In Praise Of The Family Road Trip
Last summer, our family did the unthinkable: We drove 3400 miles round trip from New Mexico to Florida, and back, with all 8 of us (including 6 boys ages 1 to 12) in one SUV. We survived to tell about it, and quite frankly...loved proving to ourselves that we weren't completely insane.
This year, we are reprising the unthinkable and throwing a trip up to Georgia and back through the midwest in the mix. Let's face it: Flying is expensive but not impossible. Going that far for that long in one car together as a family has to be intentional. You have to choose that kind of crazy. Amen?
Here are some of our favorite reasons for road-tripping:
1) Extended Time Together to Talk
There is really nothing like the hours upon hours of being in a car together, to draw out conversation...if you allow for it. Turn off personal devices and work through some fun questions together!
2) Time To Learn Something New
Road trips are a great opportunity to learn things you think you don't have time for:
- a new language via CDs from the local library!
- crochet or knit
- memory verses
- to listen to podcasts, interviews, and audio books
3) Opportunity For Family To Serve One Another
A road trip provides opportunity to extend patience, grow in compassion, and learn to cooperate as family. We especially notice that siblings who may not typically spend much time together end up bonding over new memories from surviving a road trip together.
4) To See Through Their Eyes
Any kind of travel affords us the opportunity, as parents, to experience the journey through our children's eyes. A road trip makes that deliberate, especially paired with travel journals, sketchbooks, and family meetings along the way.
5) To Discover What You're Made Of
Especially when traveling with littles, a road trip always feels long and arduous. Sometimes we wonder if we will make it, and enjoy it at all. But, as they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention" and a road trip is a context in which this could not be more true. Our family has been known to high-five each other for: making it to the next rest stop, managing a sick child mid trip, navigating stressful city traffic, screaming babies, and simply arriving safely and loving one another.
No small thing is not worth celebrating when you're on a road trip. And in this world of flashy entertainment and disengaged families running in different directions...we could all use a little celebration of going the distance...as a family.
Because of grace,
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