Great Expectations

No matter how many people tell you how much you DON’T need when traveling on the road, it takes your own experiences to come to this realization.

Your daily life on the road will evolve as you add miles to your timeline. Before we left on our first road adventure, I planned and packed. I reorganized and repacked. I reevaluated and planned some more. The truth is, it takes a little while to figure it all out. To say it’s an adjustment period is just a little bit of an understatement. The first few weeks of that first trip were… chaotic. And irritating. Eventually, everyone figured out their own space and how to live up close to everyone else’s quirky habits. And then the magic happened. Freedom set in. We all realized that we were on the same journey and that going together, as a team, was a whole lot of fun.

I had BIG ideas when we first set out on the road. I put the scrapbooking supplies front and center where I could easily get to them. I had 2 empty containers: one for collecting receipts, ticket stubs & other memorabilia and the other for pages in process. The only thing different today in that drawer under our dinette from the day we left on our first adventure is the that both previously empty containers are now full of all kinds of maps, tickets, pictures and all kinds of collectables picked up along the way. I have too much fun spending every minute with my family and seeing what lies ahead on today’s highway to break off and devote hours to scrapbooking. Instead I journal what I can, have the kiddos write journal entries on places we stop and keep them organized for down time when the weather keeps us inside and I can scrap “later”. I do keep my pictures organized and backed up. Printing 4′ x 6″ prints in batches every few months and filing them in file boxes helps me keep up on our travel memories.

Oh, yes, I thought I’d have all kinds of time at night to myself when everyone was sleeping. That time has been replaced by a nightly game of 6-player Aggravation. Our 5-year old is the current reigning champ and we don’t skip many game nights. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Along with many other “best intentions”, I’ve let go of the notion that I can produce elaborate scrapbooks of our travel experiences at this stage of the game. My 12-yr old reminds me that we keep memories in our heart where they can never be erased, stolen, or left behind. So, for now, we’ll keep the Aggravation board handy and the great expectations on the shelf.


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