I am passionate about traveling with my family. There’s something about the way your whole world opens up when you find yourself in new surroundings, when you can slow down and just marvel at nature’s beauty, when you have the chance to dip your toe in the water of new experiences. It’s not just about being away from all that’s known and expected in your own backyard… and it’s not just about getting out of your routine and the pull of everyday responsibilities… although I think that both of these things are important too. It’s about having the opportunity to learn (or even re-learn) something new about the world or about yourself.
Whether it’s learning that you love to look upon snow-capped mountains (hey- I thought I was a beach-girl!), learning how to ride on an alpine slide, remembering how free you feel on the back of a horse or how much you love to ride a bike. Learning what it’s like to see (in real life- not on TV!) a geyser erupt, a manatee take a breath of fresh air, a dolphin jump though the waves. Traveling creates these learning opportunities for you- no matter where you go.
When we take a road trip, we are given the chance to connect as a family in new ways. We connect through the things we do together and discuss “I thought Iowa would look flat, but it doesn’t!” or “I had no idea that the St Louis Arch would be so tall”, and we connect by sharing experiences and creating memories of these adventures that we will each hold dear to our hearts. Seeing a herd of bison next to the road, rafting on a turbulent river with a guide, hiking to the top of a waterfall and peering down into the mist- these joint experiences bind us together.
Hitting the road means slowing down from the crazy pace of our normal life, noticing the scenery, breathing deeply, and opening our hearts again. While we have an itinerary to shape our trip, we are not bound to a schedule or deadlines. We can make time to relish the adventure we are in.
I always find that after I’ve been on the road for a few days, my mind actually becomes more creative. I can daydream about new possibilities again. I can make new plans of things that I want to do with my life once I am home again. I can dream.
We go to learn, to connect with one another, to slow down, and to dream.
*This is the first post in our reader submission series that shares why we love to hit the road. If you’d like to contribute a post on “Why We Go”, and have it featured in our newsletter, please see the “Submit A Guest Post” section above!