On Family Trips
My wife and I had been talking about taking a huge trip, the once-in-a-lifetime kind with our family to see relatives in Germany. We'd been talking about taking the trip next summer, rather than this one; however, one of her cousins announced his wedding, and we decided to take the trip this summer instead. We just got back Thursday (which is why there was no post last week). It was a strain on our coffers, but worth it, because for weddings family comes together in one place to celebrate the couple. Our sons were thrilled to meet the side of our family that they hear about from time to time, but have never met. My wife and I? We were glad to know that we'd made the right choice.
We'd never taken a trip of that magnitude with kids before. In fact the last time I'd been on a trip like that, I wasn't a father yet. But the travelling I did over a decade ago made me realize what I needed to do to make things work out well this time around. For starters, I kept things simple. Direct flight, Airbnb apartments so everyone had space, and a rental car. It's amazing how costly simplicity is.
But the family grew closer. My kids knew we were far from home. They learned new things. For example, my oldest son decided he likes coffee now, and by the end of the trip was thanking people in German. My middle son, he enjoyed the family time at the wedding the most. My youngest who is pre-verbal but walking (and climbing) managed to keep it together the majority of the time. He even slept all through the hike up a mountain to a castle, and the actual tour of the castle, as well as the return hike.
I did learn that trying to keep a lock-step schedule is a pointless endeavor. Rather, under plan and savor the time while it is happening. And now that I'm back I'd like to see that mentality click in for me, though I have rather low hopes on that working out. It's good to be back, and my kids, this side of the trip have been talking about it for the past few days non-stop. I must admit, with my returning to work on Tues, I'm dreading things a bit, though I'm glad I had the opportunity to grow with my family before getting back to the grind. Best wishes for what's left of summer, or if you're back already.