Lessons From Vacation Part 1-Enjoying the Detour

You may have noticed the blog posts have been few and far between this summer.  Jules has been down for the count with pneumonia and I have been out of the country for five weeks!  I am home now and Jules has thankfully made a full recovery so hopefully we will be posting more regularly.  The girls and I had the opportunity to travel with my husband to Germany this summer.  We have had so many amazing adventures and created so many special family memories.  I won’t share all 1,200 of my vacation photos with you 🙂 , but I will show you a few of my favorites.  I have been in awe and amazement over and over on this trip with the absolute beauty in this world!
I titled this post “Lessons From Vacation” because on this extended stay out of the country,  I learned some things about myself, my family and people in general that I wanted to share with you.  I have been inspired to live my life a little differently and I hope this series of posts inspires you too.

This trip was different from any I have ever taken.  The Mister was responsible for most of the arrangements and it was very last minute.  I did not have months and months to plan and overthink things.  We basically packed up and left for five weeks without many set plans of what we were going to do.

My first stop when we got here was the local library to check-out some travel books.  We had an idea of the places we wanted to go, so I spent some time a couple of days before we left for the trip and researched the area and made a tentative list of things we might want to see and do. Normally, when we travel, I have planned it out weeks in advance and we have a tight schedule of all the things we want to do and see.  We did hit many of the “hot tourist spots” and I really enjoyed them, but I found some of my most memorable and happy moments of the trip were during the unexpected “detours” or last minute plans.

Below is a picture of the girls during one of our spontaneous stops on our way to another bigger destination.  We found this parking area near the Black Forest and we got out to explore.  We had so much fun running around the forest looking for the “Big Bad Wolf” and taking silly pictures.

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Here is another unplanned outing.  We intended to go an Alpine slide area that afternoon and it was closed because of rain.  We saw this Palace (King Ludwig’s Linderhof Palace) on our way back and decided to stop and check it out.  It was a fabulously beautiful discovery as you can see.  We made it in time for the last tour of the day and there were no crowds because of the late hour and rain.  We had so much fun running around the garden area taking pictures and just having fun!  We didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits.

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(King Ludwig had this grotto built behind the castle, it is a man-made cave hidden at the back of the estate.)

We had visited a lot of castles and climbed a lot of stairs and the girls decided they needed a break so at the last minute we decided to tour this chocolate factory in Cologne, Germany.  We had a blast trying samples from the giant chocolate fountain and learning the history of chocolate and how it is made.

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These are just a few examples of the “detours” we took on this vacation.  Had we been so intent on following a schedule or being a stickler for “the plan”, we would have missed out on these fun, family times.  In fact, I think our family was the happiest and most content during these detours because there were no pre-existing expectations.  We just jumped in and had fun!

I am a planner, organizer and list maker and living this way was so freeing! I definitely want to take this experience from vacation and apply it to my daily life.  It is okay to have plans, but when they don’t work out or there is an opportunity for a detour, I want to embrace it, instead of feeling stressed or disappointed. Who knows what fun could be around the corner.  I want to be more open to the plans God has for my life, which may be very different than my plan.  

How about you?  Are you a planner or do you just see where the road takes you?  I would love to hear how you spend your vacations!

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!


~Blessings,
Jen

Comments

  1. Jen, I really enjoyed your FB posts and seeing the sights that we didn’t get to see via your trip. I need to go back to Cologne to visit the chocolate factory – we only visited the cathedral! We are sort of winging it as we go out to Delaware/Maryland this week. This is supposed to be our “relaxing” trip – Dan and Caitlin wanted a relaxing vacation since the last 2 we’ve taken (Washington DC and Germany) were so packed full of activity. We’ll see how long we can relax on the beach and at the pool. 🙂 Let’s try to get together before school and the crazy starts up again.

    I’m glad that both you and Jules are back to full strength – i need my inspiration.
    Laura