The Summer Of Us

Remember when I wrote about how I kept a kind of free-form travel diary when I lived in London during college? And how my #AlamoDriveHappy resolution was to start a travel diary for each of my kids, so that they could learn how to travel consciously, and have their own reminders of where in the world they’ve been?

I improved on it a little.

Before we left for California I bought a journal to start for my son, but then when we sat down together to paste in things we’d gathered over the first couple of days, I realized that this moment in our lives isn’t exactly about “what I’m experiencing” or “what Indy is experiencing.” It’s about what we’re experiencing all together, as a family, and that’s what I want to use this journal to commemorate: our spring and summer of us, when we leave the life we had for a whole new one, and everything that happens in between.

family travel journal

So rather than making separate travel journals for each of my kids, I decided to make a journal for all four of us. The first few pages are filled with the trip to San Francisco and San Jose that kicked off our move, and the rest of it will be a record of our cross-country drive and the weeks that we spend settling down in our new place (wherever that may be). What’s in it so far is everything from a postcard from a diner in San Francisco to a flower that Indy picked for me on the side of the road when we were house-hunting in San Jose to a fortune from the airport Chinese restaurant that says “Just to be alive is a grand thing.“

But I didn’t want to only put in the “perfect” stuff: our receipt from the trip to the urgent care clinic is in there, too, because that’s just as much a part of what happened as anything else. And the truth is that even the time we spent in bed recovering was special its own way; that feeling of being in it together – in all of it; even the less-than-fun parts – is something I want to remember just as much as steam train rides and carousels and such.

As it turns out, making a resolution – choosing to approach family travel consciously, and not just defaulting to what I’ve always done – gave me the little kick I needed to start something that I hope will become a family tradition, returned to whenever we have these kinds of big experiences involving travel and adventure.

I’d love to hear if you have any fun ideas for how to improve family travel or resolutions of your own – just post them on Twitter or Instagram using #AlamoDriveHappy so I can check them out (and be sure to tag a friend who you think could use some inspiration)!

This post was created in collaboration with Alamo.

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