It’s that time of year when many people leave town.
Last summer my husband and I planned an amazing vacation where we took our children on a road trip through three states. Although we were exhausted from the busy activities, we’re so glad we made the sacrifice to go.
Because time away from home is essential for families.
But why? Does it really matter? Should it really be a priority to get away?
When I was growing up, my family was poor. We didn’t have electricity or running water, and all wore hand-me-down clothes. Yet my mother always made sure we took little adventures such as tent camping or huckleberry picking. Although we never went more than a couple hours’ drive from home, I look back on my childhood with fondness rather than disappointment because of times like those. For a little while, I could forget about my troubles and just enjoy myself.
In those moments, life was good!
It’s easy to make excuses as to why we can’t take a vacation, and sometimes we just don’t see the value. When I was first married, I really didn’t understand why taking trips was important, but now I’m glad my husband insists on it. The benefits are numerous!
How Get-Aways Benefit Families:
—Rest and rejuvenate. We easily get caught up in our daily routine and forget to enjoy ourselves. Taking a trip gets the focus off responsibilities and onto those we love most. Getting out into nature refreshes us so we have the energy to face the daily grind when we return home.
—Take a break from trouble. We all have problems we face each day, some of which create a lot of stress. While getting away doesn’t fix anything, just being removed from the problem for a while can give us the courage and stamina to tackle it when we get back home. Time away can help us re-evaluate our perspective and give us a push to persevere.
—Strengthen bonds with children. Spending time together laughing and enjoying each other, giving each other our full attention, cultivates affection. While we can hang out together at home, a different environment often creates a more distinct memory.
—Raise our spirits. A change of scene often enhances our mood and uplifts our attitude. Just try to walk though Disneyland while angry with someone, or watch a sunset without feeling a sense of peace, or ride a water slide with a frown on your face! There is just something about being in a new place that brings out a sense of pleasure and satisfaction.
—Create happy family memories. Memories are powerful. They can spark strong emotions in an instant. Life is hard, and we all have varying degrees of dysfunction, which makes negative memories stack up quickly. We need time away so we can drown out the negative with something positive, so we have something to smile about when we look back.
Families benefit from taking trips, whether for the day or for a couple weeks. As I look ahead to the plans my family has for this summer, I get more excited every day. The opportunities we intentionally create with family collectively define who we are, as individuals as well as a family unit.
How can you plan an outing for your family in the near future?