Five years of Fun and Adventure
Updated: Apr 8
GBR is Celebrating five years of sharing fun with the local community and tourist from all over the world, and I am so grateful to be the Master Naturalist/Guide for this stellar small business. 87% of travelers say they want to travel sustainably, and Aaron and Katie have created a small family business right in line with that booming market. Eco tourism is one of the fasting growing markets, projected to reach 333.8 billion US dollars in 2027, but making it in this business doesn’t come without lots of hard work and innovation.
I wasn’t around in the beginning, but I have enjoyed listening to the all the stories of fun, growth, lessons and connection! It is impressive that 5 years ago GBR started out with just a few glass boats, a couple of bikes, paddle boards, and has grown into the 4th Best Kayak Tour company in the US, and Aaron winning the Tourism Hero Award for Charlotte County. Aaron’s reputation in the community and knowing the hard work he was putting in was why I was so stoked to come work as a guide for him two years ago, and why I am so grateful to still be working with him today. Aaron is the small business owner that is at his shop 7 days a week putting in the work, and who is also out having fun in the community as the Grinch or hosting an ocean clean up. He is the guy that makes everyone smile when they walk by just by being himself, and he is the first to help anyone who needs it. The give you the shirt off his back guy, if he is wearing one. Shirts are not part of his one-piece suit, so it may be a life jacket. Very few people can honestly say that they love their job, I am one of those few. I get to wake up every day excited to go to work, and I actually like my boss.
Another reason to be grateful to be a part of this booming business is making people happy through connecting them to the natural world and having fun. Besides being a master naturalist, I also have a BS in complementary medicine, so I also look at the health benefits of people having fun! I know it sounds banana sandwiches but having fun has real health benefits.
A few of these benefits are
~ A reduction in Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone. When the bodies cortisol levels are high it can affect our immune system as well as cause weight gain
~ having fun having fun increases serotonin levels. Serotonin regulates sleep patterns, memory, body temperature, and mood.
Helping to regulate these two body chemicals can lead to more energy, better sleep, less stress, better memory and cognitive ability as well as improved connections with others.
Not only does having fun have all these health benefits, but spending time outdoors has the same ones! What is even cooler is when you come exploring the Gasparilla Sound with GBR you also get the two more very important elements to living a healthy life, Vitamin D and SEA.
There is even more to the Glass Bottom Rentals experience, part of the fun, adventure and connecting to the natural world is getting out in it and touching and seeing all the strange and beautiful marine life. There is nothing like watching a dolphin swim right under your glass bottom kayak or picking up a 20-year-old lighting whelk. Adventures like these create memories that last a lifetime, and lessons of conservation that help us to protect the natural world we are part of.
Thank You Aaron and Katie for creating a business that brings so much fun and awareness to our community! Congratulations on 5 years and cheers to decades more! If you'd like to Celebrate with us, please join us this Saturday, February 19th at 2pm for a Cookout, Cake and Raffle Prizes! Hope to see you there!