Friday, September 9, 2016

In Praise of Quick Trips


I was listening to a podcast recently and heard Gretchen Rubin talking about the benefits of quick trips, saying that when it came to family visits, frequency is more important than length. I heard this on the heels of a mother-daughter trip and on the eve of a girls weekend - and although these visits are with friends that feel like family - I have to say I agree. 

We adopted our daughter nearly four years ago. In her orphanage, there was another little girl that she was extremely close to and that little girl was also subsequently adopted to the U.S., albeit the opposite coast. 

My family connected with my daughter's friend's family before the girls came home, and we've stayed in contact with them over the years. The girls have Skyped but hadn't seen each in other person, until recently. 

A few weeks ago, my six year old and I got on a plane, and she and her more-than friend were finally reunited. It was a super quick trip. We arrived very late on a Friday night and we were home by Monday night; but, it was oh so worth it. 

Our families had always intended a much bigger trip, with my complete family meeting their family. But each time I looked at airplane tickets and schedules and all the other obligations, it got very complicated and pricey.  

When I saw a dip in ticket prices, we decided to finally make it happen, using this very narrow window of time. My guys were bummed not to get to go, but they were thrilled with their officially dubbed Boys Weekend (BBQ, ice cream and football). As for me and my daughter, this sweet reunion was everything we could have hoped for - and more. 

 We made our quick trip after school had already started, which wasn't my intention, but was how things worked out. I thought the school might frown on a departure so soon after school started, but the teacher encouraged the trip, saying how much it would give my daughter to write about in writing class. How wonderful is that teacher!

After I got home, someone commented that we went such a long way for such a short trip, and, it's true - we did. But it worked! Sure, I would have liked a longer visit and I would have liked to have been able to travel as a family, but this visit not only reunited my daughter with her friend, but it paved the way for future visits. 

There were also upsides to so short a trip: we made every minute count. There was no waiting until the last day to take pictures or do something special given that our first day was practically our last day!  We just reveled in being with our friends, and they us. 

Last year, we made a similarly quick trip, albeit on a much grander scale. We went to Thailand, where were only in-country for about 10 days. That was a very long way to go for such a fast turn-around, but again we condensed so much into that short time. We had full days, jam-packed with fun. My kids talk about that trip all the time. 

They don't talk about the length (any time young kids are gone from home, it feels longer to them) - they talk about the people they saw, the things they did and the food they ate! 

Sometimes it isn't about the duration - it's about how much you value the destination. 

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