I love to travel with my family.
We’ve gone many places large and small, near and far, urban and rural. So many things seen and learned. Met many new people, tried new foods and partook in local customs, ceremonies and rituals. Each place taught us something new and left us a little different from the people we were before we went. For all of that I’m grateful.
And while each place is special in its own way, when I think about our travels, the ones that often bubble up in my memory first are the ones where we spent time in and with nature.
This past summer was a perfect example. With everyones’ summer schedules, our family vacation was limited to five days. We hopped a plane to Seattle and did a quick tour though Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park. Hiking the primeval forests, beaches and peaks, we all reconnected. Like most people, we’re all so busy all the time that sometimes it’s hard to slow down. Trips like these allow us to do just that.
When out in nature, we tend to put our phones and other devices away -- and just talk. Oftentimes, the talks we’ve had while hiking reveal stories that we’ve never shared – us with our kids, our kids with us and the kids with each other. It almost never fails. And while we do a lot of talking, we also spend time in quiet, all appreciating the beauty and majesty of our surroundings together.
Our kids have experienced a lot even at the relatively young ages of 21 and 18. We are proud of the smart, warm and kind people they are, and know that they appreciate the experiences they’ve had thus far. While I hope they carry many things from our travels with them throughout the rest of their lives, my wish for them is to recall and appreciate all of the special time spent together as a family as much as I do.