When I started blogging in 2008, I really couldn’t afford to fly anywhere…well, that, and I didn’t really want to. My kids were little and people can be real jerks to families with little kids on planes. I just never felt like it was worth it. Plus, after our cross country road trip in 2009, I realized how much easier it was to just pack up a car and go, and how much more of the in-betweens we got to enjoy.
This year I am aiming to making road tripping a bigger part of my travel. Though we have a few trips in mind that will require flying, I am most excited for our time on the road – even once we are overseas.
Road trips and slow travel
When we first started road tripping, we would hit up destination worthy of any Amazing Race episode. Over time, and because we got tired of the rush, we learned to slow down. We still map out where we want to go, and make a wish list of all the places we want to visit and see, but have learned to also go with the flow and allow ourselves to enjoy and take in our surrounding without the need to get through it all. Letting go of the to-do list and giving in to slow travel is hard. We come from such a fast paced society that getting away from those habits isn’t always easy. But we plan on not only slowing down, but disconnecting a lot more. Some may wonder, especially in this age of technology and oversharing: if you take a trip and don’t Instagram or Tweet it, did it happen? I guess my answer to that is, you’ll only know if I blog about it…and even if I don’t, it doesn’t make it any less valuable to us.
Taking on the road trip is our main goal this year. Slow travel…more disconnected than ever from it all is our plan.
The beauty of road trips are the hours in a car, the time stuck in traffic, or even just the speed limit tends to force you into a slower pace, the noise, the silence. What makes the experience is truly the journey, not so much the destination. So it’s really best to slow down to take it all in.
Give in to the unexpected, to the surprises, to the curiosity in why lies on the road less traveled. We have discovered entire communities (including the one I currently live in now), hidden landmarks, as well as amazing eateries this way and though it has sometimes led to changing our plans, it has always been worth it.
Even when we didn’t get through our wish list, we always seems to walk away with a wish for more.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving
I didn’t road trip much with my parents, and I can’t say I remember the experience fondly. It is why I never really thought of it as something I would enjoy as an adult. But circumstances forced my hand, and thankfully changed my mind. My kids still talk about experiences on our road trips, whether it be a time we got lost, or someone got sick, or a previous road trip. I can’t say they are always keen on going on long trips, but they definitely don’t dislike like as much as I did growing up…and they would prefer it over getting on a plane too, for all the reasons I have shared and more.
Our trips will be the trips that will inspire them as adults and maybe when they have their own families. Memories of our time together will be tales they pass on and experiences they will want to repeat. I can’t think of a greater gift.
All in all, I am excited to take on the road with my crew this year. I am looking forward to revisiting some favorite spots and heading out to some new ones. I love that we are open to going to where ever the mood, and road, take us and though some may not be as exotic as those far away places, I’ve learned that the beauty of travel is not measured in the distance and miles accumulated, but in the quality of time you share and in the experiences together.
If you are planning on traveling this winter, check out my winter road trip packing tips. I also invite you to check out my list of road trip adventures, in the states and around the world, to inspire you.