Traveling as a Family

Here we are, fresh from our family vacation and ready to dive back into the “real world”. This was our third cross-country trip as a family and each trip seems to be better than the last.

When we got married, Jake promised me he would take me, and our future children, wherever I wanted to go. My family didn’t have the opportunity to travel as a kid, while his family road tripped across most of the country. I used to get so mad watching TV with him because it seemed like every place they showed had him saying “I’ve been there!” So, we’ve made it a priority. Small weekend getaways, joining each other on travel for work, and any other opportunity to explore a new place was welcomed.

Our son turns 5 next month and so far has been able to experience four big trips: San Francisco twice, Seattle, and San Diego. He’s also been on several road trips and has seen more at four-years-old than I did my entire childhood. How cool is that?

Growing up in a small, West Texas town, where there wasn’t a lot of diversity or mesh of cultures, left me with this need to see more. As an avid bookworm, I’ve read about cities, cultures, and worlds so different than my day-to-day. I started adding all these places to my imaginary list of ‘someday’ travel destinations and, as I got older, held out hope that I might actually get to experience them.

It’s not easy! It can be expensive, overwhelming, and stressful trying to schedule a date night much less a big trip. But we’ve set the expectation that travel is one of our family values so we have to be intentional with making sure we make it happen. Every time we get back from a trip, people ask “where to next?” and it makes me smile. We don’t always have a destination planned, but people know we’ll be gone again as soon as we can.

Did you know, 55% of Americans didn’t even use all of their vacation days last year? There has been a steady decline in the amount of days the average American takes off annually. It’s not always up to us, and I get that. We’re both lucky to have paid vacation time at both of our jobs that allow us to plan trips. It’s sad that “more than 28 million Americans don’t get any paid vacation or paid holidays.” So if you’ve got it, good for you!! You’re more fortunate than millions of your neighbors - don’t waste it.

We’ve used ours by checking a few more items off of our travel bucket list. We’ve seen the Golden Gate bridge, eaten the magical donuts inside Pikes Place Market, explored one of the best zoos in the world, flown thousands of miles, taken hundreds of pictures, and have eaten more amazing food than we could have possibly needed. More than that, we spent time together. We made memories on roller coasters, city streets, and crowded sidewalks.

Today’s challenge: Plan a trip.

A weekend road trip to explore the city or state closest to you, a family vacation or romantic getaway… Pick a place from your list and start making tangible steps to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Need more inspiration? Check out some of my favorite travel pics:

Here are the articles I quoted above that are interesting reads:

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