During the month of June, we took our family on a cross-country road trip. 1 RV. 9 people. 17 days. We included many family history activities along the way. To catch up on our trip so far:
Preparing for Our ‘Relative Race’
Our ‘Relative Race’: Treasures Untold
Our ‘Relative Race’: An Unexpected Gift
Our ‘Relative Race’: Cherokee Heritage
Our ‘Relative Race’: A Drive Through History
Our ‘Relative Race’: Extended Stay
Lest you think I am a most overbearing mother who only speaks Genealogy to her children, I want to assure you that we are a typical family. And this was a balanced, fun road trip for us. We made many memories and our own history along the way!
Climbed through the cliffs of Mesa Verde
Visited Grandpa, Uncles, Aunts, Great-Aunts (In all, 12 family members we rarely see)
Spun ourselves silly at Six Flags
Swam at several pools
Cooked and ate
Visited the Nuclear Museum in Albuquerque, NM (so COOL!)
Ate at a few restaurants
Played car games (found license plates from every state!)
Listened to audiobooks
Teased each other
Sometimes ran short on patience with 9 people in only 250 square feet for 17 days
Laughed at our own silliness
We shared the 5000 miles of driving with two teenaged drivers (gasp!)
We left the grocery store during a crazy, dumping, drenching rainstorm (like we never see in Utah!)
We nearly ran out of gas on a long stretch of road in the middle of nowhere
We passed a house being moved down the freeway, in our wide RV, THREE times… That was nerve wracking!
Our 5 year old lost his first tooth on a wagon ride
Our 5 year old also participated so enthusiastically in the children’s parade at Nauvoo that you would have thought that was the best day of his whole life (we will cherish that video for years to come!)
But, purposefully weaving some family history activities into our typical family road trip was SO MEANINGFUL! It certainly enhanced our experiences and gave us a firmer understanding of where we come from, the legacy left to us, the strength and fortitude in our blood. As we took a little time to walk where our ancestors walked and understand a little about their lives, it made us more connected to them.
I encourage you to try it! For your next family trip, see if you can plan a little family history experience into your activities. Make it fun, make it flexible, allow each family member to get out of it what they will. But, purposefully weave it in. You may be surprised at the positive reactions you get!