I’m in the midst of planning our next big family vacation. We’re driving to the Grand Canyon! And I’m about to lose my mind! Trip planning anxiety FTW!
I’m deep into the final planning stages of our next big family trip. We leave in April and my expected, yet unwelcome, bout of trip planning anxiety has come to visit. This happens every.single.trip. Knowing that it’s coming still doesn’t make it any easier to muddle through.
Travel Fears I’m Having Right Now:
Am I freaking crazy to attempt this trip?
How could this possibly work? Am I crazy for doing this? What if things go wrong? Is this trip too much? Why must I feel so compelled to travel even though it’s a boatload of time and money?
All manner of terrible will befall me and my precious innocent children.
Have I seen it on a Facebook moms group? Yep. It will happen. My kids and I will be snatched from a well lit and safe looking Target and trafficked. Obviously. My van will break down on a dark and stormy night in the middle of a cornfield. Clearly.
I’m damaging my children forever by uprooting their routines and repeatedly asking them to use public restrooms.
I actually could be doing serious damage with the public restrooms part.
This is too long to be away from home.
They aren’t even going to know what home is anymore! How will they know where they belong in this world?!?!
Why am I even doing this when we could be home enjoying Netflix and climate control?
There’s nature out there! And no wifi! It might be hot. It might be cold. My home is so cozy. Why even bother??
I’m forgetting something very important!
I’ve forgotten something crucial to our success. I just know it. And once we leave Ohio there will be no way to remedy it! Other states don’t have such luxuries as CVS, Costco, basic grocery services or auto mechanics! How will we survive if I forget to pack the toothpaste?
What if we get robbed?
Like. Obviously, this happens so frequently. But real talk – Olivia’s medical supplies I guard like a psycho. I always have significant anxiety over those.
Time to talk myself out of canceling the whole trip and hiding in my bed.
Yes. I’m crazy. Crazy like a fox.
Crazy like a fox – “appearing foolish or strange but actually very clever” – Merriam-Webster.com
Travel is scary but it’s so good for the soul, and for our family. I love spending that quality time with my kids and husband. Watching the kids grow and learn and explore fills my heart with a sense of peace and calm (unless we are too close to a grizzly bear). When we travel, we all seem to adapt. It’s never perfect, but we always survive.
I’d much rather live a life full of adventure and a little anxiety than have regrets.
The likelihood that something major will go wrong is very small. Judging by the local mom’s group on Facebook, I’m much more likely to be snatched from my local Target than anywhere else on the planet. Those ladies see DANGER EVERYWHERE. Might as well risk it with a view.
I’m *probably* not damaging my children forever by uprooting their routines. Being forced to poop on the side of the road in someone’s front yard in the dark? I am *definitely* damaging them permanently with that business. I’ll start saving for their therapist’s luxury car now.
Yes. We will be gone longer than a typical vacation, but it’s not like they are going to be alone! My kids spend the majority of their day with me anyways, this will just be in a different state. We will still have family meals they will refuse to eat, so it’ll be just the same as home!
And what’s the rule for travel anyway? Who says a vacation is one week long and that’s it? I’m at a period in my life where I have the time to travel with my kids for a few weeks, without seriously disrupting school schedules, clubs, sports, or even time with Jake. It won’t always be this way.
It’s now or never!
Who knows when this kind of open time to travel will be available again? Olivia will start Kindergarten in the fall and then it becomes so much harder to just leave the world behind for the better part of a month.
There’s nature out there!
That’s kind of the point. I hate bugs, bears, and strange noises in the night as much as any good suburban mother does, but I still want to experience it all. This world is kind of freaking amazing, and you can’t see it if you are afraid of it. They sell bug spray and bear spray for a reason, and I’m ready to invest.
Wal-mart is the universal language of America
Heaven forbid I actually do forget something after checking and rechecking my expertly crafted and NASA-level thorough packing list. I am confident that I can find a Wal-mart. The main portion of my drive is three days on one of the most major highways in the country. Odds are good the beaming glow of civilization is not far away.
The world is mostly awesome.
People are mostly good. The world is not a generally a terrible place. Travel is no more or less safe than wasting your life away wishing you experienced more. I stumbled upon a blog post recently by Melissa Rixon and the words of this mom were exactly what I needed to read. It was like she was speaking to my soul:
“But that old saying “Adventure awaits?” Well, what if it doesn’t? What if adventure doesn’t wait for anybody? Maybe it just swirls around in the air, like those colorful tendrils in a Van Gough painting, and you can choose to jump in and get swept up in it or you can choose to stay on solid ground.” –
I’m also going to be sure to follow my own safety advice, just for some peace of mind.
I’m not going to give into the anxiety fears.
Nerves are a part of any big adventure, but I need to take a deep breath and move past this stage. It’s been hindering me from making some decisions that are overdue.
Our next adventure? 3.5 weeks exploring:
Zion National Park
Grand Staircase Escalate National Monument
Salt Lake City
Medicine Bow National Forest
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Now I’m excited again! If you’ve been to any of those places and have tips, tricks, or advice please leave me a comment below!