My XO Adventures has left the room and hit the road! My name is Daniel Milks and I’m the owner of the company. After coming back from Cuba on March 17th it was a different world. My business, (the tourism sector) came to a complete stop. Immediately before anything else, my colleagues and I went from boom to bust. Now many of us are in the same basket. I did my share of isolation and housekeeping with the business and as I read article after useless article and time-wasting ZOOM meetings offering virtual encouragement followed by expensive marketing plans that promised to get us all out of this mess I had enough. I literally said to myself, this is all BS. I’m not saying the intentions of these efforts were bad, what I’m saying is they were as stale as a brick and mortar Travel Agency stocked full of dusty plastic plants, brochures, and reeks of coffee with a side of regret. The stories that hit my heart were the ones of hard-working people and small businesses The stories of fear, worry, and desperation.
Families to feed, possibly businesses folding, unemployment systems unable to help the unemployed, disaster loans, and more.
I thought, something is wrong with all of this. Really wrong. Not the virus, not the masks, but real action on the part of those able to help. I had to ask myself, “Daniel, what are you going to do?” I can help others, learn in the process, promote my hometown, and keep my business relevant. There are some things you can do that if planned right, contain multiple facets and click right into place like a swiss watch.
I was going to do this. I reached out to multiple organizations early on but got a lot of maybe’s and no’s when it came to helping to promote Sarasota. I’d ask another way, offer to pay, do the work for free but just dead ends. This is from an area that would be crushed without tourism long term. I thought, here I am offering to get on the road and do the work for free as a resident of Sarasota. Wait, there’s my permission. I’m a resident of Sarasota for 28 years, I don’t need the endorsement, help of, a degree from or the blessing of anyone to do this. I am smart, I am important and gosh darn it people like me. All it took was the first step. I took all the seats out of my van and packed it with camping gear, a kayak, food, and self-made curtains friends would make fun of for years.
I headed out the backroads (the roads less traveled) and it’s much, much more interesting. Longer but a great experience. I’m meeting mom and pop businesses and promoting them as I go along. Relationships are blooming and some pretty amazing things are coming from it. Next year is going to be awesome, but today is amazing.
Strength comes from within. It doesn’t come from a TV monitor, a radio flap jaw, or a party leader. You’ve got everything you need to succeed and to overcome today’s challenges. You can do anything you want, and you can do it well. Don’t believe me? You’re free to choose. My hope is that we get to travel together on an adventure. Keep following along will I confidently stumble through this exercise. www.facebook.com/myxoadventures and like the page.