What happens when we do not know what other family members want out of the day? What happens if we have planned an itinerary that is too busy or that does not honor the precious time that a family member might need alone?
Our next personal story comes from Barbara. Barbara’s story reminds us that sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control and that directing your sail may have to happen unexpectedly during the trip itself. This may lead you to an unexpected and far more meaningful place with your family.
Our adventure was to beautiful Asheville in Western North Carolina. Our family of seven was traveling to Asheville to meet my mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law (FIL), who had traveled from Colorado. We stayed at a nice rental, where we would be spending the next five days together.
The first few days went without hitch. Then on day four, all of us decided to tour Biltmore Estate (tickets for 9 purchased). After a couple of hours of touring the main house, my MIL announced that she was ready to go. “But there was just so much to still see and do!” Went my thinking. The beautiful grounds, the gardens (both flower and vegetable), not to mention the gorgeous French Renaissance architecture to look at, with the spooky gargoyle corners, and the Wisteria arbor. Still so much to see! And did I mention, 9 tickets were purchased! But MIL was spent, and so we left back to the rental. The rest of the day I simmered and wondered if we should had invited them on this trip in the first place.
The next morning, all was quiet in the house. My MIL was sitting at the kitchen island crying, come to find out her dog, a sweet companion of many years had died. This sweet, kind woman that I loved was heartbroken. We embraced and cried together. We spent the morning hours talking. She poured the coffee with cream, I served the orange cranberry biscotti. We were once again on the same page. I realized that the previous days’ frustration didn’t matter. What mattered was that we had *this* day and each other.
Thank you Barbara for sharing your beautiful story!
If you have a story to share about your adventures in multigenerational travel please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dorothy Hoffman is the creator of the travel blog, Squirts and Seniors. She is a Gen X-er who writes about traveling at home and abroad with her young son and aging parents.