It was noon on a Friday, the snow just starting to fall. Laurance and I had roof racks to place, a ski box to move, kayaks to load and it seemed the faster we moved, the heavier the snowfall. After three hours of tightening bolts and redoing our mistakes – we called the kids to the car. “Let the adventure begin!” Laurance said smiling. In that moment, my mind went right to the adventures we would experience when we hit our destination.
Truth be told I was dreading A 23-hour drive with only two adults and four kids from a snowy New Hampshire to Madeira Beach, Florida but there was no turning back on it now. Over the course of the next few hours something amazing happened: the kids were getting along! They were not just tolerating one another either, they were ENJOYING each other’s company.
We played games on the ride, looked up facts about each city we drove through, sang, dance and played who could do the best robot? Laughter filled the SUV well into the night, and one by one the kids drifted off to sleep. By 11:30PM Friday night the car was silent except for the sound of the wipers. We were six hours into our 23-hour drive and the snow was still falling.
I was wondering how we’d stay awake when Laurence turned the radio to “90’s hits” and immediately the two of us were doing car karaoke and a two-person dance party. “When was the last time we had this much fun without the kids interrupting us?” I asked. We laughed, held hands, and quickly shushed each other so not to wake the kids. We spent the next six hours in deep conversations about our life, or dreams, our struggles and happiness. Before we knew it, night turned into day and we pulled over in Savannah GA. Standing outside the car, we watched the sun rise over the bayou in each other’s arms.
In just a few short hours we would be in our paradise! That morning we stopped for a quick bite to eat and gave the kids the option to use their devices for the remainder of the ride. Much to our surprise they declined our offer! Instead they counted the number of times they saw a sign with an alligator on it and watched farmlands cross into cities. Like yesterday, the car was filled with laughter once more.
We were more than ready to get out of the car as we approached our destination. When we finally pulled into our site, I stepped out of the car, kicked off my shoes and buried my feet in the sand. The air smelt sweet and fresh, the grass green, the water a crisp aqua blue. I closed my eyes to feel the warmth of the sun on my face as Laurence wrapped his arms around me, “What an adventure that was!” It never occurred to me on the day we set out that the journey to get here would be the adventure.
So here we were, in our paradise, ready to start our next big quest! I felt more aware than ever on how important living in the moment is. Enjoy the journey. Take your time to explore the less traveled path. Don’t be afraid to create your own adventures. And remember…
Happiness is found not in the destination – but the journey!
About the Author:
April Hersey is a Verification Specialist at FAS. Outside of work you may find her hiking NH mountains, trail-blazing with the family, kayaking, coaching youth flag football and basketball or curling up with a good mystery book.