Live Your Passions

By Angela M Johnson

We are all looking for that perfect niche, talent or function that makes us important to others. A place where you can go and feel that you have given a part of yourself and that part has significantly helped, somehow make this world a better place for others. I guess what I mean is, we are all looking for our significance in this world in one form or another. Sometimes this search is more pronounced than other times.

As a mother, I realize I do have significance in life by merely existing because my children need me. But sadly, sometimes that is not enough. So, I search to find my significance through my passions in life. My passions happen to be sharing the wonderful world of travel with others. Working in the travel industry for over a decade in my life, I really enjoyed planning vacations for others. The world around us is a big playground and I felt significance in helping others enjoy this outlook as well. After 9/11, the travel industry was not the same. Gloom-ridden clouds covered my blue skies of possibilities. The excitement once felt at the thought of visiting all the wonderful places was replaced by fear. The business competition to keep even the slightest customer happy was near impossible. This became the end of my then, passion-filled prosperous career. This was not an exciting atmosphere I once flourished in. Negativity breeds more negativity, so sadly I said goodbye to what had been my great passion and began my search for new passions.

Besides getting married to my prince charming and starting a family, I had not found a passion that resonated as deeply inside me as my work in the travel industry until the recent recession hit. I know, I know. Very unorthodox timing for passions to flow when devastating economic downturns are taking place all around us. But this is when I happened upon my renewed passion.

My love for planning travel quickly returned when I began my adventures of finding the hidden gems inside our beautiful Orange County. Things were looking grim for us financially, so to keep my spirits up, I began planning daycations with my family, which of course had to be on a budget. I found that sharing the experience of these adventures my husband and children and seeing all the beauty that exists in our local area was just as full-filling as planning vacations for others. There was the challenge of not being able to splurge but keep the daycation exciting enough for us all to enjoy. In fact this was more fulfilling because I began to blog about our adventures. This served a larger purpose than I expected. I found that others families in our surrounding communities were looking for fun adventures on a budget too, and I could share our finds with them. Not only this, but our local tourist attractions that once flourished from travelers afar, were finding themselves without business. Since people weren’t traveling far, they must be staying close. This was when the idea of a daycation was born. What a better place to be a tourist than Southern California, I thought. Experience everything as a tourist would but there’s no need to drop that heavy check on airline tickets or hotels stays (except for the occasional splurge which is a “must” every now and then and experience the real tourist side of town). At the end of the day, I love my life and feel passion for what I can offer to others in my community. There are so many daycations to plan and I am just getting started.

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