“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” -Confucius
As I am sure you can already tell, I love to travel. I love to take road trips when I travel. Why? Isn’t it easier to fly? Absolutely. However, have you ever thought about how much you miss out on when you fly? I don’t mean just the stops and little places to see, I mean all of it. The conversations with the people you are traveling with, the jokes, the laughter, the stories. These things, along with all of the amazing little things you can see while traveling, started a tradition with our children. When our oldest was a senior in high school we decided we wanted to do something a little different for his senior pictures and thought a road trip to New Orleans with pictures in the city was the way to go. So we called his girlfriend’s family to see if they wanted to join us, made reservations, and away we went. We learned along the way that this was the perfect way to spend time with our son, talking, laughing and making memories, before he headed off to college and to begin his life as an adult. We laughed until we cried, got wonderful pictures, and made amazing memories.
As our middle child reached his senior year and it came time for his senior pictures, we decided a road trip to Chicago and his first Cubs game was the way to go for him. We have pictures of him with all of the state signs and many campus football stadiums on the way. For our middle child, life is all about sports and music. On this trip, we were able to share his first trip to Chicago, a Cubs game, a tour of where his trumpet was made, meeting the first and last person to play it before reaching his hands, and wandering through downtown, taking pictures as we went.
This year our youngest child has reached her senior year and her time has come for her senior pictures. For her, we decided on a trip with her, her best friend and her best friend’s parents who are also some of our closest friends. For her and her best friend, it was Disney all the way, so we road tripped it to Kissimmee, Florida and Where Dreams Come True. We rode rides, ate food, took pictures and met characters, while making memories to send her off to college with.
The important thing from all of these trips? It wasn’t the pictures, even though we got wonderful, unique senior pictures for all of them. For us, it was spending that last road trip, just them and us, talking to them, enjoying time with them, and making those final parent/child memories before graduation. Those memories that they will carry with them into adulthood. While they won’t remember everything we do for them or keep every little memory, these memories will last for years to come.