A Sarine Thought… or Two

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

We Be Trippin’

So, it’s hot. The newness of out-of-school freedom is on the brink of completely wearing off for the children in your home and a change of scenery for all involved is long over-due. We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t been, you will at some point in your life. The solution: a summer adventure in the form of a vacation!

Some of my fondest memories are from times when I set out with my family and/or friends in search of good food, good fellowship and a good souvenir (or two). There is just something about traveling to a common destination with people that really solidifies relationships and ignites the synapses of memory function like nothing else can. I couldn’t tell you one iota today about my daily schedule as an eleven-year-old girl, but I can still smell the aroma of cotton candy and popcorn surrounding me in Orlando, Florida as I sat on the hot concrete curb next to my little brother. It was the perfect way to watch the parade of characters go dancing by on Main Street, USA, at Disney World with my parents in 1992. It was riveting! Not that the year I had just spent in 5th grade was not, but, come on! It’s Disney World for crying out loud!

Travel, while a culture-building experience at its core, is also an opportunity of character and personality revelation. You may think you know someone, but until you have traveled with them, you really have no idea. If you are going to be sharing a small, confined space with others for a significant period, your true self will begin to peek out from behind the curtain of the Cordially Courteous Theater where we all play our roles for the general public. This is where the relationship rubber meets the road. Either you really do have a lot in common with your fellow travelers, or this is a one-and-done
type situation. You may avoid talking with your mouth full at one meal, but who can do that for twelve meals in a row when there is so much to be said? Maybe that’s just me.

I have had many more good experiences than poor ones when traveling. My take-away: when you find the people you really travel well with, hit the road together as often as possible. These trips do not have to be mega budget-benders or planned to the last detail every time you take one. (Even though a couple of those thrown in the mix every now and again is well worth it.)No, they can be a spur-of-the-moment adventure that just takes you a few miles away for just a day or a weekend. There is no rule of thumb for a good trip, just that you are willing to stick that proverbial thumb out there and hitch the ride. I mean, if you never go, you will never know.

I still remember the first “grown-up vacation” I ever took without consulting my mother about the details. My honeymoon does not count because Mom had a copy of the itinerary and was listed as my emergency contact in case the plane went down. No, I’m talking about my first trip with my husband and some friends that we just threw together and took off on a whim.

As a kid, I was not much of an adventurer when it came to stepping away from my well-beaten paths. There were two reasons for this...

  1. Managing my diabetes close to home was much easier than having to pack and haul the equipment and medication required for an extended period.
  2. I really, really, REALLY liked my own bed. So, agreeing to get in a vehicle with two other couples, whom we had only known for a few months, to drive twelve hours one way to a beach I had never been to was very out of character for me. And while there was some risk of things not going well, the anticipation of fun and getting to know some people Ross and I really liked was exhilarating! One of my top five most grown-up moments was planning this trip with no parental guidance or permission whatsoever at the ripe old age of 24.

I have also found a group of ladies who have become like sisters to me as we have traveled together. Not all of us live in the same town or run in the same circles. But, whenever we get together, usually for a long weekend or a couple of days, we pick up right where we left off like no time has passed at all since the last time we were together. I trust these ladies to pray for me, laugh with me, cry with me, encourage me and call me out when I need it. They know I will be the first to do the same for them. All this came through many trips down country roads to some of the most unfrilly places in existence, and I have loved every mile.

To all my married friends out there, I highly recommend getting away with your spouse. There is something about getting out of the everyday routine that reminds us there is more to a marriage than everyday tasks like paying bills, cooking dinner and taxiing children. Those wonderful practical tasks, while necessary, have a pesky habit of sometimes blocking the steady flow of deep communication. Head out together on the open road, and suddenly, something changes. The communication current flows a bit more freely with each mile. Before you know it, deep conversations with the person you love most are being had about important things like their hopes and dreams for the future, memories they hadn’t shared before, things they struggle with, victories in achieving personal goals and the list goes on. Trips with your spouse can keep a good marriage on the right track, or they can help a marriage that has lost its way get safely back on the road home.

These trips have proven to be some of the best adventures I’ve had to date. Not only did everyone have lots of fun, eat really good food, solve the world’s problems ten times over and laugh until we cried, but the people I’ve traveled with are the same ones I could call on in the middle of night if the need ever arose.

So, friends, get your maps out, plug a destination into your GPS, or just take off and get going! Whether it is somewhere far away or just up the road, some place familiar or brand new, with family, with friends, with family and friends, with a daily schedule or a pair of pants you can fly by the seat of, go make some memories! You will be so glad you did.

#happytrailstoyou


 

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