Are We There Yet?

February 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Family, Nature, Tourism, Travel | 8 Comments
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When my children were youngsters, we travelled a lot. My husband was a teacher, and he never wanted to stay home during school holidays, always wanting to be somewhere else. So we visited relatives, went to lots of places around our state and beyond, and had experiences we would have missed were we to remain at home.

 You would think that at least one of our five sons would be an impatient traveller. Talk to anyone who has travelled with kids and they’ll almost always tell you they have one who, as soon as you’re out the driveway and onto the road, starts asking are we there yet?  Windmill &caravan Camooweal 1980

Lots of people prefer to reach their destination, rather than undertake the actual travel to get there. I know that, having travelled little before my marriage, it was the destination I had in mind. The drive – we always drove – was just the means of getting there, and I wanted it to be over as soon as possible.

 Most of our drives were in the countryside – we lived away from major towns. My husband was the driver on our long trips. Every time stopped for a break or to get petrol, I’d sit impatiently in the car. On the road, he seemed to look out of the side window more than watching where we were going. He’d see an interesting tree or rock along the way, glimpse an echidna or a goanna and just had to stop to look at it. I would remain in the car, fidgeting and getting more and more agitated, wishing he’d get back and drive on. The question that constantly ran through my mind was when will we ever get there?

When we started having children, the travelling didn’t stop; we just had more and more passengers. Then, of course, the baby needed to be changed and fed; the toddler/s needed a break from sitting or had to have a pit stop. We simply had to take breaks, so I learned to curb my impatience. I started to notice much more of what was going on around me.Holland boys NrQuirindi May 1982

 By the time we went on a four-month trip halfway around Australia with a caravan, four boys aged between four and nine and me pregnant with the fifth, I had discovered how much of interest I had missed by not wanting to stop along the way. This time, I was happy to take breaks, to go for walks, to investigate country museums and ruins, anthills and billabongs and side-tracks. I had learned to appreciate the journey to our destination.

 I noticed too that none of the boys ever asked, are we there yet? They had been travelling all their lives and took advantage of every stop we made to find out more about their environment, their history, the beauty and wildness of their country. They always enjoyed the journey just as much as – if not more than – the destination.Bill&boys1982Sydney

 My sons are now passing on that love of the journey to their own children. They don’t want them to miss the treasures that are there along the way. And indeed, very often, it is the journey that has more to offer us than the destination. Sometimes, we don’t want the journey to end. We don’t want to be there yet.

 What about you? Do you prefer to reach your destination as soon as possible, or do you relax and enjoy the journey?

 © Linda Visman 6th February 2013

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