After 18 months away from corporate life, I finally really experienced what it means to be ‘unleashed’.

This past year, I’ve done some independent work out of my home. Enough to satisfy my interest in new things. Enough to provide the opportunity to share with others. But not enough to tie me down.

But I didn’t really realize the beauty of that until this past December. We were fortunate to have a very mild winter in 2012. But this year, during the first week of December, it became apparent that 2013 would be very different. We were going to be affected by the same severe storms that 98% of the country were going to be experiencing.

We woke up 24 hours before the predicted storm was to hit, and we looked at each other and realized that there was no reason we needed to stay at home and endure this abomination.  A road trip was in order!

Dylan loves a road trip

Tom got online and did a little mapping and researching (of dog friendly hotels, of course). I cleaned out the fridge, wrapped up some immediate work and put together doggie meals. We both threw some clothes in a suitcase, and by the next morning, we were out of here.

Sunny and warm in southern Florida

Initially, we planned only as far as getting us to Florida, which appeared to be the only state that wouldn’t be snowed in. This was a drive of 2-3 days. In route, we heard from Terry and Mike that their home in a Fort Myers Beach would be empty while they were vacationing elsewhere and they encouraged us to stay there.

A tropical setting

So, we planted ourselves in these new and cozy surroundings. I did the same kind of work that I would have done here. But breakfast was outside under a palm tree instead on inside by the fire.

Dylan and me on the beach

In the evening we strolled the beach, instead of bundled up against the cold to walk Dylan. The climate made all the difference.

Mantees in Crystal River, FL

A leisurely route back home even took us to Crystal River and its protected reserve for the endangered manatees.  What amazing creatures they are.  And what a memorable experience it is to have them swim right up to your kayak.

Sunset behind the palms

In the end, we were away from home for for more than three weeks.  It was a lovely, warm, time… exploring new areas and seeing old friends.

And most importantly, realizing the potential of being unleashed… And opening our minds to all sorts of new adventures!