Mindful Travel Companions, a Rare Breed: Part II

I have four children and I’m thrilled to say I’ve traveled with all of them to some extent or another, most spectacularly a trip to Panama with all four in tow in which by some strange act of the universe, we weren’t fighting the entire time. Perfection it was not, but given the dynamics between three adult sisters, a tween baby brother and mom…we did pretty good. I’ve gone to Berlin and Lisbon with my eldest daughter (we’ll discuss that in Part III), I’m headed to Mexico City with my youngest daughter this year, and Cam’s request is Scotland–but since he can’t help me pay his way, it’s a bigger stretch for me to finance at the moment and simmering on the back burner.

Our case study will be the trip to Dallas to see The Lumineers with my daughters. We frequently make a concert a focal point of our journeys, and this one did not disappoint. The Episode, however, occurred the day before the concert when we ventured out from our Airbnb to explore. Our intention was to locate a quaint area of shops nearby but somehow we bungled the directions (if we ever had any was never clear to me; since I had no agenda I did not inquire further in that regard). We grabbed latte to go from the coffee shop by our condo and then meandered the surrounding area and ended up in a completely residential area at a dog park. The neighborhood was lovely; we sat and chatted with the owners, watched the puppers, and even helped corral an escapee. I found it completely charming and enjoyable to just relax and soak in the unexpected destination. As we finally got up to leave and keep walking, we debated whether or not to keep searching for the illusive shops or just find a place to have lunch. We settled (or so the majority thought) on trekking to a Spanish bistro a good twenty minute hike away. Now “the majority” became enlightened to reality as my middle daughter flew into a rage that we were not fulfilling our original plan. It was HOT. She was TIRED. The restaurant was TOO FAR. The tirade culminated with her throwing her cup of coffee and stomping off alone in the direction of the condo. She threw coffee.

The remaining travelers looked at each other in momentary stunned silence, shrugged, and set forth on the grueling hike and the eventual reward of AC, sangria, and some of the most divine tapas I’ve ever had. The Episode in now the stuff of family legend.

If you must have a travel companion…choose wisely.


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