Are we sure that travel is about the journey, and not the destination?

I fear that I have lost my mind.

Sean, Flora and I are traveling to New Brunswick on Friday for a week-long vacation. Sean’s extended family is down there and Flora and I have never been. I’m excited about the trip, but I am freaking out about the journey. We’ve never done this long a road trip with Flora before. Naturally, I haven’t even started packing yet. I’ve thought about what to pack, but I haven’t actually begun the act of packing those things into the various suitcases, totes and bags that we’ll need. I’ve been making lists (mental and written) and every time I say “we need to bring _____________”, Sean says “don’t forget, we’re renting a compact car”.

Sean is also one of those people who will drive non-stop until he has to get gas, coffee or go pee. He has been informed that he won’t be doing that with his wife or daughter in the car, but I fear that we will push the limits of our endurance.

I’ve done the things the interwebs tell me to do: we’ve bought a portable DVD player and loaded up on Dora, I bought some surprise toys for the car and I plan to bring out some old favourites. I will make sure to have the essentials in easy reach: snacks, drinks extra diapers/clothes and blankets. And garbage bags. And this. And that. And lots of other things.

(Pictured at right: the generic-brand MagnaDoodle the interwebs told me was good for the car. It was a hit when Flora tested in Monday night, so I hope it’ll still be good in the car.)

I know this is possible and I’m probably overthinking it to death, but I suspect that this is going to be less of a vacation and more of a test of my parenting and wife-ing skills.

Any tips on how to make this easier for all of us? Either way, if you could just send me some kind thoughts on Friday/Saturday and again on Canada Day (when we come home), I would be very grateful. In the meantime, I’ll try not to have a nervous breakdown packing and I’ll take some nice pictures of our trip for everyone.

6 thoughts on “Are we sure that travel is about the journey, and not the destination?”

  1. I am in awe of your bravery. I haven’t had the nerve to go further than about 3 hours. We took minimal stuff and we were fine but I’m still not looking forward to our first journey. Thankfully it probably won’t happen until next year. I hope yours goes very well and you ALL have a great time. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    • Don’t get too awed. It takes us 2.5-3 hours to get down to see my parents and Sean’s mum so that’s not a huge deal for us. It’s doing that trip six times in a row I’m not so sure about. 🙂

  2. I’ve never driven a kid, but as kids we got driven lots and we survived (11 days in packed mini van one year) Sometimes kids just need to learn how to be bored and do nothing. Good luck!

    • That’s a good way of looking at it Lizz. The joke in our family is that when you want someone to be quiet in the car, you tell them to ‘count the cows’. There may be some cow counting in my future, but it’s a good reminder that there’s always stuff to look at out the window. 🙂

  3. I’m so jealous! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE road trips. We haven’t gone further than Montreal as a family (though we did go there and back in a weekend), but they were my favourite as a kid. I sincerely hope there will be a year we don’t move or have a baby coming up so we can take off for a week or two. Relax, have fun and remember this will be super exciting for Flora. Stop when you need to, but Sean’s right that you do have to press on if you actually want to get there sometimes. New Brunswick’s not THAT far.

    • I told Sean that you agreed with him about pressing on. I think that made him feel better. I’ve never done this long a road trip myself, so I think I’m projecting my worries onto the kid. Maybe it’s me I need to provide non-stop entertainment for! 🙂

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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