We’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. Nothing too crazy or exotic, just things like camping and kayaking, visiting family & friends.
Sounds nice, right?!
But what about all of the prep? The behind-the-scenes, if you will.
Last night, my best friend sent me a text saying, “I’m really regretting our upcoming trip this weekend”.
I get it, I get it, I really do. In fact, if I’m being at all honest, I was feeling the exact same way. School just started. Everyone is getting back into the swing of things. There are meetings and obligations, homework and sports. I’m feeling burned already.
Summer is over before Summer is really even over.
Why does this phenomenon occurs. Isn’t vacation supposed to be relaxing?! Why is preparing for trips so stressful?! And why do you ALWAYS feel like you need a vacation after a vacation?
First of all, we’re not loaded.
We don’t jet set. We drive EVERYWHERE. And so, we need to have water bottles and snacks, DVD players and movies.
We don’t go to all-inclusive resorts. We stay in tents and cabins or on family’s living room floors. Which means that we are (most of the time) also packing pillows, blankets, sheets & towels. So on top of having everyone clothes laundered and packed, everyone’s linens must be laundered and packed too.
We must eat (shocking, I know)! Most of the time we have to pack ALL of our own food (maybe all-inclusive resorts really ARE the answer)! As you know, most children are picky eaters…try traveling with another family and adding in dietary restrictions, not to mention sometimes having no refrigeration. Grocery shopping has become an art. It involves careful planning and includes a spreadsheet (no, I’m not joking). In fact, there have been more times than one where we have each expressed a need for a second refrigerator for these shopping trips alone.
We must stay active. This year, we decided to spend what little “fun money” we have and invest in a fleet of kayaks. Now, we have to come up with inventive ways to travel with said kayaks and the million and one accessories that go along with said kayaks.
There are swim things (clothes, towels, goggles, toys). There are “Oh, no…it’s going to rain” things (puzzles, books and games). There are camping things. A LOT of camping things! Forget “roughing it”…you need tarps, tents, yoga mats, sleeping bags, flashlights, firewood…the list goes on and on and on!
Are you exhausted yet?! Yeah, me too!
Then, a few days later, you turn around and head back home. Filthy and exhausted. Upon arrival you unload EVERYTHING and get to cleaning! Cleaning out the vehicle, scrubbing the kayaks, airing out all of the gear, washing and drying all of the clothes and linens, de-scuzzing the children, and going back to the grocery store to reload your now-empty fridge. Taking lots of deep breaths and preparing for the real world.
Here’s the clincher. These trips are amazing. They are fun and full of adventure. Two words, people…bald eagles! They are screenless! They are loud! They are full of laughter, full of friends and full of memories. They are worth it.