I recently took a two week vacation  which was the longest vacation I have ever taken in my life, As I reflect on who I write for (L2Pnet.com) I decided I need to live to play and not play to live.

Although I do enjoy playing music to make a living, as I have gotten older and hopefully wiser, I realize living for my family is of the utmost importance to me. Yes, with the economy being down, I had a vision and I stood the course and was able to make my wife’s dream come true for our 15th wedding anniversary.

Our trip started in Venice, Italy with stops in Sicily, Italy, Izmir, Turkey, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and winding down in Rome, Italy. I was totally relaxed for that two week period, check e-mail only three times, leaving behind my worries behind and concentrating on my wife. 

Yes, while on our cruise to the Easten Mediterranean, I will admit, I did pay attention to the styles of music they enjoy in Europe as well as learning cultures and how they view music. That was the only work on did on my vacation, listening to music.

Traveling for that long a period taught me a great lesson. Yes, music is truly an international language and regardless what language you speak, music will touch and grab your heart and soul. I also learned that although music makes the world go round, family and friends are more important than the daily grind of work. Yes we work hard to pay our bills and make a living, but in order to live life fully, you must make time at least for a week or two per year and get away.

My phone did not ring as much while I was away, which may have been a blessing in disguise, however I did come home to a very busy schedule in October which was also a blessing.

Here are some tips on making your vacation plans work for you.

1.  Set a goal where you want to go on vacation.

2.  Pay yourself first. Take 10% of your salary and put it away in an envelope. You will be surprised how much you can save in six to nine months of planning, you can also live on 90% of your salary.

3.  Once you plan and save, pay off your hotels/and or vacation first. The remaining money you save will be for spending money.

4.  “Lord, lead me not into temptation… I can find it myself.” No computer, or cell phones on vacation.

5.  Focus on you and your spouse or significant other on having the best time of your lives.


If you follow these plans, I can guarantee you will finally learn to live 2 play!

Musically yours,

Ray Mar

Originally posted 2011-10-18 23:01:24.