I am officially at the end of the first week of a two week road trip vacation with my family. We ventured out of New York City last Friday and have made our way to Missoula, MT. We’ve covered a lot of ground as you can see, and have done a lot. Like visiting family in Madison, WI, and visiting Mt. Rushmore in SD, and camping in Yellowstone National Park.
Before I headed out on this adventure, people would look at me in disbelief to such an extent that I began believing that maybe my husband and I were, in fact, insane for wanting to take a cross country road trip with an often “bored” 11 year old and two hyper, still-in-the-tantrum-age pre-schoolers.
But we did it anyway, and the first day, which consisted of a 15-hour drive to Madison, WI, with only a few stops for food, drinks, bathroom breaks, and small amount of time for stretching, went a lot better than I could have ever imagined.
Now, on day 8 our boys have acclimated to the road trip and easily take naps in the car on command. They are playing better with one another, and are learning that if they hear the “click” of my seatbelt coming undone that someone is getting the evil eye and then some from me.
If I had given this a bit more thought I wouldn’t have done it. If I had allowed others to convince me that it was a crazy idea, I would’ve postponed. If I had let others tell me what my kids were or weren’t going to be able to handle (or me or my husband for that matter), I would’ve hesitated.
But I didn’t. I packed our bags and hoped for the best, and so far, it has been an amazing journey for us. My 11 year old is loving it, taking in the sites with as much enthusiasm as the adults, excited for the next town, the next monument, the next venture. The younger ones don’t fuss or complain when we get in the car, and equally enjoy their time outside of it, seeing new places, meeting new people.
When people see me taking on NYC adventures with my kids in tow they often ask me, “How do you do it?” and I almost always reply, “I just do.” And I am glad that I took on that same philosophy in deciding to travel on the road for over two weeks with my kids.
If you want to travel and see the sights, and your only option is to take the kids with you, just do it! You know your kids, you know what makes them happy. You know how to manage your family at home, it’s the same skills needed in managing them else where, for the most part. You’d be surprise what traveling together can do for you and for your family.
For us it has been extremely rewarding. And though I won’t say it’s picture perfect from where others may be standing and looking in, for me and my not so little family unit, these past 8 days have been nothing less than a slice of heaven. Tantrums and all.