It’s no secret that time works against us as we get older. The aging process is just a natural part of life, but the older I get, the more I crave spending time with my parents. I think part of it might be that Dane and I live so far away, so spending any time together (no matter what we are doing) is something we both really look forward to and get excited about. Ever since I can remember, our family has never been one to shy away from adventure. We went on countless trips growing up and they never hesitated to pack us into the car for road trips across the country. It’s a running joke in our family that during one of the aforementioned road trips I was so bored in the backseat, I pulled out a map and started planning a cross-country adventure for all of us in the hopes my parents would one day give in to my camper van dreams. Newsflash: That never happened. But I declared during my “planning” that we would stop in WI-CHEETAH, Kansas. Of course, I meant Wichita, Kansas and was more or less planning our stops based on cities marked clearly on the map, but I’ve never lived it down. The memory makes me laugh every single time! In fact, it’s one of those full belly laugh memories that leave you smiling, even after the laughter has passed. Those are the best, aren’t they? In any case, it’s safe to say that spending time with family is high on my list of priorities, particularly when it comes to our parents. Today I’m sharing why traveling with parents is important to me (and Dane too!) and 5 reasons to travel together!
5 Reasons To Travel With Your Parents
1. Our parents can’t live forever. Let’s just address the elephant in the room – life is short. Unfortunately, our parents aren’t going to be with us forever (I can’t even discuss that day without welling up), so make the time now. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I’m so busy” mentality, but 1. we are all busy and 2. we all have expiration dates. In the end, you’ll always remember the time spent, versus the “one more thing” that needed finished at work or home.
2. Presence over presents. Last year was the first year Dane and I talked candidly with our parents about not exchanging holiday gifts, but rather agreeing to spend time together at some point during the year. The season of life we are in means we live pretty far away from all of the people we love. And sure, finding the perfect present is wonderful and admittedly, a really good feeling, but spending time with our parents (and all loved ones!) is something that holds so much value to us. If traveling would be a major expense for either party, this might be a good route to take!
3. Stress free conversation. Isn’t it funny that when you’re on vacation you fall into a blissful state that seems a little bit unattainable when you’re in your normal environment? I don’t know what it is, but being away from home always allows more creativity to flow through, more openness and more thoughtful conversation. The last few times I’ve gotten to spend time with my mom on vacation, we’ve talked about all sorts of things that wouldn’t normally come up, but it’s such a great way to learn about your family, your history and so much more. Not to mention, we always end up laughing our butts off!
4. Bucket list moments. When we traveled with my in-laws to Alaska, Dane and I knew right away we wanted to trek Mendenhall (Our Experience Trekking Mendenhall Glacier), but his parents weren’t convinced they were up for the challenge. We talked about it extensively together and they ultimately decided to go with us, which is something I am so dang happy they did! We had the best day together and talked about how much fun we had on the glacier for the rest of the trip. My mother-in-law kept saying “I can’t believe we did that!” and it was so nice to be able to share in the memory together.
5. A slower pace isn’t a bad thing. The last time my parents visited us, Dane and I forced them up Koko Head Crater, which is a notoriously brutal hike here on Oahu. They just kept saying “we are going to be slow, you can go ahead” — but what fun is that? None at all. Our parents might not be as agile as they once were, but heck – age doesn’t discriminate…we will all be there one day! Going at a slower pace on the hike allowed us to take in more views and truly appreciate what we were accomplishing. This one can apply to so much more than hiking, but all of this to say that “stopping to smell the roses”, or slowing down to appreciate a less go-go-go mentality can always be a good thing. In fact, I feel like we need more of that in life!
If it wasn’t clear before, you are probably realizing how much we love to spend time with our parents. Since we’ve lived in Hawaii, we’ve learned that you really can’t put a price tag on time spent together. Have you ever planned a trip with your parents or in-laws? Do you travel together regularly?