"Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy
It's no secret that I love to travel. That quote by Pat Conroy sums up how I always feel after exploring new places or taking an unexpected road in life. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go on an amazing road trip with my mom and brother. My brother, Stephen, was accepted to Pepperdine Law School. So, the three of us hit the road to move him from South Bend, Indiana to Malibu, California. Driving over 3,000 miles in the car may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love road trips!
We were gone for 11 days. In the beginning, I'll admit, I was a little nervous about leaving Brody and Ted for that long. I had complete confidence that they would be fine, but I had a serious case of mommy guilt. Even with back up babysitters and schedule lists in place, I couldn't help but wonder if I was a bad mom for leaving that long. In the end, however, I knew I may never have an opportunity like this again. Brody is old enough (4-years-old) to understand my being gone that long, I actually had the time to take the trip, and Ted gave me the green light. It seemed like the stars were aligned in my favor, so I seized the opportunity!
Man, am I glad that I seized that opportunity. The three of us had a blast. We traveled through nine states and made some incredible stops along the way. We had our final destination for every night mapped out, but we also left wiggle room for some fun and spontaneity. Along the way, we witnessed unbelievable sunrises and sunsets, visited places off the beaten path (thanks to some hilarious Travel Channel and Food Network recommendations), took in famous landmarks, and learned to appreciate each other's taste in music! We saw the Grand Canyon for the first time , went surfing in the Pacific Ocean, and laughed more than I have in a long time.
I feel so grateful to have had this experience with my mom and brother. I'm 10 years older than Stephen, so this really gave us a chance to spend some real time together. I knew he was a great guy, but after this trip, I appreciate him even more. His inner drive, his sense of humor, and laid back personality make him a charming triple threat. As for my mom, I will always cherish that precious time. I admire her adventurous spirit, ability to laugh at herself, and loving ways.
This trip is one that changed me forever. It makes me realize how important it is to seize opportunities that come our way, to not be afraid to venture down unfamiliar paths, and to cherish those special times with the ones you love. As for Ted and Brody, they survived without me, but I was glad to get home. (Confession: I even let Brody sleep in our room a few nights when I got back. Who needs to marvel at the Grand Canyon when you can marvel at how such a tiny guy can take up so much space in a bed? It was great!) So, don't be afraid to push the mommy guilt aside now and then. It may just open the door to creating memories that you will never forget!