The Five Hour Trip to Nowhere by Jodi Samuels, Manhattan, NY


The Samuels are on the road again.  We are in the spectacular Canadian Rockies and my research suggested we go to a small unknown national park 5 hours from Lake Louise. The reviews of the park were amazing, extolling the fact that it's not crowded with tourists, teaming with wildlife, unbelievable beauty and one of the most scenic drives. Sounded like a perfect two day trip for the Samuels.

The drive in was average with endless prairies, certainly not the most scenic drive ever as some reviews suggested. We arrived when it was dark, however we took a family stroll around the cute village. We went to sleep excited for the next day’s adventures.

We woke up to gray. Weather forecast said sunny. But it was not sunny. We soon discovered that massive wild fires nearby were the cause and the whole area was covered in smoke reducing visibility almost completely. My photos are proof of how hard I tried to capture faint shadows of the mountains.

So now what? A long drive and crushed expectations! We still had fun, we explored a canyon, went canoeing. We had a BBQ on the beach and ended our day at the historic lodge.  

While I was in New York this past summer, I had coffee with 3 friends who are all having marriage crises. For them, the long journey of marriage, all the expectations and the reality were more like a white out than a scenic, exhilarating experience. 

I really think that people forget to experience life. They can't be bothered to travel because it's stressful and requires effort, and they are stuck with bedtime routines that keep them prisoners. As a result, they forget to have date nights or a share a glass of wine or take a stroll at night.

This morning I shared an article on Facebook stating that science says you should spend all your money on travel. Notwithstanding that the article was sponsored by an airline, it shouts out to the idea that experiences bring happiness.  

I truly believe that living a fun, interesting life takes effort but it's worth the reward. Many of these experiences are free. A sunrise walk, a stroll in the fall leaves, a swim at the beach, a glass of wine and music at home or a picnic. When’s the last time that you scrolled through digital photos and relived memories?  When’s the last time that you made spontaneous plans?

Moms take stock today. If life looks like a hazy valley of smoke and everything looks the same, make a conscious choice to make change today. There is a guaranteed reward in the end!

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