Many moms love traveling with their kids. I’m one of them. Every journey we take is a new adventure, and a large part of our travel together involves the road trip. Sometimes we plan out our journey, but more often than not, we develop a rough idea of what we want to do, then get in the car and go, without a schedule or road map. Often, we take side trips to see new places that were not part of our original plan. Even a wrong turn can lead to a new adventure; it is on those side trips that we have the most fun, and invariably the best memories.
Take The Road Less Traveled
It’s become kind of a joke between my son and me — at least once each road trip, we wind up on some narrow one-lane mountain road. That path usually involves hair-pin turns, white knuckle driving, heavy breathing, and repeated pleas to God that we “make it out alive.” Our original intent might be to visit some obscure ghost town, or off-the-beaten-path attraction, but the road to get to our destination is frequently difficult. And yet, we trudge on. Fortunately, our reward for taking “the road less traveled” is usually better than we imagined, which is why we keep taking those “detours” every time. That crazy winding road to Boonville led us to the best organic sandwich in the west; the narrow, craggy road to Oatman led us to a tourist trap in town, but also to a road full of silly burros, and ten solid minutes of laughing-until-our-sides-hurt, outside of town. Sometimes, while on our road trips, things go wrong. The hotel room turns out to be a dive, it rains the whole time, or the museum we want to see is closed. Because we travel so often, we’ve learned to “roll with the punches”, and make new plans. Having options is good.
Life Is Like A Road Trip
In many ways, road trips are like life. You get on a path and go. You don’t always have a map, but you do the best you can on the path that’s been laid before you. Other times you have a destination, but take a detour, or make a stop along the way to see the sites. You might change your route completely, but you always experience a new adventure. When something goes wrong, you need options. It is usually those unexpected side trips that make life worthwhile. I hope that, in our road trip adventures, I am teaching my son the art of traveling, both on the road, and through life.
Whenever possible, take time to travel with your kids. You only have them for eighteen years, and then they go off on their own journey. Take time to get to know your kids, outside of their school and home life–away from the homework, chores, and day-to-day grind. Long car rides make for deep conversation, and you might be surprised at what you will find out about their hopes and dreams. Make an effort to make new memories; you may think your kids are not paying attention, but they will remember those trips forever. Oh…and be sure to take a detour every now and then…it will make “all the difference.”