A Roadtrip to Reconnect
Sometimes positive attributes surface. Other times negative ones. Often, a bit of both. I believe we are different when we travel because we are removed from our comfort zones, routines and familiarity. We are tested on our patience, communication, adventurousness, negotiating and so much more.
Last month, I had the joy of heading out on my annual summer road trip/adventure with my mom and aunt. One year it was Europe, another Newfoundland, last year New England and this summer we headed to Northern Ontario. While the trip was partially rooted in visiting family who live ‘way up there’, we also saw it as an opportunity to step away from busy lives, take a deep breath (complete with very fresh air), relax and enjoy each other’s company.
I’ve spent the majority of the past three years away from Canada, meaning Skype calls and emails have made up the majority of my communication and connecting with my mom, other family and friends.
Hitting the open road and beginning the over three hour drive north, I could feel how important this adventure was going to be for us. With me back home for an extended period of time, this was our first chance to sidestep distraction and reconnect with each other.
So many of us, myself included, think up and plan trips solely for the purpose of experiencing new cultures, food, languages, stunning vistas, relaxation…the list goes on.
But what about the deeper lessons? The discoveries about ourselves, our aspirations, the people in our lives and the resulting growth as humans?
As an advocate for travel, for getting out there and discovering the incredible world around us, I am also passionate about the exploration of those deeper lessons and benefits travelling can bring you.
On this particular road trip, the deeper meaning was the opportunity to reconnect.
Naturally we had conversations about life: goals, careers, ideas, heartbreak, the future – you name it. The best moments however, when we reconnected most, were in the countless fits of laughter. My mom and I, and my aunt too, so often find ourselves in peculiar situations, or maybe we just find the humour and joy in almost any scenario. Through side-splitting laughter and chuckles, I enjoyed the genuine, uninhibited versions of my mom and aunt.
There is something so beautiful and authentic that is experienced through humour and happiness. It allows us to let our guard down, even expose our vulnerabilities.
Over that couple days of driving around, seeing family, enjoying meals, walking through a sunflower festival, or just relaxing at our Airbnb, I feel like we caught up on so much time spent apart. Pulling into the driveway at home, we were back on the same page, reconnected and our relationship rejuvenated.
Don’t get me wrong, our relationship is solid, always has been, but once again travelling together provided the opportunity for us to get to know one another a little better.
Understand the Opportunity
As you plan your next adventure, especially if it is with someone else, I’d encourage you to think about the opportunity that comes with that trip. Pay attention to the person you are with and the side of them you only are exposed to when they are out of their comfort zone. If alone, take note of how you are different, how you come out of your shell or feel most comfortable.
I am thankful to be able to not only travel with some of the most important people in my life but also the things I learn about them and myself while we explore a new and different place.
Thanks for a wonderful road trip Mom and Aunt. I love you dearly, am grateful for the adventures we’ve had and the ones that are still ahead of us.
And now I ask you: who have you travelled with and what have you learned about them through that experience? What have you learned about yourself?
Please, share with me in the comments below. If you feel that’s too public, send me an email through the contact form above.