Stacey bursts through the door with a smile and bellows ‘Heeeellooooo’ after a client call and work run over an hour late. She declares,“Largest client and client comes first, and contract gets completed so Stacey gets paid! Now onto camping!”
Stacey and John are packed and ready to head out the door with camper in tow to Crystal River for a four day getaway meeting up with family from Minnesota.
They have crafted a lifestyle of camping getaways between working, producing events and custom fabricating event decor.
This month, Stacey celebrated ten years owning Exhilarate Events, an Orlando based event production firm. John designs and fabricates themed decor for Stacey and other clients at his company, The Scenic Shoppe.
Since May of 2017, the Barabe’s slip away to state parks for long weekends and adventures out of state on vacation in their ‘Cutie’ Coleman Camper.
A recent two week journey to Minnesota included routing through New Jersey on the way home so Stacey could manage a one night event. On the same trip there were visits to the world famous Brimfield Flea Market in Massachusetts, and the Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Virginia so John could be inspired by his favorite TV show.
Out of the driveway John is usually thinking about how long and far he needs to drive before he can pop open a cold one and get to relaxing, so two and a half hour drives are perfect. Fortunately, Florida is abundant with many tropical and lush camp grounds, and upon arriving it takes only an hour to set up camp. John can get to relaxing! That first evening is always enjoyed since they make certain to arrive before sundown and often witness a glorious sunset.
Most campsites have no cell service or the service is spotty. This really means getting away! But a successful and in-demand event pro must have connectivity, right? ‘Not to worry’ says Stacey. Sites usually have a WiFi spot on property where she can keep in touch via e-mails.
On this particular trip to Crystal River, camp was set up by Thursday night, and first thing Friday morning Stacey found an outdoor office to communicate with her client and arrange details for a multi day event.
When asked how camping rejuvenates her creative superpowers, Stacey smiles and declares, “Camping gives me permission to unplug. Connecting with nature, sunrises, sunsets, camp fires, birds, and flowers all rejuvenate."
"Exploring new towns and areas of the country in the little camper sparks creativity practically around every corner. I feel more 'free' and not as tied down to the daily chores of life. There’s no pressure or guilt when away camping to work on house chores and responsibilities.”
Stacey and John Barabe are living life to the fullest! Merging a camping lifestyle with their event life demonstrates that personal time to refresh from the event business can be manifested with desire and careful planning. Time away from meetings, deadlines, fulfilling client wish lists, and business administration is necessary to recharge creative energies, and it is possible with a little ingenuity. Thank you, John and Stacey, for giving Event Lives and our audience a glimpse into your travels!