So those that do it, I put them up on a pedestal.

Please check out Katie and Jessie’s blog and see what they’re going through right now. Give them some words of encouragement to keep them going. If you have a few dollars to share, donate it to them knowing full well that you’re not just pissing it away in the wind. You’re actually helping two, very young girls that are trying to do something most of us grown adults sit here and only dream about.

And then there is this. While Cindy and I were traveling, out exploring this amazing country of ours, we became totally different people. It opened us up. We learned that America is filled with the most amazing people we’ve ever met in our lives. People that will bend over backwards to help you, go out of their way to show you something beautiful, or share their home, driveway, dinner table with you. It gave us a renewed spirit about what we do, and what it means to help someone out that might be in need. I know I’ll never forget that and I when I say my prayers every night, I thank God for those people who were there for us.

There are so many times that I start to bitch about something mundane, small or just a day to day gripe that has me in a pickle. But I think back to our travels and just smile. I usually find myself saying things like “Hey, you were the one who wanted this, you were the one who had to settle down and accomplish something!” So I only have myself to blame.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss traveling fulltime. So if you’re one of those ones who’s thinking about it, get your butt in gear and get out there before it’s too late. If you’re one of those lucky ones that is out there enjoying it, don’t worry about your friends, your Home, and your past, it’ll be there for you when you’re done.

If you happen to hit a cross-road in your travels, sit down, calm down, mix a drink and just think back about what you’ve accomplished up to this point. Chances are you’re right where you need to be.

Dolphin, Gulf of Mexico, Cedar Key, Bonish Photogaphy

Katie Smith, Bonish Photography,

Katie getting ready to go look for hogs and profess her love of Blueberries

Jessie Zevalkink, Bonish Photography

We all know that Jessie hates dogs, but who knew she loved Cats so much?

Kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico, Cedar Key, Bonish Photography

Hideaway Tiki Bar, Cedar Key, Bonish Photography

Katie Smith, Hideaway Tiki Bar, Bonish Photography

Katie doing her best to keep Little Warm in her Overalls

Low-Key Hideaway, Cedar Key, Bonish Photography

Secret Garden

Pat Bonish, Cindy Bonish, Jessie, Katie Smith

There are 4 people in this photo, but the only thing you can look at is Jessie’s Hair

Lowkey Hideaway, Cedar Key, Sunset, Bonish photography

Barbie, Hanging Chair, Low-Key Hideaway, Cedar Key, Bonish Photography

Our guests are so awesome. Someone sent us this chair because they said it reminded them of our place !




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2 Responses to “Friends Visiting a Cross-Road”

  1. Leslie EverettJanuary 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Pat –
    As usual the inspiration that we get from you is not only very invigorating but timely.

    After 20 years with my company, I put in notice this week of my retirement and James put in his notice with fire department today. We will be headed to Yellowstone at the end of April to spend the season until October. The first “leg” or “trial run” of what we both hope will be many years of traveling, exploring and just plain LIVING. It really is not easy. I didn’t realize how tethered we both have been to the “life” that we’ve built over the last 22+ years. How complacent we really have become. It’s one thing to talk about retirement and putting notice and dream about leaving town — it’s another to hand over that piece of paper and begin the process of moving in a whole new direction.

    And yet, after working through the fear and trepidation…I find myself experiencing an excitement and anticipation that I didn’t even realize had been missing from our lives. I am more driven than ever to start this journey.

    Your words today are exactly what I needed to read at the end of this week.
    As usual — Thank you!

    • Pat BonishJanuary 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      I cant wait for the both of you to hit the road Leslie!

      I think you’re going to have soooo much fun!!

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