I have a rule.
For every hour we spend in the car, we spend at least two at our destination.
This makes me feel like I am not wasting my time driving to the destination, but actually enjoying the destination—making it an adventure. If we are driving two hours there and two hours back for a one-hour event, we are not going. That is too much of my life to spend in a car, and it just feels wasteful.
It might be smoke in mirrors, but it has come to work for us.
We have also made a family goal of doing our best to show up and foster relationships with others. Simply not going is a less than optimal way to achieve that goal. However arbitrary it may sound, what it has done is make us encounter our destination in a more purposeful way.
We recently attended a wedding out of state.
Instead of not going, or simply showing up in time for the wedding and then leaving, we made a trip of it. My husband went golfing with friends he had not seen in a while. My girls and I found a petting zoo where we were able to learn about a few new animals and discuss what farm-life looks like. They were able to ask questions of the experts rather than my having to google the answers to their questions.
Then, we went to a farm stand and grabbed lunch. We got fruits and veggies and left with sweet corn roasted on-site. We even tried what they called a “Kool-Aid Pickle.” (It was exactly what it sounds like, a cucumber pickled in vinegar and kool-aid solution.) It was not to our liking, but at least we can say we tried it and took our no-thank-you bites.
Adventure + Experiences
I think I want my girls to pursue adventure and experiences more than they pursue zoning out in front of the television. I think I want them to see their circumstances and take charge rather than being bored and hoping for someone else to come up with something to entertain them. And I want them to look at a situation and see opportunity rather than feel trapped by an obligation. I want them to get excited about getting in the car because they don’t know what is yet in store for them, but they are ready for it. I want them to have the same fond memories of that small cow town in Texas as they do that big city in Florida.
In that, I understand that I have a responsibility to lead by example and foster that adventurous spirit.
So, I guess, here is to adventuring in the places we find ourselves to be in rather than waiting for that all-encompassing vacation to save us from our monotony. Here is to celebrating small moments and taking charge to make them memorable.
Cheers, adventurers, to discovering your next favorite spot.