We are deep into summer and I hope you’ve had some time to relax or that you have some relaxation planned. The summer has always been a time when my family of origin and now my immediate family has gathered and taken trips together.

 

Growing up meant Wellfleet for the whole summer as my parents didn’t have the resources to travel. We crowded in to our 900 square foot cabin and hoped it was not one of those rainy summers. Us kids spent every minute outside until, exhausted, we fell into bed.

 

When my kids were young, we took road trips each June to visit National Parks across the west. I wanted my kids to see more of America than I got to as a city kid. These trips are embedded in my memory as some of the best times in my life. Listening to books on tape (yes, cassette tapes), playing silly games to keep things interesting, and then being in the grandeur of Yosemite or Zion or Death Valley was a perfect combo of togetherness and awe.

 

Now my kids are all in their 20s and my husband, Chip, and I have started traveling again, just the two of us (or three if you count our dog Murphy). I had forgotten what good travel companions we are. This year was filled with adventures. Whether it was driving cross country from California to Massachussets with Murphy (so fun) or taking our first overseas trip together in 30 years to bike along country roads in the remote area of Puglia, I reveled in the new sites and the comfort and joy of traveling with Chip.

 

What do you most value in vacation or travel? What adventures stay in your mind?

 

Start by making a list of places you’ve traveled.

 

What are some of your favorite places or travel memories?

 

Pick one memory or vacation and write down the details.

  • Who were you with?
  • Where did you go?
  • How did you get there?
  • What did you see, hear, taste, smell, feel?

What made this trip or vacation so special or significant?

  • Was it where you went?
  • Who you went with?
  • What you did or experienced?
  • Something else?

If you could design a future vacation, what would it be (this can be fantasy but you have to tell me why you want to go and what you’d want to do)?

  • Where would you go? Why?
  • Who would you go with (if anyone)?
  • What would you hope to learn or experience?

 

Write a story about the vacation or memory that you chose above or write a story about your dream future vacation.

 

Wishing you relaxation and adventure in these last few weeks of August.

 

Happy Writing.

Melanie

 

P.S. Write your stories down. Save them. You’ll be surprised how much it means — to you the writer and to those who read it. Often the first step in saving family stories is learning them, and that means asking questions.

Here are 5 to get you started.