The Hard Stuff

A Few Thoughts on Adventures: Before + After Kids

A few days before Nick and I left for LA I came across the following Instagram post in my Facebook feed that had been shared by a friend:

VACATIONS LIE. Culture tells us to spend an entire year saving for a week to escape our life. We call it vacation. Even as I’m on this incredible road trip across the Northwest with my family, something doesn’t feel right. Vacations are meant to be new, they are meant to be fun, but they are not meant to be better than your normal life. I’ve been all around the world, and I would never trade travel for what I have at home. Life isn’t about the 50 vacations you’ll take while you’re on this planet. It’s about the 25,000 days between them. Stop creating a life that you need a vacation from. Instead, move to where you want to live, do what you want to do, start what you want to start, and create the life you want today. This isn’t rehearsal people. This is YOUR life. #MakeHomeYourVacation (tag someone who needs to hear this)

A photo posted by DALE PARTRIDGE (@dalepartridge) on

At first it seemed extreme to me. Vacations lie? Really?  I mean I know people lie, and are maybe even deceptive of the lives they lead when sharing with others, but my goodness: this guy seemed to be screaming from the bottom of his lungs that vacations are the very reason that people lead un-fulfilling lives.

And then I started to more carefully ponder the essence of what he was sharing. How often do people say exasperatingly, “I need a vacation.”  How many people share count downs of the days left until they leave for vacation? How many people go weeks, months even, without sharing photos on social media, and then (potentially) over share in their travels? How many people idolize world travelers and lust after nomadic lifestyles? Um, hello? Ever heard of this thing called wanderlust? I read what he wrote again.  And then again.  And then again.

It reminded me of someone. Yes, I know this person. It reminded me of the person I used to be.

The girl that was always living for the weekend, just biding her time through the week.  Praising Fridays and shunning Mondays. Always looking forward to the next day, the next event, the next trip, the next this, the next that. Never standing firmly in the moment right before me.

Today I am able to recognize something about myself.  I now know that my desire to travel used to come from two different places: 1. a passion for experiencing new cultures + historic sites or 2. a fear of missing out on something wonderful + exciting.   Now? I wouldn’t even describe it as a desire. I simply want to experience. To make full and colorful memories. Whether or not those memories are made on our family room floor or as Pacific waves skim across my toes for the very first time. —- They say having kids changes everything. But really it changes you.

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