The Anatomy of a Great Trip

Summertime is often when many of us hit the roads and fly the friendly skies to explore and experience new places and make memories. Many of our travels bring us to new places and some lead us to familiar ground, but each destination imprints something new in our collection of memories. Most trips have their fair share of bumps, detours, and minor disasters–not unlike the roads we travel along daily.

One week ago we had a nearly 20-hour excursion on both water and land that led us back home after another amazing week at Lake Powell. It is never easy to transition back into the daily grind when you experience a week of fully relaxing–which is one of the best things about Lake Powell. However, this year the “re-entry” process seemed to be a bit more difficult–and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it too much sun? A bit of “back-to-the-real-world” depression? An extra long journey back home? Or maybe it’s just that every year I want to hang on, for as long as possible, to what I would describe as a “great trip.”

Every summer for the past ten years we have set aside one week to enjoy this majestic lake. Each year the lake looks a bit different, but it never fails to capture our hearts. Some of our houseboat guests are regular attenders while others come on board for the first time. The week is full of good food, better drink, outrageous laughter, exquisite beauty, and the best conversation. But it has also had it’s share of mishaps over the years: burnt feet, sun rash, broken water toys, food disasters, and even a broken ankle that resulted in a helicopter ride back to civilization.

As our kids get older, it makes it tougher for them to share in this trip each year. In recent years we have new friends and families who bless us with their presence and invite us into experiencing the lake once again through the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time. It is a reminder that despite some of the things that might be challenging or don’t go according to plan, a trip is really about what you experience–the things you feel, the adventures that delight, and the memories that you make.

We were privileged to have the family that lives next door join us on our latest trip. Their oldest daughter (Kyra), who will be a high school senior this fall, said something during the week that was wise beyond her years. Near the end of the week, her friend looked down at Kyra’s legs with concern and said, “Oh my gosh! Look at your legs–you are so banged up!” As Kyra looked down to evaluate the many cuts and bruises  she had acquired over the week, she smiled and calmly said, “That just means it’s been a good trip.”

On vacation or in life–it’s the cuts and bruises, the brokenness and hurt, that can graciously lead us to the indescribable beauty, contagious joy, and the incredible adventure of a remarkable journey–or in Kyra’s words–a really good trip.

Trip Blog


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