It all started with a conference in Los Angeles.
I chose it because I loooove LA.
The plans were set, the room waiting, the excitement building and that is when my dad said, “Hey,when can you go on a road trip to California with me?”
“Now”, I replied and the airfare was cancelled, the itinerary adjusted and we where ready to go. Or so we thought. We had also planned on taking my daughter who is online private schooled for a treat and change of venue and a friend of hers to entertain her during my conference hours….
Then it happened, my dad got sick, the conference leader had to have emergency surgery and had to cancel and here I sat with not one, but two disappointed teenagers.
I had options of course. I could cancel entirely. I could go ahead with just the girls OR I could sit down and cry….I was on the hook for the hotel room either way and that sealed the deal for me. I was going, it would be a mini working vacation. We would do school at cool cafes and coffee shops, at the observatory park, in different locations in the city to see the impact. Hey now it was an experiment!
The day before we departed my dad called he was better and wanted to go still. Okay, new plan…a slight detour to drop him off in Palm Springs to do what he needed for his mom….We just lost a day of time in LA, boo. As it turned out this was great. Having a driving co-pilot that not only engaged in thought provoking conversation but actually initiated it was fantastic for me. It made the drive seem shorter somehow.
The girls were engaged in teen stuff and poked into the conversation from time to time. That wouldn’t have happened if it were just me because the convo would have been all in my head! School had begun and we were only in Utah! Now along the way we had a number of “bumps” if you will.
Each “bump” allowed an opportunity for all four of us to work together as a team to solve the problem. We had three generations problem solving and solution finding together. When was the last time you saw teen girls working with their mom AND their Grandpa to come to agreement? We talked politics, medicine, drugs, music, teen life, you tube, clothes, hair, boys, and so many more topics….
The point is when you are locked in a car for over 15 hours to reach a destination a lot of shit happens! I learned a ton about teens today, my daughter in particular, my dad and how far I have come to be who I am….so here is the list of what I learned specifically:
- Having an engaged co-pilot makes all the difference in long days of driving.
- Road trips are NOT for the faint of heart. They take a certain willingness to be out of control.
- Teenagers are amazing creatures, so much fun AND completely exhausting at the same time.
- Vegas is great and it totally sucks! The cigarette smoke is overwhelming and I don’t recommend it as a stop with kids.
- The learning curve on a road trip is super high if you let it be: ” How can I be so easy going and so fucking uptight at the same time? I can handle a total detour of the trip or wrong turn or schedule alteration with ease but give me a shitty driver going slow in the fast lane…and DAMN I am PISSED.”
Road trips are amazing, in my humble opinion, like waiting tables I think everyone should take at least one in their lifetime. Preferably with someone that gets you just a little riled up…someone that allows for the instigation of growth on your part.
And don’t forget your patience pill, shit will go wrong, it will hit the fan, you will need a break BUT if you are willing, and open you will learn a ton about yourself from how you honor the opinion of others and your own opinion at the same time (or how you don’t ), what hours in an enclosed vehicle does to your body, and if you are lucky you might even get a look at the elusive workings of the inner mind of a teenager.
Good luck and happy road tripping too. May good weather, a well built car and awesome companions be in your future!
Much Love and Many JoyVentures,