Traveling has always been a huge part of my life. From the time I was able to walk my parents were packing us up in search of new adventures.
My dad was a marching band director for a large high school for many years. Each school year he took the band to march in a parade or perform somewhere big. But before he took the band on the trip that year our family would do a “planning” trip the summer before to organize all the details.
We would pack up and pile into the back of the white station wagon. And then we’d head out on the open road to check out hotels and activities that the band could do when it was their turn.
It wasn’t at all unlike the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation. Quite honestly, a lot of Clark Griswold’s traits remind me of my dad. He was always so full of hope for our family vacations.
Always running the massive video camera hoping to capture those perfect family memories. Pretty sure within those “perfect” memories he caught a lot of whining from four tired little girls. I’m also pretty sure there’s footage of me throwing a temper tantrum whilst kicking my jelly shoe off of my foot and over a cliff in The Painted Desert never to be seen again.
One year, my dad rented one of the disabled buses (commonly referred to as the “short” bus) from the school district and took us on a trip to the Smokey Mountains.
This is when we were a bit older and my sisters and I were all mortified. I mean, crouching low enough so we wouldn’t be seen, MORTIFIED. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
But even with the lack of elbow room and the constant pit stops to go to the bathroom (hello? Cross country road trip with four girls? Did you think this through, Dad?) and sleeping in roll away beds with six people to a hotel room. Somehow those annual family vacations that we all used to complain about ingrained a deep love for travel in my heart.
Oh yes, I caught the travel bug very early on in life. Despite my fear of flying I have been to some amazing and far off lands (Bora Bora, anyone?). I’m certain I owe this to my mom and dad. And now I realize how truly grateful I am that they showed us so much of this beautiful country when I was young. At the time, I really hated that station wagon and the concept of the family vacation. But now I would like to apologize to that station wagon. I would also like to hug that station wagon.
We haven’t traveled much since I got pregnant with Landon. I miss the planning of it. I miss the anticipation of going away. I miss the experiences once we get there and the slideshow of photos to prove to everyone that we just went somewhere super cool. But that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten about all the places we want to go. There’s the dream of Australia and Iceland and Africa and Italy and all the itty bitty islands in between the vast continents. I cannot wait until our kids are old enough to actually remember the vacations we will take them on.
I might not be able to do much traveling now with three young children. But I can certainly keep writing about it and dreaming about future plans.