To travel means to make a journey, or to go or be moved from place to place. Now that right there started me thinking and you know what happens when I start to think…. Yep grab that glass of wine or whatever and let’s take a trip!
Travel means different things for different people. To some it means leaving their native country and traveling to a distant land. To others it may mean to leave the town they live in and visit a neighboring town.
Travel to me means making a memory. It doesn’t matter how far you go as long as you make a memory that will stay with you. I was a care giver to my Father-in-law for many years with Parkinson’s dementia. His memory failed him. One of the worst days I had with him was on the day my husband graduated with his master’s degree.
It was a beautiful day and the family all gathered together to celebrate this great achievement. I had begged with Pop days before to please work with me on this day to make it special for his son. I explained to him that we would get up early, drive and have breakfast, attend the ceremony, and then the whole family would drive to a nice restaurant for a family meal and then come home. He was aware of the events and agreed to do these events.
I had everything in place. I had pills to help with his anxiety, pills for riding in the car, snacks in case he got hungry, water to drink, juice to drink, extra clothes in case he needed a change, his wheel chair, I had thought of everything. I had thought of everything, except for an extra mind with memories.
He started out being confused and not knowing where we were going, well that was understandable. We ate breakfast and arrived at the graduation ceremony. We got seated and greeted the rest of the family. Pop wanted to be right by my side and didn’t want me to leave him. That was ok as well. It was crowded and I understood it was overwhelming. And then it started.
“Why are we here?” “Who are all these people?” “When are we going home?” He didn’t even know his son walked across the stage, even though I was right there telling him to clap for his son who was shaking hands on stage. He didn’t understand why after the event we were taking pictures of the family, and then we get in the car to drive back to town for a late lunch.
Immediately, he started complaining that he was car sick; I was prepared and out came the pills. Then he started with the gagging noises. We grabbed the small trashcan in the car and passed it to him. Then we had to listen to him complain and want to go home. I was pissed.
I had asked for ONE day, one bloody day to have a memory for my husband, his SON, and he couldn’t give it to me. Oh, he gave a memory alright; a horrible, blankity-blank memory and I just wanted to kill him for it.
We wound up taking him home and my teenage daughter stayed with him while my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and I went to lunch. I sulked all the way through lunch. At the end of the day, my husband came and put his arms around me and gave me a hug. He told me he loved me and thanked me for the memory I had given him. He also added, “I know you are upset with Pop, and I was too, but then I realized that he gave all he could. He really wanted the day to go smooth, but it was just too much for him. His memories are going and he doesn’t have the ability to add new ones.” I burst into tears knowing he was right.
That travel trip to the next town over will stay with me for the rest of my life, even if I lose my memories, I won’t lose that one. The main thing that I learned that day was to make journeys you want to remember. It isn’t worth going to the next town, the next state, the next country and coming back with bad memories; you have control over those memories so make them count.
What works for one person for travel may not work for another. You could not drag me onto some cruise ships. I just heard some travel agents gasp. It’s ok, take another sip of wine or whatever. I am not into crowds, I avoid the mall as much as I can, I hate the feeling of being trapped. When I go to the grocery and I see more than two people down an isle; I will avoid that isle until there are less people on it. So the thought of getting on a cruise ship with a ton of people, the size of a small town, just makes me feel sick. That is me, not you. You and your family may like the small floating town.
Netflix’s original “Jack Whitehall Travels with my Father” is the perfect example of two people with very different travel ideas. You must know what you want and what you are willing to overlook in order to have a great trip experience. When you have found what works for you, don’t let someone talk you into doing something you know deep down, you are going to hate. In the end trust your gut. A good travel agent or consultant will listen to what you want and be able to accommodate you properly.
I encourage people all the time to travel in your area to find the right event or town to explore. Once you do that you get the travel bug bite. You want to go further and see more. How do you know where to start and what to do? A really good web site that has everything right there is a good start. You want events in towns, restaurants, museums, specials going on, bands, and a variety of events to check out. A place where you know there will be something listed you will be interested in.
There are so many different web sites out there, but a good one I’ll share is https://www.oneway2fun.com/ this web site covers most of Pennsylvania, but is getting ready to add more cities and states.
Most cities and towns will have events listed on their city web pages, but it’s nice to have a web site dedicated to just events and travel and not have information about utilities and things you aren’t interested in knowing about that place.
So get out there and start making your own travel memories and join me on these great trips!