Taking the Adventure Route – My Vacation Shorts

I am so excited to introduce my first guest post writer.  My husband, Phil, is pretty much the smartest human I know. He has been my editor on many of my writing adventures for about 20 years now.  I have shared with you how we are a family that travels on one income because we wanted our children to be with a parent instead of being raised by someone other than us.  My husband is a stay at home Dad and has been one since my daughter was born in 2008.  He is an amazing one at that.  In this first post by him, you will see the backstory to our whole traveling philosophy. Read on to find out how you too can choose to take The Adventure Route. Enjoy.

Taking The Adventure Route – How to Find Fun and Adventure Anywhere

By Phil Vecchio

When I was a kid, my dad used to take me and my brothers hiking a lot.  The love of hiking he instilled in me has endured, and it is still one of my favorite things to do with my own kids.  However, it wasn’t just the passion he had for the outdoors, or his love for sharing his knowledge of nature with us, that made it so enjoyable (although those were important aspects as well).  I think the biggest thing that made me love hiking is that my dad has always known how to find fun and adventure.

On the John Muir Trail with my Dad and brothers.

Hiking can be great fun, but sometimes, as a kid, hiking can seem like a chore.  It’s not always cliffs and waterfalls.  Sometimes it’s long treks through the same flat forest, and that can get boring.  That’s when my dad would find an adventure route.  We’d come up to a long, straight, dull part of the path, and he’d ask us kids, “Do you guys want to take the regular path, or The Adventure Route?”
Like any kids with any shred of imagination, we’d always pick The Adventure Route.  Then, my dad would lead us off-road on a windy course, ducking under trees, or clambering across boulders, or hopping on rocks in the middle of a stream.   Eventually, I came to realize that this wasn’t some magical path that he had discovered, but really just a creative way to get us kids excited to keep moving forward.  But knowing this didn’t take away from the adventure, it just made me appreciate my dad’s creativity all the more.  I understand now, as an adult, that The Adventure Route is all about the attitude with which you approach your journey.

Taking The Adventure Route on Vacation

The Adventure Route isn’t just a great trick to motivate kids to keep walking, it’s a life lesson and a great travel tool.  We often use this in our vacation planning.  If the freeway is the most direct path, I’ll check out a map and find an alternative route to our destination.  Sure, it may take a little while longer to get there, but who knows what adventures we may find along the way?  Sometimes it’s a cool little restaurant, or a small museum, or a pretty park, or a beautiful vista.  You wouldn’t believe some of the great things we’ve discovered just by getting off the beaten path.

My Dad still knows how to adventure.

This works great when doing touristy things too.  Maybe, instead of seeing the biggest monument, you could visit a smaller attraction.  Who knows?  You might just avoid the crowds and see something truly unique.
Sometimes, taking The Adventure Route is less about actually moving, and more about how you approach a difficult situation.  One time on vacation, we were accidentally booked into a hotel room with only a double bed, and no other options were offered.  Our kids couldn’t fit in it with us if we wanted them to.  So, we took two of the chairs in the room, pushed them together, and with a little creativity made a little bed-like structure that our kids could sleep on.  Instead of griping about the situation, which wouldn’t have helped, we told the kids, “Look, this hotel room has a super secret bed, just for kids!”  They loved it!  By taking The Adventure Route in a frustrating situation, we made a negative into a positive.  Now, whenever we stay in a hotel, the kids love to make “special kid beds” from chairs, couch cushions, spare pillows, and anything else they can find in the room.

Taking The Adventure Route, Even When You’re Not On Vacation

As much as we all love to travel, most of us have to spend the majority of our lives not on vacation.  But The Adventure Route still works.

Believe it or not, this place is in our hometown. You don’t have to go far to go on an adventure.

Do you have a commute, or maybe drive the kids to school and back?  Driving the same way over and over again can be mind-numbing.  Try The Adventure Route!  I try to go a different way each time I drive back and forth, even if it’s as simple as driving past our street and coming to our house from the next block up.  It keeps things interesting, and I am constantly noticing things I never knew were there, even in my own home town.
The Adventure Route is great for breaking up the daily routine as well.  Try eating dinner in a different room of the house each night for a week.  Or let the kids brush their teeth using the hose in the backyard.  In the summer, when it’s warm enough, we sometimes bring our sleeping bags out to the backyard and sleep on the trampoline, under the stars.  The Adventure Route is all about doing the unexpected and making the mundane into something exciting.

So have some adventures this week.  Whether you have kids or not, approaching life with adventure in mind makes things so much more fun.  And the next time you travel, go a different way.  When you’re on The Adventure Route, you never know what you might find.

Oh, and one more thing:  If you do take The Adventure Route, let us know in the comments about the adventure you have.  We’d love to hear all about it!

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4 thoughts on “Taking the Adventure Route – My Vacation Shorts

  1. Keep adventuring and keep writing. Can I go on your next adventure? Your family is blessed to carry on the traditions of having fun that were a big part of the Vecchio household.

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