It’s been over a month since I wrote a blog and lately I’ve been asked, “Do you regret your road trip? Will you ever go on a trip like that again?” Friends broach the subject with concern, and wonder, was this adventure just too much for me?
Well, let’s decide. Here’s the top five reasons I should not have gone on a road trip:
- Something might go wrong.
- My car might break down.
- We might get stuck in a natural disaster.
- My daughter could have an allergic reaction.
- I would be needed at home.
And now that my trip is over… let’s take a look at all the things that did go wrong:
We were caught in a nasty storm that brought golf ball sized hail and thousands of dollars of damage to our car. Oh, and I haven’t even told you the story about how we experienced the whole thing in a tent… stay tuned for that one!
My daughter had a very scary allergic reaction which had us off to the hospital and in ER within minutes. One of the scariest nights of my life.
One morning I was greeted by a flat tire. Fortunately we had purchased BCAA and within half an hour the car was back on the road. The amazing team at Kal Tire fixed our two holes (for free!) and we were happily back on our adventure.
A good friend of mine broke her collar bone and needed support. Typically I’d be the first one there and I wasn’t… I couldn’t be there. I had to be talked out of driving home. It was hard and I hated it.
“Hard Times will always reveal true friends”
We didn’t get to finish our trip… with things going wrong, other pieces not falling into place and weather not on our side we had to cancel the last portion of our trip.
Being a true Type A person the fact that I didn’t execute my trip to perfection, well irritates me. However sometimes when things go wrong, greater things come into light.
Top Five things I learnt from my road trip:
- I’m stronger than I thought – This trip scared the hell out of me. It was way out of my comfort zone to travel so far, for so long, as a solo parent. However as I reached each destination I got to experience amazing places, people and activities with my kids. Each experience enforced a sense of confidence and excitement for our adventure.
- I’m not as strong as I thought – It was interesting that when the storms in Alberta hit all I wanted was my mommy, or when I was in the hospital with my daughter how badly I wished my husband was by my side. Being strong doesn’t necessarily mean doing it all alone.
- Friends and Family – As much as time permits I try really hard to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. This trip reinforced two things for me. The first, is the value of those relationships and the importance of taking time to stay connected with the people that matter. It felt great being welcomed into my friends homes where it felt like time hadn’t passed at all and we picked up where we left off. The second thing I was grateful for was how much all of my friends were really there for me. Not just superficially, but taking the time to stop me before I headed out and ask me if I was ok… or offering to come and pick us up out of the storm, or hold my hand after an anxiety attack. These peeps had my back and I hope to always be there for them too.
- Being prepared made the difference and we got through every situation as best we could. No, this isn’t an ad for Girl Guides but it reinforces some of my obsession with being prepared for the “what if’s” on a trip.
- Getting outside my comfort zone – I don’t like being outside my comfort zone. I try to get out there often, but let’s face it, the comfort of predictability and the safety net of what we know is a much easier place to be. However this trip allowed me to embrace risks and try something new… grow as a person, a parent and as a travel writer. I have created a new comfort zone that is bigger than the one that I left with.
So the real question… Would you do it again?
Without hesitation I can say YES. It didn’t go as planned and for a couple days after the trip I wondered if I had failed. However just because my trip ended 5 days early doesn’t mean that it wasn’t amazing. It was amazing. We explored. We learned new things, saw beautiful places and played with family and friends. A quick summary:
61 rounds of “Down by the bay”
$$,$$$ in hail damage to my husbands car
18 days with family and friends
3 nights in a tipi
2 tranasauras rex fossils
1 tower, 1 ferris wheel, 1 flat tire, 1 trip to emergency
1 Family Adventure we will never forget