Time changes things.
When our home was full of children, Papa and I only took our family vacations during the summer months when school was not in session. Both of us were raised to believe that the only reason you missed a day of school was because you were ill.
So we just didn’t think it was the best idea to take our three out of their classrooms for a week of vacation because they would miss so much and then have a lot of catching up to do.
Occasionally, we would take a trip during their spring break, but the majority of our family excursions for fun, relaxation, and sightseeing happened during the summer season. That continued during our children’s college years as well.
But things changed as time progressed and our offspring graduated from college, moved out of our family home, and set off into the world launching their careers and own ways of life. As our nest emptied out, one by one, Papa and I realized we were free to do as we pleased.
And if we wanted to travel any time of the year, we certainly could do so. After our last fledgling flew out of the nest, Papa and I decided to take a trip down south in the fall. Our first non-summer trip as empty nesters.
We traveled through several states, stopping along the way when some site piqued our interest as we made our way to Alabama to visit our oldest daughter who was living and working there at the time.
At every stop we made, we marveled at the lack of crowds. Families with school-aged children were non-existent at the points of interest we visited since school was in session. We found that we could take our time absorbing the sights and not feel rushed because tourists were not abundant at each place we stopped.
What a new and great experience it was and we truly enjoyed our trip and the time we had together – just the two of us – like those days in our married life before children came along.
We had discovered a great perk to entering into that empty nest phase of life.
Since then, we’ve ventured on several trips during the ‘off-season’ of vacation time. We realized how pleasant it is to travel in the less busy seasons of fall, winter, or late spring before schools let out for the summer.
And now that I am retired and Papa is semi-retired, we can pick up and take off on a journey whenever we darn well please.
Staying true to our discovery, we recently returned from an October vacation and it was glorious. Of course, since autumn is my very favorite time of year, I basked in the cooler weather and amazing fall foliage we encountered on our trip to Michigan, especially the Upper Peninsula.
And I checked one more state off my bucket list of visiting all 50 states in this great country of mine. (Ten more to go.)
I plan to share my thoughts, photos, and experiences from our trip in the next several posts.
Won’t you pack your virtual suitcase and come along for the trip?
“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” ~ Francis Bacon