Two questions to make the most of family trips
I grew up traveling a lot with my family. As my brother and I got older, this was one constant in the family. Especially when I moved away from California, the family trips became a fun time of reunion over shared experiences.
It was only recently that I realized that traveling with family as an adult can be nerve wrecking or anxiety inducing for some. Many flat out just don’t do it anymore, knowing they won’t last more than a day or two together.
I can see that 24/7 with your family for a week or more could seem like a lot.
I have never felt time with my family to be unbearable, but the reality is that there are a lot of moments during trips when my parents are just on their phone.
My dad and brother are on the introverted side and not really one to start a conversation at the dinner table.
My mom is the talker of the family. She usually has a lot to rant about, but we’ve managed to get deeper with our relationship recently as I’ve worked out the courage to give her feedback on her listening style and my needs in the relationship.
It was not easy, but it’s been refreshing to see her take the feedback to heart and gradually make changes.
Sometimes I still have to remind her and sometime it still feels like I’m fighting with her for airtime, but I appreciate that she’s trying.
If you’re going to spend time with your family, here are some ideas on being more purposeful and making the most of the time together while keeping your sanity
What do you want out of the trip?
Beyond just having fun and seeing the sights, what else do you want to happen in this time you have with you family?
For me, it’s about getting to know them on a deeper level, which means trying to bring up deeper topics for conversations.
If family time usually means drama for you, the goal could be to not let the drama get to you. Or to try harder to understand their perspective, even if you don’t agree with it.
What does your family want out of the trip?
Put yourself in your parents’ or siblings’ shoes.
What are they probably most looking forward to on this trip?
How can you make their lives easier and make sure they have a good time?
Families are tricky. We love them, but we don’t always see eye to eye.
By being intentional about the time you spend together, you can attempt to peel back layers of the onion and make the time more fulfilling for yourself and for them.