Time is money. Time is also a luxury for most of us. Vacations are often a rush; activities crammed into a week or two. Try six weeks. Try 30 states. Try keeping your sanity.
If I had it to do all over again, I’d do it all over again. Only I’d take three or four months, instead of just six weeks. I might increase the number of states, but I’d definitely increase the number of days in each state.
Why? After the first week, the daily routine is firm and efficient, and that allows for fun, enjoyment, reflection, and opportunity.
We had the pleasure of taking this six week vacation when the boys were old enough to enjoy and remember, and we were young enough to survive.
It was a six week vacation starting from Kansas, through the upper Midwest to New York, down to Washington, DC, Florida, Louisiana, the Midwest again, through the Rocky Mountains, the Southwest, the Northwest, and a resting period in San Francisco.
We almost died during the first week. No, no highway accident. No food poisoning at a localy diner along the way. We almost killed each other.
Routines take time to establish, and the routines for getting packed, getting unpacked, settling in (for 24 hours), and learning to enjoy the adventure rather than inadvertently destroying the vacation, take, well, time.
Four of us survived the first week. Two adults. Two 10 year old boys. God was smiling on us, protecting us (from each other), and probably laughing.
That first week was a challenge to remain sane, remain alert while driving very long hours, and to keep active and relaxed without getting bored. Here’s an example:
It took two hours to pack the car when we started. It took five minutes by the end of the first week. Everything had a place. Unpacking was just as efficient.
That efficiency gave us extra time to enjoy where we were, who we were with, and gave uks time to reflect on why we were there.
There included Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. In the first 10 days. We saw Chicago and New York. And Washington, DC.
Museums. Hotels. Motels. Tourist attractions. Shopping centers. McDonald’s.
Then it was down the East Coast toward Florida, Disney World, and Universal Studios. Every 10 year-old should visit both. And take a six week vacation with their parents. Or, perhaps, someone else’s parents.
The Plains states. The Rockies. The Grand Canyon. Volcanoes in the Northwest. Rest in San Francisco. And Las Vegas.
Six weeks of vacation sounds like something a government employee could take. Or, a teacher with a full summer of vacation. For us, it was a once-in-a-lifetime luxury.
If I had it to do all over again, I would do it all over again. But not six weeks. 13. Perhaps more.