Vacation Discovery – When Expectations Help

Vacation Discovery – When Expectations Help

We made it. After a quick trip to the doctor’s office as we headed out of town, my body magically responded to some new medications and behaved. Finally, after a two-year hiatus, my far-flung family resumed our annual vacation jaunt and gathered for five glorious days.

Although I previously wrote about the perils of anticipation and cautioned against using our past experience as a blueprint for vacation planning, sometimes, I discovered, expectations can help.

After a decade of making this trip, our family knew just about everything that could happen—good and bad:

We knew there could be heavy Labor Day traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
And there was.

We knew there could be a robust debate about whether to stop at the outlets, for “just a half-hour, tops.”
And there was.

We knew there could be a mix-up about the rooms, creating up to an hour delay at check-in.
And there was.

And we knew that our first dinner, the time and location reserved weeks in advance, could be delayed, hectic, and filled with last minute changes since the gang was traveling from five different locations.
And, indeed, it was.

Although any one of these situations could have created turmoil and ruined the start of our vacation, our experience and expectations actually helped.

Of course, the Bay Bridge would be backed up. Of course, we would debate the outlet stop. Of course, the hotel would foul up our reservations (even though they were made a year in advance.) And, of course, our first dinner together would be chaotic.

But these weren’t problems to be endured. Oh no. These were traditions to be “celebrated” as part of our family lore.

And when you’ve learned to celebrate the problems, everything else is a fabulous bonus.

The sunrises 

The sunrises,


and sunsets,

Holding my precious Blakely Faye

and holding my precious Blakely Faye,

chatting with her

and chatting with her,

shopping with her

and shopping with her.

With a little effort, the things that annoy us, those predictable disasters, can become steadfast traditions. We just have to alter our perspective, peppering the drama with a lot of love and a larger goal in mind.

How about you? Have you taken an annoyance and looked at it as a “tradition?” Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best–always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P. S. Thanks for your interest in my upcoming book, Rethinking Possible: A Memoir of Resilience to be published June 13, 2017. Join me here for updates and special offers.

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