So this last trip I was invited to was slated to be a big Florida Adventure. Literally, the hashtag was #FLAdventure. 5 lifestyle bloggers, including myself, were to visit 2 incredible resorts in the Tampa/Clearwater area and experience and indulge in all of the fun activities and excursions these resorts and these areas had to offer.
We started the journey at TradeWinds Resort in St. Pete Beach, FL. Our initial agendas were jam packed! I mean, honestly there truly is a lot to do at this resort – from Paddleboarding, Floating cabanas for a more chill experience to a flying jet pack experience or parasailing for the more adventure seeking guest. I fully intended to try at least most of these, I swear I did. We all did. We thought this trip would be a complete surge of adventure and action. However…
Our agenda looked more like eat, tweet, retreat, repeat. And it turned out to be the perfect getaway for just that reason!
In our defense, TradeWinds Resort sort of encourages this overwhelming desire to just relax and kick back. On day one, we strolled around the resort, taking some beautiful pictures we just had to share with our followers, hung out at the Salty Cabana bar by the beach, then followed by a nap before dinner.
Dinner was at a pretty well known place called RumFish Grill. It’s a Guy Harvey property and from what I’ve learned about him, it has every inch of his essence morphed into this dining experience. A dim lit dining area in front of a giant aquarium, which…fun fact – people actually get to scuba dive in when the restaurant’s closed!
The food was nothing short of incredible! Of course, we orders a variety of dishes – in the name of Instagram – and devoured each of them. We’d later realize on this trip that if calamari tasting were a sport, we’d be olympians!
The night was topped off by s’mores at sunset. It was a good day.
So we thought day 2 would be that busy day of adventure, but instead, our time relaxing in our private cabanas completely consumed us. Turns out that when given the option to sit back, relax and completely take in the experience, that’s what we chose. I’d always dreamed of having my own office on the beach and this was exactly what this felt like. I spent the afternoon laying in beautiful weather, listening to the soothing sounds of the water… All while catching up on emails, writing, and taking care of other responsibilities that would otherwise bring my such anxiety to not have handled. To be honest, while there was a part of me that wanted to get up and get active, I didn’t realize at the time how much I truly needed that time of rest and retreat.
You see, the life of a travel blogger can be a lot more taxing than most people realize. On a typical press trip, it’s days of non stop activity from sun up to sun down. It’s one big adventure after the next and, while these are often such priceless adventures, they can be downright exhausting. On top of that, you’re falling behind on other responsibilities, disconnected from the outside world and, as my travel buddy on this trip Jeff Bogle of OWTK so eloquently wrote about, it can be a lot lonelier than people realize. You’re surrounded by people, yes, but the combination of fatigue, home-sickness and loss of reality can sometimes bring about a certain emptiness felt with every evening’s return to your hotel room. The smiling selfies and boomerangs and such that showcase the highs of your trip become your personal motivation to do it all again the next day.
And far too often, and many travel bloggers won’t admit to this, these 3-4 day vacation highs can ultimately produce an overwhelming low lasting for days weeks upon our returns home. It’s the notion of needing a vacation from your vacation on steroids.
This is why I truly appreciated my time at TradeWinds Resort for giving me that opportunity to just let go for a few days and do some of the things I love to do most – eat, tweet, retreat, and repeat – all while surrounded by beautiful scenery, people and beaches.