In June, we posted a blog about focused geocaching and how it is often important to consider this strategy during family vacations. This is a process we have been working on but, in the past, have faltered in its actual application. This time we got much closer and I think we found a modicum of success.
In June, we traveled to Hawaii. A vacation we had been planning for 6 months and one that was filled with firsts and lasts. It was our first time to visit Hawaii and our last time to vacation as a family under our current model. The oldest is heading off to college and while she will always be welcome on family vacations it will be different in the future as she won’t be living with us. This vacation was also slightly different in that Kristi, our in-house travel agent, did her usual planning to include a daily itinerary but then called an audible and said that we would not be using it and we were going to decide on the fly. This was somewhat of an experiment for her and while it may not sound like much to most, it was huge for her. I am very proud of her for venturing outside of her comfort zone and approaching intentional down time in a different way.
Considering that this would be a different type of vacation for our family, I didn’t want to dominate all of our time with geocaching. While it does obviously generally constitute a big piece of our family time, it is not the only thing. I wanted whatever we did to be positive and not feel like a burden. As you all know, hobbies are fun until they become work. As previously mentioned, I developed a list of caches and a goal of what I wanted to accomplish while on the island. I prioritized the list into “must-do” and “that would be nice” geocaches. My list, while not actually written out, went something like this:
- GCHNW8: The Cheese Stands Alone – the only remaining webcam in the state
- GC23: Geocache – the oldest in the state of Hawaii
- As many icon types as possible
- A 5×5 challenge
- Any other caches as time permitted
I am happy to report at the end of vacation I got everything I wanted and more. The webcam was close to our hotel so that was easy one to knock off the list. There is a story behind that one but I will get to that in an upcoming post about the state of webcams. After securing that one, we went to our Cachly list to look at the most efficient way to knock out each icon type. Again, the planning made this work almost effortlessly.
We hosted an event in Hawaii which has become a staple when we travel now. This allowed us to meet some great geocachers while learning all about the island and the best places to visit. An amazing group of geocachers that attended the event offered to drive me around all day, hiked with me to the oldest cache in the state, and even made sure I got the last remaining icons on my list. We were forced to reroute on one from the list because of some massive flooding but that’s a story for another post. By the end of vacation, we ended up with 9 icon types for the trip. Not too shabby.
We also signed a 5×5 challenge (GC88QK1: Double Fizzy Challenge) that we will now be working on now that we have returned to the mainland. It turns out we are only four caches away from our next Fizzy loop. Who knew? The funny thing is that with all of that accomplished, we still had tons of vacation time left and it hadn’t become all about me running around monopolizing everyone’s time. Memphis for the WIN! A couple of days later, The CFO and I were walking around the city on our way to a romantic dinner on the beach. Organically, geocaching came up as a way to navigate as we walked and shopped along the way to our destination. We ended up grabbing several challenges and traditional caches as a bonus as we walked.
All in all, we found thirty-two caches and signed two more challenges which gives us more goals and you know how the Mafia clan loves their goals! It was refreshing to know that we hit every target we set. I tend to get overwhelmed when we hit a new place by wanting to grab everything; always leaving feeling like I missed something. This time was different and we have definitely found a strategy that we will employ on our next non-geocaching vacation. Geocaching wins again!