They say a key to happiness is to have things in the future to look forward to. It’s been a tough summer watching everyone on exciting vacations and with amazing experiences. Know where I went to this summer? Work. I went to work, y’all. And while I love what I do, it’s not a trip to an exotic location, you know? What it is, however, is a means to an end, and that end is vacation. I’ve kept relatively quiet about it. There are seldom more obnoxious folks than those who tell you about their upcoming vacation at every twist and turn. (Honestly, nobody really cares where anyone is going on vacation, and frankly, if you’re constantly posting about it on social media, you’re asking to get your house broken into). So, I’ve held relatively quiet about it, but as the time approaches, I must admit I’m getting more than a little excited. We’re taking a family vacation to see folks we haven’t seen in a while, do things we can’t do at home, and attend a big celebration. There will be running around, relaxing, and long walks in the countryside. All things to be happy and looking forward to, for sure. Best of all, we’re doing it all as a family.
Aside from my glee for that trip, I am also squeaking in a weekend at the lake, so I’m absolutely joyous about that as well. I don’t even care that it will be a short trip. A trip is a trip, and memories are to be made. Then there is another trip planned out of state to attend a huge fair we go to each year. My new goal is less stuff, more travel! Heck, I’ll sell some of the stuff to get out of town for a weekend!
As a kid, I got to travel quite a bit. I’ve been up and down the east coast, out to Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, England, and other places as well. Travel had a big part in shaping who I am. Travel really is the best teacher, and I am so grateful my parents were able to give me those experiences. I look back and have memories of each trip. I don’t remember all the toys they bought me, all the treats purchased over the years, but I do remember those trips. I remember seeing things I’d never seen at home, tasting new foods, seeing picturesque beaches and tiny tin shacks that people called home. I certainly remember getting sun stroke, burning my eyelids shut, and other mishaps. I remember parasailing, and how close my feet looked compared to how far away the water was. I remember the excitement every time I stepped off a plane into a new place.
I’m in a different financial place than my parents were, and travel with 2 kids in today’s society is a lot compared to what it was years ago. That being said, I’m making efforts to taking my kids on trips. Even if that trip is on the other side of the state for an overnight, or a quick trip to visit my dad several states away, we go. We did Disney one year. (That was a hefty trip to fund, mind you). Every time we travel somewhere, I’m reminded how much I love it. I’m reminded when we are on a car trip and the kids start reminiscing about prior trips we’ve taken. I’m always amazed at how clear their memories are of the trips they have taken, and their experiences on each one. They remember tiny details that even I have forgotten.
One year, my goal is to take them to England for an English Christmas. I want them to experience the same magic I did as a kid over there. I can’t explain it, it’s just a different vibe and feeling over there at the holidays. It’ll be no easy task, getting gifts etc over there, but just once, I’d like them to have the same experiences I did as a kid. We’ll have to see if it’s feasible in the future. I also want to get my son to his first NFL game. I want to take my kids to new cities, new towns, and let them soak up the sights around them.
It’s been a relatively calm summer. At least, it’s felt calmer. Outside of the normal 2 months of chaos, we slid into August quietly. Some of that may be due to the fact I made some life changes to calm things down. There comes a point where you have to cut back on the chaos, and I had to go through, see what was causing me stress, and cut it. As soon as I made the changes, I felt calmer and ready to head into the end of summer. Now it’s time to start prepping for school to start. This year will have some big changes. Both kids head to new schools. There will be bus schedules to examine, drop off and picks ups to work around, and supplies to be purchased. They’re sort of bummed there is just a few more weeks of summer left. I’m almost glad to get back to the organized chaos of fall. At least some planned adventures are getting us all excited for the upcoming months.