Do you need a little push to say yes to that trip you’ve been hemming and hawing about? Then, you’ll enjoy Halee Anthony‘s advice and the humor with which she encourages you to take that vacation or day trip. This summer I am sharing what God has taught some of my friends as they traveled. Welcome Halee, to the Traveling Life series.
I am not well traveled.
I’ve been to like 10 states and Mexico.
But as I think back on my life, some of my fondest memories are of trips I’ve taken.
As you could probably guess, they’re not all fabulous trips to amazing places.
Some great trips have simply been to my grandma’s house for the night or for an overnight trip to a nearby city a few hours from where we are living.
The point isn’t that the location was so fabulous that I just HAD to have a good time.
Instead, the trip was fun because we had a good time together. Trips do that.
And then, sometimes they don’t.
I remember one camping trip we took with about twenty members of my husband’s family and my friend, Kara. The three of us drove about an hour and a half from our home town and spent the night in a shanty town of campers and tents.
I say we spent the night because I’m not sure I actually slept at all.
The family dog barked every 16 minutes – just long enough to start to fall asleep only to be jolted awake by the rumbling bark of a 150 pound German Shepard.
Someone snored. (To date no one or group has taken responsibility for the snoring, but there has been much finger pointing.)
Which may sound cute, but it wasn’t. It was loud. Bone rattling loud. At one point, I got up and walked to the restrooms several hundred feet away and I could still hear the rumble inside the building.
The snoring OR the dog would have been bad enough, but in concert they created a feedback loop of insomnia that could have easily led to violence.
So, as we drove home the next day, completely sleep deprived, my husband, Chip, was going like 40 mph in a 70 zone. Kara and I started joking about how an old man on a bike might pass us.
As I type it now, I see that it’s not funny. But at the time, it was comedy gold.
We laughed for days about that.
Great memories from a horrible trip
So take the trip.
Even if you don’t have the time, energy, or money.
Trips are worth it.
1. No Time?
I know that seems like a trite answer, but very few people in America actually work seven days a week. There are days that you have off. Plan them in such a way that allows you to take a few days to relax alone or with people you love.
I wonder how much better the American family would be doing if each year we didn’t lose 658 million unused DAYS of vacation.
Vacation time works differently than home time.
While on vacation, you feel more relaxed which results in calmer, happier days. You have the time to disconnect from everything and recharge. You can detox from that horrible coworker, your inconsiderate boss, and the stresses that no one understands.
You can just relax together.
No one worries about the daily mundane activities that dictate your everyday life at home. And the necessary maintenance activities that you just have to do are better because you’re in a totally different place.
Doing laundry while on vacation at Disney?
Taking the time to get away from the usual, everyday life to reconnect with your family is necessary. If you feel worn down, chances are the rest of your family does too. You’ve got to make time to go somewhere different, and you should do it as often as you possibly can.
2. No Money?
This is really just a question of priorities for most people.
I know that there are some families that legitimately have no margin in their budgets. They never eat out, make impulse purchases, or even buy holiday gifts.
For families in this situation, hang in there. We’ve been there and it’s so hard. But if you keep working and taking the next right step that God shows you, it will get better.
For the rest of us, it’s about priorities.
If you drive through a fast food restaurant for dinner just once a week, that costs about $25.00. for a family of four. Over the course of a month, that’s $100.00. Over the course of a year, that’s $1,200.00.
You can go somewhere really nice for $1200.
That’s what you spend driving through Burger King once a week.
Which one of those things do you think your family will remember more?
So, if you’re excuse for not taking trips is that you can’t afford to, look at your budget again. I’m not saying that you should go to Disney World every year. But surely you can save up enough money to make a weekend trip somewhere.
3. No Energy?
It’s true. Parenting is draining in almost every possible way.
But it’s also true that you only have your kids as kids for a little while.
Did you know that you only get 940 Saturdays with your children before they turn 18?
As parents, we should treasure that time together and do our darnedest to squeeze every ounce of joy from it.
Sometimes we get so worn down from all the other things in life that we forget our most important job is parenting.
We have the awesome responsibility to raise humans.
How they turn out is a pretty direct reflection of our efforts and raising them.
So take the trip even if you’re tired.
Vacations are energizing. Getting away from your regular routine and focusing on your family will give you energy. It will restore your faith in the future of humanity because you’ll get to just have fun and hang out with your child. You’ll get to see that they probably aren’t going to grow up to be a shiftless bum because they don’t EVER CLEAN THEIR ROOM. You’ll get to just play and have fun together and kids need that.
They need to know that they’re more than just another responsibility that you have weighing on you.
They need to know that you’re capable of having fun with them.
Because they already know that your resources (time, money, and energy) are limited. Show them that you are willing to spend those resources on them.
Where would you love to take your family? Where do you wish you had taken them?
Halee Anthony is a pastor’s wife and mom to four beautiful children. After six years of working as an English Language Arts teacher in low income and alternative schools, she is working as a full-time mom for the first time. Halee and her husband Chip share the joys and struggles of living life as a pastor’s family in a small town in the Bible Belt at Fishbowl Family. You can also connect with Halee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.