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By Any Road..Lessons from the Journey

Some wisdom I have learned on the road of life

One of my Grandma’s was a world traveler. One never even had a drivers license. One always on the move, one always home. Both were amazing women that I loved. I am a bit of each of them.

The call of the world and the comforts of home. They compete with each other in my heart. I yearn for both. My life thus far has been one of travel and of many home bases.  Don’t want to be double minded, yet want to incorporate both. And I want to show my children what’s out there.

There are a few things I have learned so far in this journey of life in which I would love to share.

Traveling the road with friends, foreigners and family

Plan, but don’t totally expect “the plan”.

Try as we may, things don’t necessarily go according to your ways. ” My way or the Highway”  thinking really sets you up for failure. We had our wedding all planned out. Beautiful historic Country Club on the beach overlooking the  Long Island Sound with all of the amenities coming to us for our special day. A few months before, it burnt to the ground in an accident. Our well laid plans went “up in smoke”. So we grieved the occurrence and forged on. Rearranged the location, made due and had a memorable nuptial celebration with family in a not so picture perfect new location. We got married, hubby and I, and proceeded to have 7 kids in 11 years after only 3 years of marriage. It’s been quite the adventure ever since.

We plan.. to be wise and to be prepared. What ever happens next is not always in our control. There are many factors at hand. We never truly know our last moment on this earth and we can not see into tomorrow. Go through the motions to set your path and let things fall how they may. Be open to the unexpected and prepare yourself on how you will respond. Then you won’t be dismayed. Plan A, B and C and be ready for the possible plan Z.

An old Dr. friend of ours had an expensive trip to Morocco all laid out. Once he and his group finished up a delicious feast of chicken and the delights of Marrakesh, they suddenly all fell ill and could not continue on with their tour. They stayed in their hotel rooms suffering for 3 days and got in one more day of sightseeing. Only if you know where your meal came from and how it was prepared ( and if your system is immune to exotic diseases and funky bacteria), will you be guaranteed a healthy result.  One recent trip we took with the family, I had an allergic reaction to some food and got so sick it was pathetic. The night we had to drive back home, I was on a one way track between the restroom and the mattress. No going back for me that night. And the whole family had to stand by until I recovered. Be ready for a change of plans so you can deal with any outcome. Go with the flow of things, realize “it is what it is” and take it from there. Looking back you will see how it all panned out to make it one more notch in your adventure belt.

Food Sourcing

Don’t be a Brat

It’s not all about me. I’ve had many travels planned out to the dime and to the hour. When it comes to your well deserved vacation and you have scrimped and saved to make it happen, it does not mean you will get things your way. Maybe you can design it that way when you are all alone and on your own, but not when it comes to a group of humans that you are journeying with.  Be aware of the needs and temperaments of all in your family. Freaking out and stomping your feet because your trip did not meet your expectations will only make things worse. Go with the rhythms of the encounters and let things play out as they will. About 12 years ago when we took 6 of our kids, my parents, great uncle and cousin to “the American Dream of Disney World”, I started to hyperventilate when my Mom , after one of the rides in the Magic Kingdom, stopped to try on some hats in a gift shop. My ingrained New York City mentality kicked in and I urged her to forget about hats and lets keep up the pace. I had to get in the most I could for my kids in that one day at Disney! My Mom knew the secret though better than I did. She enjoyed herself and her Grand-kids while I felt anxiety about making the most of our time there. She stepped slowly while I ran through the park like I was zooming through Manhattan during rush hour. My kids were so happy and excited about all they saw and did. I learned that day to let it go and let things progress as they should. Getting myself out of the way to make way for others to be in the moment and full of the joy of the experience. Not my preconceived expectations of how things should evolve. Now I just follow my family and let them take the lead in our travels. We do need to work together as a team and we still guide and protect them, but I stay in the perimeters and take picture now.

Friends , family and foreigners trying on hats in Colonial Williamsburg

Let the Road Take You Where it Will

I have been traveling since a small child and have gotten bit by the disease..the disease of wanderlust. Flying in airplanes since infancy and living abroad, driving through parts of the continent and seeing a world beyond the typical realm of ole town America. Due to my parents choices, I was blessed to have lived in another country and got a taste of other nations. In my young adulthood, I was able to tour the country and beyond and enjoy all that travel brings to life. My husband and I have been able to take our kids to many destinations, by air and by land. We now live in the woods.. a cozy home and land to grow food, a place of awesome nature and of peace and solitude. And I am truly grateful for these things. But yet, like my Grandma who traveled through the world and showed me through the slide shows upon our suburban walls at home in 1960’s USA, the places that were out there beyond my imagination called to me to seek out the same things she saw. And then again, my sweet caretaker Grandma who took care of her husband and children and filled her home with tasteful and beautiful things to ensure a safe abode , also, she draws me in to her ways of nurturer and keeper of the home. So I move on and dream of both worlds for my family. A home to feel safe and to be surrounded by comfort, and a life of chances to go into the world and let the road take us where it will. Mainly, our faith in a God who orchestrates all things, is what guides us now. I feel freedom in taking the road that comes before us. Being open to chance encounters and getting excited by what is being put before us, as things are meant to be.

The World in Their Hands

By Any Road..

Be ready to accept things as they come at you. Plan your path, dream your dreams, try to be ” free to be”. Let go of preconceived fears and expectations. Who is really in control anyhow? We don’t know our last day on this earth. Be thankful and appreciative of all things. Each day that I wake up and know that I am alive, have a safe home, food to feed my children, hot running water to bathe, clean cold water to drink and a healthy family. I am truly grateful. I have a hard working husband who provides all of this for us. I have a family that I love, and in return, I am loved by them. And  for this I am also grateful. This Thanksgiving in America, I am thankful for my freedom. I hope and pray it stays this way. But if it does not, I want to be able to able to be strong and keep faith and be able to withstand what ever comes our way. We will forge forth and work to improve our lot and hope for grander things. And if there are times where we are in the doldrums of  life, so be it. They are there for our molding and to build character. Be ready for the path set before us and be excited about how we may grow because of this road of life.

Here are a few families that will share with you there lessons learned form the road. Please click on their links to read what they have to share!

BohemianTravelers.com: Travel Lessons: Can You Embrace the Unknown http://www.bohemiantravelers.com/2012/11/travel-lessons-can-you-embrace-unknown.html

The nomadic family: I Know Nothing (and 99 Other Things The Road Has Taught Me) http://thenomadicfamily.com/2012/11/i-know-nothing-and-99-other-things-the-road-has-taught-me/

PearceOnEarth.com: 5 Life Lessons Learned from Traveling

http://pearceonearth.com/5-life-lessons-learned-from-traveling

TravelwithBender: So it’s been 6 Months – You won’t believe what we have learnt!

http://travelwithbender.com/travel-blog/travel-thoughts/6-months-have-we-learnt-anything

Life Changing Year: Life Lessons From The Road – A Little Bit Of Planning Goes A Loooong Way!

http://lifechangingyear.com/life-lessons-from-the-road-a-little-bit-of-planning-goes-a-loooong-way/

LivingOutsideoftheBox.com – 6 Life Lessons From the Road

(why 6? I have no idea!)

http://livingoutsideofthebox.com/2012/11/20/6-life-lessons-from-the-road/

A King’s Life:  Two things I know for sure. http://www.akingslife.com/2012/11/two-things-i-know-for-sure/

Flashpacker Family – http://flashpackerfamily.com/lessons-from-the-road-of-life/

Family on Bikes: Complaining won’t change a gosh-darn thing http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2012/11/complaining-wont-change-a-gosh-darn-thing

Family Travel Bucket List: 3 Things We’ve Learned While Living Outside of the USA

http://familytravelbucketlist.com/3-things-weve-learned-while-living-outside-the-usa

RambleCrunch: 15 lessons I’ve learned traveling the world http://ramblecrunch.com/2012/11/15-lessons-travel-has-taught-me/

Our Travel Lifestyle – Travel: Teaching us about ourselves

http://www.ourtravellifestyle.com/tips-and-planning/travel-tips/travel-teaching-us-about-ourselves

By Any Road..Lessons from the Journey

20 responses »

  1. I love pulling out the “it is what it is” line while traveling. So many things are beyond our control, and pretending like we can or should change it just turns us into brats, doesn’t it?!!

    And yes…when we let the road take us where it will take us…it is beautiful how life can turn out. A bit of faith, eh?!

  2. Great post! I especially like the lesson about not being a brat. Love when you said “Getting myself out of the way to make way for others to be in the moment and full of the joy of the experience. Not my preconceived expectations of how things should evolve.” I’ve seen both ways…when I try to force things and everyone ends up unhappy and when I just let go and everyone has a blast. It’s a delicate dance between preparing and letting things happen, but then not being so caught up in the plans that it ruins everything if things don’t go as expected.

  3. “The call of the world and the comforts of home. They compete with each other in my heart.” I love this and know exactly what you mean. I’m driven by wanderlust, yet at the same time I really want my own garden and chickens. We did bring our dog on the road with us, so perhaps that could be considered a “comfort of home.” If I could only get him to lay eggs…

    Great post.

    • Funny! Maybe on your next trip you can bring a chicken! They do that all around the world, don’t they ? As we are cleaning out and purging stuff to prepare for our “one day” RTW, we are also getting ready to raise sheep!!! I think I am just crazy : )

  4. Pingback: I Know Nothing (And 99 Other Things To Road Has Taught Me) Nomadic Family Travel Blog, World Travel with Kids | The Nomadic Family Travel Blog

  5. I think we’ve all been guilty of trying to plan things to the exact degree. Most brides would FREAK OUT if their wedding venue burned down though!! And what is with all the hat trying? My kids and hubby tried on all the hats at Disneyland, a whole pile at FAO Schwartz and anywhere else there’s been a selection. We even bought a tribal hat in Chiang Mai!!

    • Makes you not want to actually try on any hats from some where else. After knowing that everyone does it, I’d be afraid of little jumping bugs getting into the kids hair!
      And for the wedding place mishap, well in the end we saved lots of money. My in laws Church allowed us to use their hall for free. We had just bought our first home, so the saved money went towards our mortgage. Thanks for reading!

  6. Dont be a brat haha. I said to my husband the other day as we did Legoland with my kids… When did theme parks go from go on every ride as quick as possible to lets just do the stuff the kids want to do. I love watching my kids happiness. Great post.

    • It took me some time to get over the “perfect trip” expectations when it came time to venture out with our kids. I learned to slow down ( a little, I still have the NY’er in me) and let stuff progress as it will. Thanks for reading

    • Oh yes, that ego. I know of many people who, it seems, live in a controlled fantasy life where they believe the world revolves around them. They can be very demanding and always want their way. The entitled attitude will eventually run you into a wall…a dead end on the road. I try to teach my kids never to be jaded or spoiled. Having an appreciation for each day of our lives that we wake up and can breath to begin a new day should be satisfying!

  7. Pingback: Lessons from the Road of Life - Flashpacker Family : Flashpacker Family

  8. Great post and great advice. I find it so hard to to overplan in the pre-travel phase but find it much easier to go with the flow once I’m out and living on the road so I particularly love this piece of advice “Go through the motions to set your path and let things fall how they may”.

    • Thanks Mary. Sometimes we can all get moody and feel that just because we are spending money or on our well deserved trip, that the world owes us something. Thinking of others and not being focused on ourselves helps to let go of any bratty-ness : )

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