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What Travel Teaches Us and Our Kids

What has travel taught you? My husband and I see how our travels teach our girls. Some of the lessons are hard to learn, some lessons are more easily accepted but travel teaches. Travel teaches patience, understanding, and acceptance. Travel teaches diversity and travel teaches compassion.

I’ve been traveling all my life. With one set of grandparents in Florida and the other in England, we had to travel to see them. (We lived on Long Island, NY). We spent long days in the van driving down to Florida. And of course, on a plane to get to England. When I was 9 years old my mom, two brothers and I went to England for the whole month of July. My dad couldn’t get that much time off so he stayed home. That was an interesting trip. My older brother and I were in charge of the large suitcase while my mom took care of our 2-year-old brother. We helped out to make that trip work.

Now with our kids, we try to have them help out. It teaches them responsibility as well. I love the fact that our kids pack their own clothes and extras like books and toys. They also love having their own suitcase but are willing to share a suitcase too.

Table of Contents

Travel teaches patience

So the real reason I decided to write this blog post is because of the challenges we had just last weekend. We were just going away for a quick ski trip so it didn’t require much planning. Our plan was to go to the New Hampshire’s Ice Castles on Friday night, stay in a hotel that night and ski Loon Mountain on Saturday. Sounds easy, right?

Ha. Not so easy this time.

ice castles
Ice Castles

The ice castles tickets are sold for a specific time. They say you get 1/2 hour for your visit. (FYI -they don’t kick anyone out so you are free to stay and play). Our tickets were for 7:30 pm. Our plan was to leave our house at 2:30 pm. We had hoped we’d make the 2-1/2 hour drive in the 4-hour window we had.

Travel teaches us time management

We left at 3 pm. One half-hour off. The GPS showed lots of traffic on the highways, no surprise, so we tried a secondary highway. The GPS said it would be quicker. It wasn’t. More time lost.

Snow started to fall. The scene out of the car windows was a winter wonderland. So beautiful. However, with the snow came sloppy roads and slower driving. More time lost.

We made Gilford, New Hampshire at 5:50 pm. Since we were all hungry we stopped at Papa Ginos. They have gluten-free pizza for Evelyn. Ainsley wanted soup which we got at the supermarket. Now we felt we needed to rush. We were still an hour away with barely an hour till our entrance time.

Sometimes you should listen to your husband and not the GPS

The GPS showed a lot of traffic on the highway but clear sailing on the side roads. It was just wrong!! Just wrong!!

This is where all H… brakes lose. Down the side road, we come upon a police car with its lights on. There is also a street intersection with another police car on that street with its lights on. There are no cones, there is no caution tape, there’s nothing but these police cars sitting with their lights on. So we slow way down and proceed with caution. Wrong. I’m honestly not sure why the police didn’t have a third car on the other side of the street intersection – from the direction we were coming from. As we approved a police officer he got out of his car and starts to yell at us.

Now call me crazy and a person from the future but here in Massachusetts our police cars have megaphones built into them. A police officer does not have to get out of his/her car to talk to someone. Well…. we were in New Hampshire so I’m not sure about their police cars but it would seem to make sense that their cars are equipped with this technology as well.

good day skiing
After a successful day of skiing

Houston…. we have a problem

Remember I said it was snowing. We’re on a secondary road and the wind is blowing hard. And there’s no cell service AT ALL!! The police officer says we have to go back. So we try and turn around but end up driving over the downed power line which we couldn’t see. Thanks for letting us know this when you were yelling at us to turn around.

Now the police officer is yelling stay there, don’t move. Please make up your mind! So we are straddling the LIVE downed wire. Great. Thanks so much for all your help police officer. Are you new to the force?? We are now stuck in place for a half-hour. Let’s not talk about our ice castle timed tickets. Not right now.

Travel teaches us good communication skills

Meanwhile, the girls are all nervous in the backseat. Ainsley, I swear was on the verge of a panic attack she was so upset. All because the police didn’t have all access to the area blocked off and never said don’t come any closer. When they said turn around, they should have said back up. Communication people. It’s the key to understanding.

So we get the kids calm and we wait. We figured we were waiting for the power company to shut off the power but of course, the police officers didn’t say that. Finally, one of the police officers drives closer to our car and says, “move your car over there – he pointed – and wait for me. I want to talk to you.” Then he drove off to talk to the other police officer.

We moved over to where he wanted us to be and we waited. And waited, and waited. Another almost half hour goes by. At this point, a plow truck has come up to the intersection from the same direction as we came. He is now stuck because he can’t turn around. His truck is too big. He stops because we wave our hands out the window to let him know not to go any farther. Why the police still haven’t figured out they should close this road from the entrance of the main road is beyond me at this point.

travel teaches us to see beauty

Sometimes you have to go with your gut

The plow driver comes over to talk to us. He’s concerned he won’t be able to turn his plow around in the only driveway in the vicinity. Meanwhile, Clint just wants to drive off. Clint blows our horn to try and get the police officer’s attention but they make no attempt to communicate with us. Now another car arrives on the scene from the same directions that we came. Still, the police won’t come and talk to us or block off the road. So we finally leave.

I really thought the police were going to come after us but they didn’t and as of today we haven’t received a ticket so I really don’t know why they wanted us to wait and talk to them.

We head back to the main road and drive to the highway. It is busy but not bumper to bumper as the GPS had claimed. Oh, the joys of GPS. So we finally make it to the Ice Castle’s an hour and ten minutes late for our entrance time. When we arrived, the parking attendant asked ‘what time is your entrance into the ice castle?’ We lied and said 8:30 pm because we didn’t want to be turned away. At the ticket counter, I just explained what happened. The attendant was so sweet and said not to worry, we could go in now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We were so excited.

Ice Castles in New Hampshire

travel teaches us to explores

The ice castles are amazing. They are lit with all different colored lights and it’s simply marvelous. I love how the staff had fire pits burning in a few areas for people to warm up. It was only 17 degrees when we had our adventure but you are on ice so at the very least remember to wear winter boots. If you plan to go through the tunnels and really explore I highly recommend wearing snow pants.

This is another thing travel teaches us. Make sure to look back at the area you were just in to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind. I lost my snow pants on our last adventure. Snag #12. Thankfully they had sleds for the big slide which is totally awesome and you should wait in line to go on. But it meant that I really couldn’t get into the tunnels. I was the photographer and that’s OK.

ice castles

We highly recommend a visit to the ice castles. There are several around that you can choose from just make sure you plan ahead. The weekends fill up quickly. It is truly magical to be in the ice castle. Just one piece of advice – make sure your camera is fully charged. Not us – but I’m just saying.

Travel teaches us to pay attention

We left the ice castle around 9:15 pm exhausted and ready to get to our hotel and sleep. Everyone brought their swimsuits to enjoy the indoor pool after the ice castles. We had figured we’d be at the hotel by 8:30 pm. At 9:30 pm the girls really need to get to bed, we are skiing on Saturday after all. Disappointing, but understandable too late for the pool.

The biggest issue with the night is about to dawn on us. The girls didn’t want to wear their ski pants for the 10-minute drive to the hotel so they took them off to stow in the ski bag. We don’t leave anything in the car overnight. It’s no fun getting into a cold pair of ski pants or cold ski boots in the morning.

As we are waiting for the girls to take off their ski pants, Clint asks me to put the hotel address into the GPS. 🙂 Well, the reservation is on Clint’s account with So he looks up the reservation and it dawns on him. We booked a hotel for Lincoln, Nebraska, not Lincoln, New Hampshire. OH NO!!! I’m now laughing. I honestly don’t know what else to do. It’s comical at this point. It’s a very busy weekend and we just spent FIVE AND ONE-HALF HOURS on what should have been a TWO AND ONE-HALF HOUR DRIVE!!!

We’re NOT going home!!! We already bought our tickets for Loon Mountain specifically for Saturday. We got a discount because we bought the tickets online early enough to get a discount. I silently begged Clint NOT to say we can tough it out in the car overnight. It was only 17 degrees. With no heat, I would be an icicle by morning.

For more of our travel adventures here is our Washington DC adventure

travel teaches us good communication

Travel teaches you to think on your feet

The girls overheard and became a bit concerned but I was surprised by how calm they remained. Clint and I went into ‘problem-solving mode’. He started to look up hotel availability with one app and I did it with another. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as we thought and we had a reservation booked within minutes. Whew! And luckily it was only 15 minutes away. The powers that be were watching over us.

Travel teaches resilience

We’re very glad no one over-reacted and we kept a positive attitude. We kept moving forward and were able to sort out all the issues we had.

travel teaches us patience

Our Conclusion

We had a great night’s sleep and skied Loon Mountain on Saturday. It was the BEST day of skiing I think I have ever had. It was that spectacular. And on top of that, I think I figured out what ski’s I’m going to buy. Yeah!

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Have you had so many obstacles on a trip? What lessons have you learned during your travels?

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Cathy

    Great story! I really enjoyed your honesty! you are right, some trips do NOT turn out the way we plan.. It is refreshing to read a post that is truthful.. Your photos are amazing!

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks, Cathy I really appreciate your comment. I was just glad we didn’t end up sleeping in our car.

  2. Cathy

    This is such a great story and reinforces a lot of good lessons. Most of the time, we see and hear only the stories where everything goes right. Thanks for your honest post and showing us how to turn challenges while traveling into lessons and fun.

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks, we did have a discussion about it all with our girls. It really is important to figure out how to solve your dilemmas and not just dwell on them.

  3. Yuri

    I agree you should listen to your husband 😂. I agree with a lot of this information. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Leeanne

      The funny this about me saying follow the GPS to go down that side road is that he had just asked me to put the GPS on because the last intersection had been revamped and he didn’t recognize it so he wanted to make sure he was driving correctly. We should have gone with his gut though.

  4. Cindy

    I love these lessons. I think it also teaches tolerance, independent thinking, how to use your resources, problem solving, appreciation of culture and difference, and so much more! We started having the kids lead us through airports to get to the right destination early on and then increase their responsibility as we went. Travel on!

    1. Leeanne

      That’s awesome. I like to have our daughters help with finding our way as well. We’ve even given them the phone with the GPS on and asked them to get us to our destination in NYC. These are great life skills to have. Rock on mom!

  5. Diane

    Great thoughts on the subject! I’m going to share with my daughter and son-in-law.

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks. I hope they like the post too.

  6. Lisa Manderino

    I love how travel teaches so many things!

  7. Tricia

    I agree. There are so many lessons for kids who travel. It should be apart of every parents agenda!

    1. Leeanne

      I agree. Even if it just teaches to be responsible for your own things.

  8. Stacey

    What a great story you have now and I love how you persevered and had a great weekend after all. We often use our GPS AND Google maps when road-trippin’ it has helped on many occasions.

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, my husband also likes Waze. I think we will curb the back road trips during snow storms though. 🙂

  9. Melissa

    What an adventure!! I’m glad it all worked out for you! Loon is one of my favorite mountains and the views are amazing. Hoping to get the kiddos up to the ice castles soon! Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Leeanne

      I loved Loon. The views are amazing. I’m glad we went up the tower to see farther. My kids were loving seeing Mt. Washington going in and out of the clouds all day.

      1. Wendy Robinson

        When things don’t go as planned, or worse, plans get cancelled or turn a bad corner, at the time it sucks. But, later, it makes a memorable story that sticks in your head for years to come.

        1. Leeanne

          So true. Patience is something our older daughter struggles with so I was super glad she didn’t lose her cool at all that weekend.

  10. Julie Gazdecki

    I cannot think of a time with that many obstacles, but happy it all worked out for your family, and you had a great day skiing. I think my hubby would have lost it.

    1. Leeanne

      I was a bit worried about the hotel. But luckily we found one quickly and the girls remained calm which always helps.

  11. Brianna Creef

    I am a big planner so I seriously struggle when our plans don’t go according to plan, but I’m very fortunate to have a husband to remind me to be in the moment and just appreciate that I’m not at work lol

    1. Leeanne

      That’s a great perspective. I think I will use that one too -would you rather ‘wait a little longer at the airport or be in school?’ Of course, my older daughter will say ‘be at school.’ lol.

  12. kmf

    Wow! What an adventure! You all have so much patience and handled it all so well. And happy you were laughing about the Lincoln hotel so I didn’t feel bad for laughing. I got iced in at Memphis airport and ended up having a great time dining, drinking and spending the night with 6 strangers. Good times!

    1. Leeanne

      That’s funny. I’m glad there were still restaurants and shops open for you to enjoy and eat.

  13. Jennifer

    What an ordeal. Glad you all still made it to the travel destinations you planned.

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks. We’re glad too since we had such a great time.

  14. Lisa Wells

    What a crazy travel story… and great life lessons for the kiddos!!! I wanted to visit the ice castles so bad this year, but it didn’t happen. Next year for sure!

    1. Leeanne

      Definitely go to the ice castles. We had a great time. Just be sure to wear snow pants so you can get into the tunnels.

  15. Jordin

    “Travel teaches patience, understanding, and acceptance. Travel teaches diversity and travel teaches compassion.” I LOVE THIS! I do not have children of my own YET but this is why I travel personally. I want to pass this on to my children as well!

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks so much, Jordin. I’m sure you will pass all your wisdom on so your kids will be awesome travelers as well.

    1. Leeanne

      Honestly, Heather it just seemed comical to me. I just kept thinking, things can’t get any worse.

  16. Flo

    I liked reading your adventure and lessons learned on this trip. It all turned out as a memorable experience and that’s what matters!

    1. Leeanne

      Agreed. My girls are still talking about it too.

  17. Missy

    We have been on many trips that had obstacles. That is when we are grateful for our patience.

  18. jen

    I believe there are a great many lessons to learn through travel… most when we aren’t even thinking we are learning. 🙂

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, Jenn, having fun while learning is definitely the best.

  19. Courtney

    I agree! These are great lessons learned from travel.

  20. Hannah

    What a stressful journey that turned out to be! But I love you remained so positive and have learned some good lessons 🙂

    1. Leeanne

      Thankfully my husband kept us laughing and we eventually got to our destination.

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