If someone had to write a recipe for the makings of you, what would they include? Now that’s a question you’ve probably never been asked, but humor me and think about it. As for me, I think it would consist of a hefty dose of Southern California sunshine and lifestyle, one part Ibiza, Spain, one part interior design, family and philanthropy, and a dash of…BOATING! No one who knows me well would be surprised to learn that, because in addition to being a lover of all things oceans and pools, I’m no stranger to boats and yachts. I even started my design career as a creative director for a luxury yacht company! So, boating has a special place in my heart. I’ll tell you why those roots run deep in today’s blog.

Early Adventures in Boating

When people ask where my love of boating comes from, my mind immediately recalls my earliest memories of summer vacations with my family on Lake Mead or Lake Mohave. My parents, siblings and I would drive up and rent a houseboat with another family. In fact, these trips actually looked a lot like what I’ve coined as tiered vacations! We would pick up friends from the harbor, bring them with us for a few nights, and then drop them back off at the end of the weekend. Now, you might be thinking that this all sounds super fun and luxurious. And, while I certainly did have fun on these trips, I wouldn’t describe anything about them as particularly opulent. In fact, I often joke about the “emotional scar” these trips left on my soul. LOL. I’m kidding! But, it should be noted that the way my parents preferred to vacation varies greatly from the way I do.

The preparation for our boating trips started well in advance of our treks, and it was extensive. For starters, we always brought everything we needed for the week or weeks we planned to be on the houseboat. I can remember the garage at our house being stacked with mac and cheese, snacks and other food we would be eating while on vacation. Anything we would need to consume and use had to be loaded into the car and brought with us. I mean, everything. We even had huge supplies of paper towels and tissue, because there would be no room service! When I think back on those days, in addition to the fun, I remember the hassle and stress.

Let the Fun Begin!

We would pile into the car, and mom insisted on bringing her aloe plant (because in her opinion nothing worked better!). When we finally arrived, Dad and one of his friends would drive the boat. Our time during those couple of weeks was spent jet skiing, speed boating, water skiing and fishing. I discovered that I was great at water skiing. But I hated it! I mean, why would I want to be dragged behind a boat when everyone else is ON the boat? At least, that’s how young adolescent Breegan thought. 

Storms would come through, the boat would sway and sway. We would wake up the next morning, and items would be halfway across the beach because of the wind. It was definitely an adventure. It wasn’t all bad. I learned to catch lizards with my dad, and I had a good time with my siblings and our friends. It was just…different. At least, it was different by adult Breegan’s standards. I think that’s normal!

Redefining Boating for Myself

I’m grateful for all those trips on the lake with my family. It was a defining part of my childhood, and while maybe it was exactly the way I would have planned it, I know it was a privilege that not everyone gets to enjoy. But, sometimes you need to experience things you don’t like in order to uncover what you do! At the age of 16 I made the decision not to go on these trips anymore. For me, it felt like our vacations required too much work! I didn’t want to accumulate all the stuff we needed for two weeks. I didn’t like that the water we were in was so dark and murky. It was the opposite of the clear teal waters in my beloved Ibiza. So, when I became an adult, I knew boating would continue to be a great love of mine; it would just look different. Very different.

These days I plan boating days and trips with the goal of relaxation. My family orders room service. We spend time enjoying each other’s company without the fear of a storm or a boat tipping over. It’s not that one way of boating is better or worse than the other. They just prioritize different things. When my boys and I vacation, I want to show up and give my kids all of my attention. I work hard. My usual life is spent split between design projects, philanthropic work in Kenya and traveling for my work in TV. The moments I get to unwind and unplug with my boys is incredibly precious. I’m also aware that they need time to relax, too! 

So no, we don’t pack up non-perishables and drive to the lake. We indulge and spoil ourselves a little. But isn’t that what we all do a bit as we get older? We take lessons from our childhood and reimagine what life might look like if we put our own spin on things. My parents gave me a gift in all of those boating experiences that have undoubtedly shaped me and the way I prefer to spend my leisure time.

The Beauty of Boating

If you ever catch my Instagram stories, there’s a big chance you’ll see glimpses of me with my significant other, sons and friends zipping to and fro in our boat in L.A. We don’t just vacation on yachts, we take the boat to the farmer’s market and to dinner, right here locally! I do truly love it! There is just something about being out there on the water with the wind hitting your face, and gratefulness filling your heart. It’s a unique sensation that is exhilarating. I don’t feel it when I’m in my car or walking down the street. The power the ocean has to reduce stress levels and boost serotonin is unmatched. 

I love boating because I love to share experiences. I enjoy taking people out on the boat, because I realize everyone doesn’t have one! I don’t want to be on the boat alone. I want to be out there with you, friends and family! I want to spend time listening to music in the sunshine with my loved ones, as we watch the water ripple behind us. Boating sets my soul aflame. It’s my happy place. Summer is for boating as far as I’m concerned. I think it will always be a part of who I am. I have my parents to thank for that. Tell me about something in your childhood that influenced the way you like to spend your time today!

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