Insights on Travel from Costa Rica Expeditions’ Founder Michael Kaye and his Expert Friends.

Happy Birthday, Vacation Time is Precious

My first post on Vacation Time is Precious was a year ago today.

Birthdays are a time to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, how you got there, and where you’re  going.  So here goes.

The inspiration for starting the blog was a guest at Monteverde Lodge asking me if I could recommend a company that was, “like Costa Rica Expeditions,” for the Galapagos. It hit me that for years I had  been making recommending travel companies to our guests and that a blog might be a vehicle for helping like minded  travelers and travel companies  find each other.

I emailed the first post to our list of past guests to ask them if they thought it was a good idea.  I figured if I got at least 10 positive comments I’d keep going. I got 65,  almost all of them positive.

Then Vacation Time is Precious took on a life of its own.

Though I have made many recommendations for tour companies, they turned out to be a relatively small part of the blog. For the most part the blog has been an ongoing conversation consisting of whatever I am thinking about and your comments.

I have posted on topics as diverse as a children’s book that saved a little red lighthouse in New York City, to complaints and how to handle them.  I’ve written about how the supply chain in the travel industry is evolving, and how I made a fool of myself on an overnight train from Paris to Madrid.

If many of the posts have a unifying theme, I suppose it is precious time and the most nourishing ways we can spend it—not just our vacation time, put all of our precious time.

The important thing for me is that working on this blog has been a very nourishing way to spend my precious time.  The relationships, new and old, that Vacation Time is Precious has fostered and renewed have been immensely satisfying, personally and professionally. It is also heartening that the number of subscribers is growing.

Chief among the satisfactions was the “Trip of a Lifetime,” which I have been sharing with you through Patty Chang Anker’s blog posts. Not only did I learn a great deal and get to read and share Patty’s posts, I made 5 new very good friends—no small thing at my age.

So where is this blog going? There are 9 more posts from Patty about Trip of a Lifetime.

After that, it depends in part on all of you.  Please let me know what you want me to write about and I will do my best to comply.

To sum up, I do not know exactly where this blog is going, but I am very much looking forward to getting there and to another fun-filled year.

Photo November 2010 by Laura Hubber

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Comments and Replies

  • At December 21, 2010
    6:00:06 am
    Cheryl Shnider said:

    Michael – Happy Birthday! I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you through this blog and then in person. You have some wonderful stories that I think your blog readers would love to hear. The depth and breadth of your travel experiences and experiences in the travel industry give you so much to draw on.
    Not to make fun of such a wonderful woman (shes such a good sport), but your Yolandismo stories are such a great example of how culture and language can either inadvertently get in the way of positive communication or can open the door to shared learning about each other. That topic – cultural/language differences and their impact on the travel experience – is of interest to me.
    I’m also interested in how to best really experience another country in an authentic way. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I studiously avoid tourist traps and American resorts. I try to eat where the locals eat and stay off the beaten path. On a recent trip to Tortuga Lodge, one of the highlights was really getting to know some people from Costa Rica. Their lives and experiences and their views of the world are so fascinating to me. I think it helps me to be a more tolerant and sensitive person. I would look forward to hearing any insights/stories you might have about this topic.
    Lastly, I would love to hear about people’s most memorable vacation. The best of the best and why it was so. Some of my favorite vacations have been inspired by someone else’s experience in a particular place that prompted me to go.
    Thanks so much for this blog Michael. Patty’s blog is also a joy to read. Isn’t technology wonderful?

    • At December 16, 2010
      2:07:48 am
      Jim said:

      Michael, I was a bit skeptical when the first blog arrived, but over the last year I have begun looking forward to your posts, wondering what direction will the next one take? I even started – but sadly never finished – replies to several blogs. So just because readers don’t respond, don’t take that as an indicator we are not engaged. Your comments are both humorous and thought provoking. Indeed, they have helped me reflect on what kind of traveller I am. As for future posts: (in about a year) I would really like to hear what impact the English classes have on the students, their families, and the guest teachers. Also, I’d like to hear about potential negative consequences of even well-meaning tourism.

      • At December 15, 2010
        7:28:08 am
        Shannon Borrego said:

        I think this blog has taken a lot of us by surprise. At first I thought it might be a good place to exchange travel recommendations–nothing more. However, as the weeks went by and people continued to share their thoughts and ideas, I started recognizing some of the names and feeling a connection with others that were blogging. Michael’s sense of humor quickly won me over and I soon found myself looking forward to each week’s new topic. I’d love to hear more–for example, What are other ways that some of you have connected with locals? Any bad experiences that taught you a lesson? And, of course, more funny stories about Michael and Yolanda!

        • I love your blogs keep em coming. It gives me a little bit of Costa Rica

          • At December 14, 2010
            6:14:18 pm
            Max said:

            It’s been a fun ride so far, and certainly a meaningful one for those of us on the “ToaL.” Keep up the good work, Michael (and Patty ;).