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A Summer Holiday Plan? - A Life Lesson

Updated on January 6, 2021

A boating holiday

Many years ago when our two children were only little we had a small cabin cruiser called the Laurian.

The Laurian was a four berth 18 ft Wavy Rider Wanderer and it was our first boat that had accommodation. The Laurian mooring was on the river Trent at Beeston. From Beeston we could access the British Inland Waterway network.

The Inland Waterways were at one time the arteries of British industry. Raw materials and manufactured goods use to travel t0 all corners of the UK via the Waterways.

Friday evening of every weekend (weather permitting) all four of us would go away on the boat. Time on the boat seemed to take on a different quality.

Boat days always seemed longer, fuller and better than home days. It was on this small boat that we as a family took our annual holiday.

Beeston Moorings

This is where our journey began at our moorings at Beeston on the River Trent.
This is where our journey began at our moorings at Beeston on the River Trent.

Our Annual Holiday

Each year we would take off for a month in the summer during the long school break in our little boat.

We spent many a happy hour during the winter months planning where we would like to go on our main holiday. Because we had a boat we always spent our holiday on Britain’s Inland Waterways system.

As a result of this planning our holidays became very destination focused.
I remember one year we cast off from our moorings in Nottingham to go to London. This was a round trip of over 400 miles and just about as many locks.

For those who don’t know, boats on the Inland Waterways travel at about four miles an hour. If you go any faster than 4 miles an hour anglers fishing in the canal will soon shout at you and let you know.

Going through a lock can take anything from about ten minutes to half an hour. The time taken depended on the size and type of the lock.

Beeston Lock

My husband and son helping a boater through the Beeston lock off the trent onto the canal
My husband and son helping a boater through the Beeston lock off the trent onto the canal

Beeston lock is a large double lock that can hold more than one boat at a time the narrow locks can hold the maximum of one narrow boat up to seventy feet long and a double lock can usually hold two such boats side by side.

Larger River Lock

Most of the river locks however are much larger than the canal locks and are operated by lock keepers.

River Lock on the Thames

This photo shows a large river lock on the Thames this is one of our later boats a narrow boat called Jemima
This photo shows a large river lock on the Thames this is one of our later boats a narrow boat called Jemima


Planning the journey involved hours spent looking at Canal maps. We needed to calculate the distances and the number of locks that our journey would involve. From this we could work out how far we would need to travel in an average boating day.

Because of our planning we had a goal or a destination to reach before we set out. This in turn meant that we had to cover a certain amount of ground each day to get there in the time that we had.

Some days we could cover more miles than on others; it all depended on how many locks we had to go through.

Every day we worried about covering enough distance to stay on schedule. As a result of this we never seemed to have enough time to stop and enjoy to the full where we were.

Map of the Inland Waterways

This is a map showing all the Inland waterways.
This is a map showing all the Inland waterways.


keeping to a timetable
keeping to a timetable

Keeping to a timetable

Because we had a time table we were able to tell if we fell behind. This would happen when we had a stretch with a lot of locks that we had to navigate.

When this happened we would then have to get up very early the next day and travel all day.

Fortunately, in England in the summer time it stays light right up until around 11 pm. This enabled us to travel as long as we had the light so we could make up the time.

Revelation time

Here I go again mentioning God, but I have to give credit where credit is due. So then God gave us this revelation that our holiday was the journey not the destination.

I know many of you already knew this but we didn't, to us it was a revelation. This revelation really turned things round for us. Yes we still planned our holidays; we still had a destination in mind when we set off.

But, our destination was never again our main focus. Now our holiday began the moment we got on the boat. If we found somewhere nice we would moor up and enjoy it for as long as we wanted to.

We would look at the maps of the surrounding countryside, no GPS back then. If we saw somewhere that looked interesting we would stop and moor up again and go off exploring.

Set free to enjoy
Set free to enjoy

Set free to enjoy

We had been set free from the tyranny of having a destination to arrive at. Our destination no longer made demands on us that we had to obey.

Our destination was no longer the focus of the holiday. This freed us from having to cover a certain number of miles each day.

With our new found freedom we could change our destination if we liked. We could travel as far as we liked, because we were not destination driven. How far we got didn’t matter anymore all that mattered was that we enjoy ourselves as we travelled.

A life lesson

God showed us through this that the whole of life is a journey. We need to start enjoying the journey. This means living in the now, enjoying what is in front of us now, getting the most out of what we are doing.

Stop waiting to be happy when you arrive at some self imposed destination. Start choosing to be happy now where you are. It is okay to have a destination or plan in mind, but the secret is not to put off being happy until you arrive.

Dangers of not learning this life lesson

I remember a couple who had become destination driven. This couple was always planning what they would do when...

When their children were grown up, when they paid off their house or when they retired.

Because of their set destinations they kept putting things off until when....
The sad thing about this is they never did arrive at their destination. Shortly before all these things came together things fell apart. The husband (of this couple) left his family and went off with another woman.

With this other woman he didn’t wait until he retired before he started to enjoy what he had. Right away he began to do all the things he had put off for all those years.

This couple didn’t get to enjoy the fruits of all their planning and sacrifice. All the things that they put off doing, the sacrifices that they made for the future, were all for nothing.

The future, where they were going to do all that they had planned together, they didn’t get to have together.

Stop waiting for the future destinations to arrive

Stop waiting for the future destination to arrive before you enjoy life. Start enjoying your journey, live your life to the full where you are now. Take the time to experience to the full what you have now and who you are with now.

Don’t have children then spend your time waiting for them to get on to the next stage. Don't focus on when they are out of nappies, or big enough to go to school.

Focus on what is special about them now. Stop thinking that it is when.. then you will be able to relax and enjoy them a bit more.

Enjoy whatever stage they are at right now. Enjoy what stage they are going through while they are going through it.

Make the time and do it now!

Don't wait too long before you do all those things you want to do instead make the time and do it now before it is too late.
Don't wait too long before you do all those things you want to do instead make the time and do it now before it is too late.

Conclusion ~ Make the time

Make time for the things you want to do now and include your friends and family in your plans. Share your joy and life with others and your joy will increase and your life will be the richer for it.

Learn how to be a giver, the richest and best gifts in life are not dependant on money. Love compassion care time who can put a value on these, they are priceless.

Give time, love, joy, delight, friendship, care and compassion to others. What you give others that is what will multiply and increase in your own life.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Even if you don’t believe in God and think the Bible is a load of rubbish it will still work for you try it and you'll see.

I've tried it and it worked for me and those that I know who have tried it, I also know that it has worked for them.

What you put into life determines what you will get out of life. Sow into the lives of others what you want to grow or get in your own.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.


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