We went on another road trip this weekend. To Colonial Williamsburg, VA. In this post, I just wanted to talk about the road trip itself. Not necessarily about this particular road trip, just about the whole road trip idea and why you should do it.
I remember not really loving the whole road tripping thing till I had my own kids, and finances really demanded that we get creative if we wanted to also travel.
If you’ve read my blog enough you know taking road trips is a big thing for us. We have found, as a family of five, that hitting the road in a car is often not only the least expensive, but also the most relaxing (curse those kid-hating airplane travelers!) and most exciting. We get to see things that we expect, and some that we don’t. We get to connect with people, even if just briefly, as they pass by and we get to make more solid connections that last a lifetime.
Just strangers we waved to along the way.
Each trip transforms our relationships and brings us closer. They create conversations we wouldn’t really have if we weren’t stuck in the car together for hours upon hours at a time. We sing, laugh, sleep (if you’re not the one driving), argue, discuss, and well, just are together.
Our road trip of seven hours to and from Virginia had a little bit of it all – even a minor bathroom accident just blocks from our house on our way back.
Yes, there were a couple of brief moments when I felt my head would explode as the boys argued over someone’s foot touching the other one’s leg, or whatever. And getting stuck in traffic is rarely ever fun.
But we would do it again, just as we have done it before. Why? Because nothing beats the sound of my kids laughing and playing together in the back seat. Or hearing my 4 year old exclaim as he looks out the window how beautiful the sunset is. Or having the 6 year old tell us a story about something special that happened at school. Or listening to my 13 year old sigh that his dad and I are weird as we rock out to old Journey songs. Or listening to that teen talk…to us…because he wants to.
I often also take the moments of silence (they do happen) to contemplate on my life, as an individual and as a mother and wife. Those hours help me to focus on where I am and set my goals clearly on where I want to be.
And of course, they help me and my husband bond as the two crazy kids that we are for deciding to choose adventure, even with kids in tow.
There will be a day when these road trips will be harder to come by. Our boys will get older and they will have lives and schedules all their own. If we are lucky, my husband and I will be taking these trips alone together. But even then, they will have greatly changed from the blissful chaos they are now.
Maybe it’s the lack of sleep and slight exhaustion from being in the car all day that has me feeling so melancholic about what we just experienced together on the road. But I would bottle this feeling forever if I could just so that I never forget.
I don’t know how to explain it. Road trips, the really awesome ones I often take with my crew, are just made of some really good stuff that make my heart feel alive and happy, that make my life feel so beautiful and blessed.
I hope that we inspire you to get in your car, with your kids if you have them, your loved ones or friends and take a road trip. Just go.
You don’t really have to know where you are going to stop along the way, just have a destination if you must and let adventure guide you. Bring a map (but don’t sweat over it too much), a good selection of tunes, a camera, some snacks, and an open mind and let yourself go where the road may take you.
It’s a beautiful world out there, and sometimes you just need to drive through it to really see and enjoy it.