I know I talk and ramble a lot of our future plans of travel. Lately I’ve noticed that I’ve stopped browsing so many exotic sites that get my Wanderlust juices flowing. What I’ve been looking through and lusting after are things that will keep me right here in Cedar Key where I’ve finally realized, I’m pretty dang happy.
If we didn’t need the camper as a back-up place to retreat to in case of a Hurricane or Tropical Storm, I honestly think we would have sold it months ago. Cindy and I both talked about it, but agreed that we’d wait till after this Hurricane Season ended just in case Mother Nature left us without a structure to live in.
I’ve thought a lot of what we would do if we left here and I usually talk myself out of it when I start thinking of how lucky we are just to be here in the first place. I mean we live and work at our business, a business that so many people come to on their vacations. That’s a pretty big deal when you consider that the average American only takes one or two vacations each year. If someone is saving up all year to come visit where we live, it becomes a wake-up call to tell me to stop lusting after other places. Not that I think I’ll ever stop looking at unique or exotic places to visit, I’m just not feeling like I’m missing anything by not being on the road right now.
This business is beyond what I would have expected when we first started just 3 short years ago and my goals have now become to try and keep up on top of that wave we’ve been riding. I’ve become obsessed with making this little funky place into something that people want to come back to and something that continues to make people say “WOW” when they see it.
We thought Cedar Key would be a stopping point to pad the bank account much like Yellowstone was. Our problem now is neither of us want to leave. We’ve fallen in love with the locals who have become like family to us, the scenery that continues to amaze us and provide eye candy for our camera lenses and our jobs that we feel so blessed to have. If you study any business models, they say a new business usually takes 3 years to gain a name and prove itself to it’s visitors. If you can make it through the first three years then you’ve made it over the hump of “The New Business“. If you can make it over the 5 year mark, then you’re considered a staple in that industry.
Considering that we did so well our first year I just consider that we had no where to go but up. Winning the Business of the Year that second year and gaining the Title of the #9 Place to Stay in the United States by Trip Advisor, what can we do this 3rd year to top that?
I look back to our first few months here. It was non-stop work just to bring this place up to par. The old managers couldn’t even rent rooms and having return guests was something they’d never even thought of. Our biggest complaint now is that people can’t rent rooms or make reservations because we’re always full. Forget just showing up on a whim, most visitors need to make reservations months in advance if they want to stay for more than one day.
Another of my creations from recycled wine corks and bottle caps
Another thing I’ve noticed is the guests we have visiting us. It’s probably one of the reasons its so easy to stay here without lusting to travel more. We almost never get guests that come with negative attitudes. They all seem eager to share their traveling stories, show off their photos or join in when we’re hosting a pot luck dinner at the Tiki Bar.
Even if every guest here is on their first night in Cedar Key, you’d almost think we’re a bunch of old friends with everyone offering to lend a hand, laughing and joking and just having a good time.
I guess what I’m getting at is Cindy and I will never become rich off of this endeavor. Most people start businesses with dollar signs in their long term goals. For Cindy and I, we both said to one another “Let’s just do something that we love and put as much of ourselves into it. If it works, then who cares if we make money because we’ll be beyond happy. If we fail, then I guess we can always go to work somewhere that will at least pay the bills.”
So far, it’s worked! The reality is we’re so happy right now just working our butts off that I cant imagine doing anything else. I read a saying that went something like this
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life“
Few people actually adhere to that motto. I’m blessed to be one that is living it daily.