We have been lucky to have had some amazing adventures in our lives. The first trip we planned, taking all of our kids and one grandchild to Europe in 2001 taught us a few lessons about planning. We had that adventure so packed full that we were basically sleeping on the trains. Our granddaughter Bella fell asleep holding her dad’s hand waiting to cross a street in Berlin. From that trip on we allowed ourselves more time to sleep but we still had to learn how to give ourselves more down time. We had our trip to Hawaii so full that the only time we sat on the beach and relaxed was on the very last day.
We have learned a lot from our early trips. One thing we had to learn was how to allow for spontaneity on our travels. We have developed a system for planning an adventure that is the perfect mix between planned activities or sights and allowing ourselves enough time to truly enjoy a good meal, have a nice glass of wine by the fire, or sit and stare at the ocean together. Most importantly, we have learned to just wander. You can find some wonderful things when you wander. We once found ice caves near Aspen, Colorado that we didn’t know existed. We found a wonderful little family restaurant in Prague that offered an authentic Czech menu because we were wandering outside in the cold and had to find a restroom. We wandered into an ancient cemetery in a schoolyard in Germany where the kids were outside eating their lunch on the tombstones.
Some just call it getting lost. We prefer to think of it as getting lost with intent, or wandering with a plan. There is a reason we call ourselves The Wandering Grandparents.