Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Traveling is in Our Blood
* This is a guest post from my lovely friend Candice. Her family took the most inspiring road trip this year and she has been kind enough to share their story with us. I know reading this makes me dream of doing the same with my family one day.
“Where are we staying tonight? A campsite? Are we boondocking? Full hook-up? Are we allowed to have a campfire?” These were the questions our kids asked in excitement each day on our trip.
Traveling is in our blood. Growing up and living internationally has left its imprint on us. But as our family has grown, the way we travel has changed. We have to be creative to make it happen, but somehow, on a limited budget, it still remains a priority. We want our kids to see and experience the world we live in, to meet new people, to marvel at nature, see the changes in landscape and climate, to be thankful for what we have and for the opportunities given. We know they will always remember our time spent together as a family.
We love our family and we love to travel, so this summer we packed up our three kids and headed west. All we had was a route in mind and three and a half weeks to serve as our itinerary. The rest of the fun that happened was a result of the people involved and the places we went. I would be lying to say we were not a bit nervous to start such a long journey in a truck camper with a 9 and 7 year old as well as 16-month-old baby. We wondered if this would really work as we hoped and dreamed. With that said, we talked about freeing ourselves from expectations and vowed to enjoy the experience over focusing on our destinations.
We travelled 6,400 miles through: 13 States, 10 National Parks, Route 66, California Coastal Highway 1, as well as many small roads and roadside wonders along the way. We skipped most large cities as this only added traffic, stress, finances and pressure to our leisurely schedule. We stuck to the back roads and parks; here we could easily appreciate the views, the nature and most importantly each other. We each had our own individual interests and tried to incorporate them into the trip; from rock collecting, to hiking, to swimming (anywhere and everywhere we went), to making new friends, to journaling, to photography, to music, to attending Ranger programs and starting a collection of badges and patches earned in each park. Of course there were knees scraped, the family choir of ‘the wheels on the bus’ each time the baby was in his car seat a little too long, the bottomless pit appetites of the kids, and a few wrong turns; but what is a family trip without these?
We hope it marks one of many adventures like this that we will do as a family. We will always cherish our time alone together in nature: driving, hiking, camping, swimming, playing games and sitting around a campfire sharing stories and laughing. There is nothing that compares to getting away and enjoying each other while admiring the beautiful world around us. We hope each family stays busy creating memories; that we enjoy the journey.