Last year, it was announced in Sunday School that Merge, my church’s young adult ministry, was going to be taking a trip to Pensacola, Florida. I immediately said, “That’s not for me.” The beach isn’t my thing. I’ve never been good at vacationing (I prefer to call it “relaxation-challenged”). The Florida trip conflicted with another trip I was wanting to go on. So I decided I wasn’t going to go. But a few months later, a friend convinced me that I should go, that I (in his words) “deserved this trip.” So I decided to go. And I’m so glad that I did.
We left Pensacola on Saturday, and I still can’t get over how great that vacation was. It was more fun, relaxing, and enjoyable than I ever imagined that it could be. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience with Merge’s Fusion in Florida trip.
We left at 2:00 am last Saturday morning for what we thought would be a 1s-hour drive to Pensacola. It was a long, tiring trip that actually ended up lasting 15 hours, but as soon as I saw the house, I knew the drive had been worth it. The beach house was gorgeous, and it was the perfect size for our group. We filled every bed and every room, but no one had to sleep on a couch or the floor. We were all very comfortable and very well taken care of in the house.
Most days were free days. We had a nice, warm breakfast courtesy every morning, and then we had the day to ourselves. I visited the beach a couple of times, but as I predicted, it wasn’t really my scene. I spent most of my days either watching TV at the house, swimming in the pool, or riding one of the house’s bikes around the neighborhood. Every night, we had a home-cooked dinner and spent time together watching a movie or playing board games. It was very nice and laid-back.
I think my favorite thing about the trip was the fact that I could do whatever I wanted. If I felt like jumping in the pool, I could do that. If I wanted to watch TV, I could do that, too. If I was in the mood for doing some laundry (which I found myself doing every day), that was fine. It was the truest form of relaxation. No deadlines. No agenda. Nothing being forced on me. Just lounging around doing whatever I like. I haven’t had that experience in a very long time, and it was very, very refreshing.
It was also a good time for discovery. I found out that I actually enjoy bike-riding, something I used to find exhausting and pointless. I think I may have actually found a new exercise hobby while on vacation, which is pretty cool. I guess I just needed some time to clear my mind and try some new things, and I definitely got that in Florida. (I also found that I enjoy doing laundry, but that’s all I’ll say about that.)
Of course, I also had fun spending time with my friends from church. I feel like I got some good, quality time with everyone on the trip, which meant a lot to me since I’ll be moving away from home pretty soon. Going shopping together, sharing meals together, and having service together were all really great experiences that made me feel like I was growing closer with my Merge family. And after all, that was the whole point of Fusion in Florida, right?
I had a great experience in Florida. I think it’s a trip I’ll never forget, and that’s why I decided to dedicate a whole blog post to it. Thank you guys for letting my share my experience with you, and I hope you enjoyed keeping up with all my shenanigans in Pensacola. I hope you have all had refreshing, meaningful experiences like the one I had last week, and if you haven’t, I hope you do soon. Thanks for reading, friends, and I’ll see you next week, where I’ll probably be updating you on my trip to the National Association of Free Will Baptists convention on Fort Worth, TX!