Where to next?


I find it interesting how different families travel (or don’t).

When I was young, we were a road trip family. We drove all over the countryside, my sister and I laying down and playing games in the “way-back” of our family station wagon, or even (gasp) in the bed of my dad’s pickup truck. The result of all of our road trips is that my sister and I are both completely comfortable driving. Distance, time, and even weather does not deter us. We just drive.

Some families fly. I have a friend who lived in the Midwest, with one set of family in Florida and one in Oregon. Her children have grown up knowing airports and how to fly like I know how to road trip.

Some families do not travel at all. I know a woman in her 30’s to has never driven to the next largest town away from our hometown by herself. It is about 30 minutes away.

When we traveled and road tripped when I was young, it was customarily to visit family.

When my children were young, we traveled to visit family. Occasionally I would travel to attend a convention or event of one kind or another.

A few years ago, my then boyfriend and I took advantage of a long weekend over Thanksgiving to drive to Florida. We stopped to stay at a friend’s home outside of Savannah one night and leisurely drove to Florida the next day. We visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, went to an NFL game in Tampa, leisurely drove back home over Monday and Tuesday.

It was amazing. I had never experienced a trip simply for the fun of. We had no agenda, no plans. Just fun.

It was so much fun that the following spring we planned a trip to Portland to visit friends. We took my oldest as a birthday present and flew this time as opposed to driving.

We were able to take my midwestern son to visit the ocean. In the 70* overcast weather, I forced him to take off his shoes, to put his feet in the ocean.

We ate a restaurant on the beach as the sun set over the Pacific. For those who live on the coasts, these are normal occurrences. For this cornfield raised girl, it was nothing short of magical.

Through these experiences, I have discovered a love of travel. I want to road trip all around the Midwest, visiting new cities and festivals.

I want to fly to new and exciting places.

I love the Midwest with wild abandon, and the fields of corn and hay are relaxing to me in a way that many not from here would not understand. I find the smell of freshly mown hay to be intoxicating. I am a Midwesterner.

I have also discovered a love of the water, of oceans, mountains, terrain that would not support corn.

I find myself wanting to see more and more of it.

We now find ourselves planning a long weekend every six months or so, just to see what is out there.

This weekend we are heading to San Diego, a trip that we are calling our honeymoon. We get the pleasure of traveling with some great friends, who the husband is from the area.

I have never been to California, and cannot wait to see the ocean again. The love of the ocean and water is very odd to me, as I typically do not fare well in the sun. I cannot help it. I am drawn to it.

As my children grow, I want them to have a love of travel as well. I want them to know where their roots are, but I do not want them to have concrete shoes. I want them to see the world, whether through their windshield as they road trip where they want to go, or through airport doors as they swing open wide in new locations.

The world is out there, and I really hope they do not wait as long as their mom did to fall in love with it.

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