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The Birth of Beyond the Blue Travel

Welcome everyone to the weird and wacky journey that has lead to the birth of Beyond the Blue Travel. Well okay, to be honest it is probably not that weird and definitely not wacky, but the story behind how my new business came to be is about as personal as it gets. I must also apologize in advance, i am told I have really bad Dad jokes. While I would love to jump in and start telling you all how it all began, I think a little back story is warranted.

This adventure, little did I know, started over 23 years ago. Its a story of a boy and a girl who met flipping burgers and selling shakes at McDonald's. You see this is where I met my soul mate and partner in life, Danielle. And while our initial encounter was a result of a mop bucket, sopping wet floor, and one heck of a lucky catch, we have stuck together through it all. After years of dating and college, in June of 1998 at the ripe old age of 19 and just weeks after graduating from college, I married Danielle and we began our life together. That one decision set in motion a series of adventures, trials, and experiences that did and will change our life forever.

The first adventure was of course the honeymoon. No, this is not one of those hide the women and children stories, it is a story of the beginning of a love and appreciation for travel and cruises in general. As a broke college kid living in his mom's basement, eating everything in sight, and having nothing better to do then watch late night infomercials (For those not old enough to know what an infomercial is or those who are in bed by 8 pm, they are adds designed to make you buy stuff you don't need. They always came with 3 easy payments of $XXX with a 100 % guarantee to never be able to get a hold of someone when the product did not work)! But anyway, while watching late night infomercials, I became drawn to the Vacation Store. They dangled cruises and Caribbean vacations in front of my face night after night. As I watched, I knew this was it, we were heading to the Caribbean on a cruise ship for our honeymoon. We sought out a local travel agent and booked our dream honeymoon on the world renowned Dolphin Cruise Line. If you haven't heard of Dolphin Cruise Line, where have you been? Under a rock? Living in your mom's basement watching infomercials... wait, that was me! Anyway, we were set, right up until they cancelled our cruise. So bring in the Vacation Store and their sultry display of Caribbean beaches, exotic destinations, palm trees, endless pizza and ice cream, and midnight buffets. I could not resist. So I took out a second mortgage on my mom's house, book the cruise and away we went (Just don't tell her, I think she is still paying on it). I booked an exciting Southern Caribbean Vacation aboard the Carnival Inspiration out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was 8 days and 7 nights of absolute euphoria. From the minute I stepped on the ship, I was hooked. All you could eat 24 hour pizza, who could ask for anything more. I was never leaving. Well unfortunately security had something to say about that and kicked me off after 8 days. But it was the start of a wonderful marriage to Danielle and I could not have asked for a better way to start our marriage.

Upon returning home, it was back to the real world. As I mentioned earlier, we were married just weeks after graduating college. Danielle had graduated with a degree in accounting and I graduated with a degree in law enforcement. I spend the rest of the summer working towards full-time employment in the profession that would come to define and ultimately become the catalyst for Beyond the Blue Travel. In October 1998, I started working in the law enforcement field for a local police department and over the last 21 years have risen through the ranks from patrolman to sergeant to my current roll as Chief of Police. Over that time, I worked for various different agencies and had many highs in my career and many more lows. In that same time, I realized the importance of getting away from the job. While I knew this was important, it was not always what happened. Most of the time, money and time were spent on other priorities and I ultimately neglected my overall health and well-being for work.

It wasn't until I accepted my current position as Chief that I fully realized the impact that a life in public service could have on someone. As an officer, I showed up for work, did my job, and went home each night. If fellow officers around me were struggling, I rarely knew about it unless they shared it with me. I tried to keep in my lane while they stayed in their lane.

As Chief, I have learned that, that philosophy does not cut it. I have watched officers for years struggle with personal issues, mental health issues, and chemical addiction all the result of public service. I spent years watching fellow officers and myself struggle with work and home life, never able to cope with the stress of the job and life. This is one of the only professions that I know of where the men and women who serve have a difficult time turning off the cop side of them in everyday life. We sit in certain directions at restaurants, we evaluate everyone's driving behavior while ignoring our own, we consistently scan our surroundings for possible threats, and we notice every meth addict or criminal we have encountered in public. Our profession has a tendency to consume and infect every aspect of our lives whether we realize it or not. I have realized it in myself and have observed it in my colleagues, partners, friends, and co-workers. I have seen the struggles and experienced the fallout and aftermath of those struggles.

During my time in law enforcement, I realized there is one constant that is necessary in life- time away. I realized that one of the best ways to recharge your batteries was to get away from that stress. The lessons I've learned fueled my passion and desire to make a difference in the lives of others. With my passion for travel and understanding of the need for time away, Beyond the Blue Travel conceived . I thought long and hard about what name I wanted to use. In the end, I chose Beyond the Blue Travel for many reasons. For me personally, it is about life after law enforcement. While I have many years ahead of me in law enforcement, I now realize there is life beyond this profession and exploring my passions is part of that.

In addition to the personal meaning, the name also has a dual meaning. First, Beyond the Blue stands for what I believe we all should strive for. Don't just let life happen to you, LIVE IT and make the most of it. Rather than stay in our little bubbles where we feel safe, Beyond the Blue encourages people to look beyond the (Blue) horizon and seek out new and exciting experiences in life away from that bubble. A recent quote I found says, "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us!". Whether it is horseback riding out west, lounging on a beach in the Caribbean, scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, hiking and camping in the Canadian Rockies, or wine tasting at the vineyards in Italy, we all have dreams of our next great adventure. We are all given a limited amount of time on this earth, the only questions is will you let life escape you or will you will embrace life and the adventures it has waiting for you.

Second, for those law enforcement officers out there, life extends Beyond the Blue. For a lot of us, our job consumes a good part of our life. We miss holidays, family gatherings, birthdays, and special events for the job. But we have to remember that there is way more to life than just the "Blue". Our personal health is far more important than the job we do. We cannot help others if we are unable to help our self. It is important to look Beyond the Blue and take time for you and your family.

So in July 2019, Beyond the Blue Travel became a reality with the launch of our website. Since that time, extensive hours have been spent training and learning as much as possible about the travel industry. It is our mission at Beyond the Blue Travel is to research, plan, organize and book a dream vacation for you that is beyond your expectations. But more importantly it is an opportunity to help others from letting life escape them. I want to thank everyone for their support and willingness to read my ramblings. I hope someday I am able to assist you and your family with your next vacation beyond expectations. Don't delay your paradise is waiting.

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