Fantasy Land is where I’ve been living lately.
I find myself waxing poetic about our Airstream holidays, somehow willing them to be cause for a great escape of sorts…a Vagabond Family type of deal. I’ve come to terms that this is not going to happen while our kids are in high school, athletes and academics that they are. I’m proud of them and love that our school district provides everything they need for success (and what I need too, as I teach in the same district). Entre’ the AIRSTREAM WEEKEND ADVENTURES to be wedged in every nook and cranny of our schedule. I’m itching for the open road and have the bins of pots, pans, towels and rugs at the ready to prove it.
Hitchin’ up and gettin’ out of Dodge never sounded so good!
While I’m sketching out these excursions online, I’m fascinated by people I’ve found who are living the Airstream Dream in full throttle:
They are fearless folks who’ve got life by the tail and I admire them for it. U.S. travel really wraps your head around what this country is made of. Sitting with folks in their own local diners, Main street groceries and parks is such a dreamlike experience. The Open Road has a quiet little bell that rings for me more than I care to admit.
I also always thought that I would live overseas with my family at some point, knowing that exposing offspring to the world at large is one of the best things for their future. I lived in Germany as child, and although I was small, my fond memories planted some kind of wanderlust seed in my heart. I look back at my 1988 AFS experience in Tunisia as a turning point for becoming the person I am now.
It was magic and I want that for my girls.
So…like I mentioned, knowing the life we’ve chosen is not going to amp up any big let’s-rent-out-our-house-and-be-adventurers kind of six month mystery tour, I’ve been percolating on the possibility of fitting in every kind of trip I can muster. One of my financial goals in this whole simplicity process is to create a little squirrel’s nest travel fund. Stealing away to yonder-ville on a whim always sounds like a good idea to me. The job thing...well, yeah, that’s an added obstacle in the trek of the wanderer…but I’m feeling convicted in my ideas about showing young minds what’s out there.
(Love this article about why family travel is so important)
I am now aware that in this busy time of child rearing, a proactive stance is the only way to get everybody on board. It’s so easy to over-schedule our lives and let those weekends slip by…Time is too short, and the memories that wait are too precious to allow that to happen. I simply won’t do it.
“If I only had a plan”, she said, while rubbing her hands together.
4 Ways to make family travel a priority
1) Have the gear bins packed and at-the-ready so that come Friday afternoon at 4:00 we are out the door and on the road.
2) Leave margin in our weekend plans, so that if the adventure bug takes over, we’ve got space to just go.
3) Put a map in the utility room with pushpins on every spot we want to see. Allow every family member to pick their desired destination.
4) Discuss world travel dreams openly at the dinner table, atlas layed out in full.
5) When dinner guests are visiting, add their dream destinations to the list
6) Leave books about travel with enticing covers all around the house
Once the momentum of getting out there and seeing new things revs up, I believe it creates an excitement…a buzz of sorts…in our daily lives. This kind of unified plotting and scheming can also bring a family closer. I’m betting on it.
* * *
How do you get your family out the door? What are you dream plans of travel?