I’m one of “those” Moms who loves having her kid home for summer vacation. I have an incredible Little (big) Man, so every day is a new adventure, and having him home for the summer is the biggest adventure of all. An important part of our summer involves the big summer road trip. Sometimes we plan out the journey, but more often than not, we develop a rough idea of what we want to do, then get in the car and go. Rarely do we follow a schedule or road map. Often, we take side trips, to see new things that were not part of our original plan. Even a wrong turn can lead to a new adventure, such as when we wound up in the little ghost town north of Barstow. It is on those side trips that we have the most fun, and invariably the best memories.
It’s become kind of a joke between my son and I…at least once a summer, we wind up on some narrow one-lane mountain road. That path usually involves hair pin turns, white knuckle driving, heavy breathing, and repeated pleas to God to “make it out alive”. I’m not kidding, it’s crazy! Our original intent might be to visit some obscure ghost town, or off-the-beaten path attraction, but the road to get to our destination is frequently difficult. And yet, we trudge on. Fortunately, our reward for taking “the road less traveled” is usually better than we ever imagined, which is why we keep taking the “detours” each year. That crazy winding road to Booneville led us to the best organic deli in the country. The narrow, craggy road to Oatman led us to a tourist trap in town, but also to a road full of silly burros, and ten solid minutes of laughing-until-our-sides-hurt, outside of town. Sometimes, while on our road trips, things go wrong. The hotel room turns out to be a dive, it rains the whole time, or the museum we want to see is closed. Because we travel so often, we’ve learned to “roll with the punches”, and make new plans. Having options is good.
In many ways, road trips are like life. You get on a path and go. You don’t always have a map, but you do the best you can, on the path that’s been laid before you. Other times you have a destination, but take a detour, or make a stop along the way to see the sites. You might even change your route completely, so you experience a new adventure. When something goes wrong, you need to have options. It is usually the unexpected side trips that make life worthwhile. I hope that, in our adventures, I am teaching my son the art of traveling, both on the road, and through life.
This summer, take some time to travel with your kids. Take some time to get to know them, make new adventures, and new memories. Oh…and take a detour every now and then…it will make “all the difference.”
Bio: A Little Bite of Life is a deliciously witty cooking, travel, and family lifestyle blog, written by Julie (Jules) Cohn. Jules lives in North Phoenix with her husband and teenage son. In her spare time, she likes to drink mojitos, hang at Disneyland, and stalk wiener dogs. Occasionally, Julie will receive product to review or have a sponsored post from a company, but follows a bloggers code of ethics, so will always disclose that relationship. Julie's opinions are always 100 percent her own.