When I was younger, maybe around Middle School age, I remember taking a family trip to Washington, D.C. This wasn’t just any trip…. this trip was on Amtrak. There was a huge group of us including aunts, cousins, my mom and sister, and my grandmother. One of my cousins even invited her friend to come along. My family was always big on exposing us to things such as travel, culture, etc. This particular trip was no different.
It’s amazing, because we still talk about this trip. Just a few weeks ago, as we were discussing our mode of transportation for this year’s family reunion, we started sharing memories from this D.C. trip. I remember staying up all night, laughing and talking with my cousins. I remember the tiny, and not always clean bathroom. I can still picture the coach seats where we all sat as a group. The huge picture windows in the rail car were perfect windows to the world as we zoomed through small towns on the way to our destination. I also remember reaching above a passenger’s head for a Red Velvet cake that we brought along with us. Unfortunately for the male passenger, my aim wasn’t too great, and he ended up covered in Red Velvet cake. As any teenager would do, we giggled to no end about the man’s unfortunate plight, while apologizing profusely.
The beauty of the trip, however, was the time spent with family and friends. I remember touring the White House and various other monuments. I remember the bond that we shared as we rode that train together as a family. These are memories that can never be forgotten. Even if individually we are unable to remember the trip in its entirety, when each person adds a piece to the puzzle, we are all able to recount the wonderful memories of that vacation so long ago.
As we plan for upcoming summer vacations, the importance shouldn’t merely be placed on the final destination. Many times, some of the most memorable events happen en route, as we trudge along on our way to our final destination. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway? When we merely focus on the final destination, and place all of our time and energy into what will happen when we arrive, we oftentimes miss the beauty of the journey itself.